Friday, October 9, 2015

POSTED: Thursday, April 9, 2015, 10:00 AM
Tara Lordi, representing Glenn Straub on site at the former Revel property says they've ordered backup generators. (Photo: Amy Rosenberg / Staff)

UPDATE:  Acting Fire Chief Vincent Granese said the powerless 6.2 million square foot building represented a safety hazard without fire suppression and prevention systems working. "We can't fight a fire in this building safely," he said, standing outside the building after speaking with Straub's engineer. 

Chris Filiciello, the chief of staff to A.C. Mayor Don Guardian, said the city would begin fining Straub daily until the power was restored. He said Straub is attempting to get backup generators. Another issue is that the red light at the top of the building is also off, which could be an issue for the F.A.A.

Granese said the building's backup generators were also controlled by ACR Energy.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 1:09 PM
Artist's rendering of part of the interior of Bart Blatstein's proposed "Playground" complex in Atlantic City.

At a fancy press conference at the Pier Shops in Atlantic City, Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein declared his feud with Caesars president Kevin Ortzman over and unveiled his $50 million plans for "Playground:" a pier filled with music and bars that will spill out to the deck around the pier and the beach. 

Blatstein said he had settled his dispute over the ownership of the Pier with Ortzman, who had previuosly referred to Blatstein as a "rogue occupier" of the Pier in a lawsuit. Ortzman, with a public relations person doing blocking for him, declined to answer any questions about his recent role in Atlantic City. Caesars has closed Showboat, sued Blatstein and complicated Stockton's takeover of Showboat.

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian was all jokes, despite the dire state of his city, saying "Kevin Ortzman, are you here? Bart Blatstein wants to make sure you don't evict us."

POSTED: Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 3:19 PM

The Christie administration extended the term of a $40 million loan to Atlantic City that was due Tuesday, a move that was expected because the city’s highly-publicized financial woes have locked it out of the capital markets.

Atlantic City now has until the end of June to repay the money borrowed in December to help the city pay its bills following a steep decline in property-tax revenues caused by casinos’ successful appeals for lower assessments.

Kevin Lavin, Atlantic City’s emergency manager appointed by Gov. Chistie in January, said last week that by June he expected  to have detailed proposals on how to close Atlantic City’s projected $101 million budget gap for this year. In addition, the projected deficit for the Atlantic City School District is $47.1 million.

POSTED: Thursday, March 26, 2015, 10:25 AM
Two days after Atlantic City's state-appointed emergency management team released its first report, Moody's credit rating agency gave the city another of its patented thumbs down, warning of a possible default.

And Standard & Poor's said it is reviewing its rating on Atlantic City's bonds, based on the report's holding open the possibility of the city delaying debt service payments.

Moody's pelted the city back in Janaury with a six-step credit downgrade after Gov. Christie appointed Kevin Lavin, a corporate restructuring expert, and Kevyn Orr, the man who steered Detroit through its bankruptcy, to take on Atlantic City's enormous fiscal hole. 

POSTED: Tuesday, March 24, 2015, 2:50 PM

The 60-day report from Atlantic City's emergency management team appointed by Gov. Christie was released Tuesday afternoon. Despite their well-publicizd bankruptcy expertise, Kevin Lavin and Kevyn Orr did not recommend that path for the resort, which lost four casinos and 8,000 jobs during the great meltdown of 2014.

The report warns of a liquidity crisis through 2015. 

POSTED: Thursday, March 12, 2015, 11:45 AM
Revel workers removing a sign from the shuttered casino last fall. This was the second deal to fall apart. (Press of Atlantic City)

  The road to a future of any sort for the troubled former Revel casino remained stubbornly murky Thursday as the thought process and intentions of would-be buyer Glenn Straub came under close, sometimes uncomfortable, scrutiny.

   Straub, a Florida developer, himself was called to the stand and delivered a lengthy, rambling, borderline-coherent explanation of his decision making in the case. He appeared at times near tears, talking of his foundation, his health, his daughter, his projects in Miami, his goals of "helping ... the world."

POSTED: Wednesday, March 4, 2015, 4:30 PM
Izek Shomof. (Amy Rosenberg / Staff)

CAMDEN - U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Gloria Burns declined Wednesday to approve - at least for a week - the third attempt to sell Revel, the bankrupt, closed albatross of a casino hotel, this one the second try with Florida developer Glenn Straub, at $82 million.

Burns said the delay would she allow consideration of other offers, notably an 11th hour offer from Los Angeles developer Izek Shomof, who flew into Atlantic City this week to make his own offer of $80 million. 

"Why not give it a little more time,” Burns said to a courtroom of lawyers. "Approving this sale today I think is premature.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 12:36 PM
Los Angeles developer Isek Shomof, who is interested in buying the Revel, in Atlantic City on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. (Amt Rosenberg / Staff)

Last ditch Revel bidder Los Angeles developer Izek Shomof arrived in Atlantic City Tuesday with four developer pals to check out the beleaguered and twice-bankrupt Revel and its power company.

"We are ready to count the money," Shomof quipped from the driver's seat of his rental car, outside the Inlet District Energy Center near Revel, where a table of hardhats awaited their planned tour. "We don't know who to give it to."

He said he had just driven straight from the Philadelphia airport and was still looking to find the attorney for ACR Energy Partners L.L.C., which last week asked the judge in the case to take the sale of the property out of Revel's hands. "We don't know who to give it to."

About this blog

Inquirer staff writer Amy S. Rosenberg has covered Philly police, city neighborhoods, Ed Rendell as mayor, the Jersey shore, Atlantic City, Miss America and the psychology of Eagles fans. She moved to Ventnor on July 3, 1995, which makes her a local, but not really.

Inquirer Staff Writer Jacqueline L. Urgo has spent every summer of her life at the Jersey Shore, and has lived there year-round for nearly 30 years, even fulfilling one of her bucket list dreams by once living in a house by the sea.

Since 1990, she has covered the waterfront for The Inquirer — from the Atlantic to the Delaware Bay shore — and some of the mainland in between. Along the way, she amassed an encyclopedic knowledge of this tear-it-down-and-build-it-back-up region, delving into the history and the hype of a place with a lot of unexpected stories to tell.

Amy S. Rosenberg
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