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ATLANTIC CITY, NJ-Work has started for Revel, a $2-billion hotel-casino project here, and at a time when market conditions are slowing the progress of other projects in town, its developer could be getting some assistance in the infrastructure department. The city council this week introduced an ordinance that, if passed, would permit the issuance of $56 million in bonds to pay for the design and widening of access roads to the site.

Initial work has started on the 20-acre site at the northernmost end of this city’s famed boardwalk, next to the existing Showboat Hotel Casino. Revel Entertainment, a locally based group headed by long-time casino executive Kevin DeSanctis, got its final state and local approvals in place at the end of 2007. The final vote on the bonding is expected to happen in about two weeks.

According to the ordinance, as introduced and currently proposed, the bonds would carry an interest rate in the 4.5% to 5% range for a 30-year term, although the final numbers have not been determined. The city would place a lien on the property itself and recover the land in the case of a default. Revel would pay the interest on the bonds.

“There is no downside for the city at all in this,” says a Revel spokesman, in a statement. “The city issues the bonds, and that’s where it ends.”

At build-out Revel, as proposed, would consist of two hotel towers of 1,900 rooms each, plus 150,000 sf of casino space and 500,000 sf of shopping, restaurants and entertainment. The first phase consisting of one 1,900-key hotel tower is slated to open by the end of 2010.

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