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Atlantic City Casinos Propose Retail Growth

6 September 2001

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey –– As reported by The Press of Atlantic City: "New entertainment piers, posh shopping districts and upscale restaurants could be coming to a town better known for pizza parlors and chintzy souvenir shops on the Boardwalk.

"Spurred by new legislation that would give them millions of dollars in grants and tax incentives, Atlantic City's casinos are proposing to develop a series of retail and entertainment attractions that would complement their slot machines and gaming tables.

"…Every casino company in town has applied to take advantage of the Urban Revitalization Incentive Program signed into law two weeks ago by acting Gov. Donald T. DiFrancesco and administered by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, or CRDA.

"…James B. Kennedy, CRDA executive director, estimated the projects would add more than 1 million square feet of retail and entertainment attractions at a cost approaching $800 million.

"…Some of the projects were announced previously, but others are being made public for the first time this week They include:

"A 200,000-square-foot retail village, nicknamed The Quarter, which would be part of a $225 million expansion project by Tropicana Casino and Resort.

"…The redevelopment of the Shops on Ocean One, the 900-foot-long mall that rests on the Million Dollar Pier.

"…New retail and entertainment sites next to Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino. They would be built on the site of the former Trump World's Fair casino, which was demolished this year.

"…And an elaborate shopping district at the foot of the expressway. It would be done in partnership between the CRDA and the Baltimore-based Cordish Co., with Harrah's Atlantic City and Showboat Casino-Hotel supplying the funding.

"By law, the CRDA will select only six of the projects for the final cut, with the other two being held in reserve.

"…For years, Atlantic City has been criticized for offering few shopping and entertainment attractions other than cheap souvenir shops and fast-food restaurants on the Boardwalk. The CRDA's new program would allow the Atlantic City casinos to become more like their counterparts in Las Vegas, where upscale retail, dining and entertainment sites are major components of the tourist trade.

"…Another key part of the program calls for the development of casino-funded projects in other urban areas of the state. Casinos would invest a minimum of $20 million for entertainment and retail attractions, new housing projects or community improvements in those cities. They would receive tax incentives in exchange for the development projects…"

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