What the Atlantic City city council giveth, the Atlantic City city council taketh away.
A.C.'s Council, which in December enigmatically handed over most of the redevelopment power in the South Inlet _ including the Revel property _ to politically connected M&J at Melrose firm, will vote Wednesday night to rescind that deal.
M&J is comprised of Joseph Jingoli, a former partner in ACR Energy, which powered Revel, then brought it to its knees with a costly financing structure; and Jack Morris, the developer behind the Garden State Race Track redevelopment. Both men have ties to Gov. Christie Atlantic City point man Jon Hanson, and the move was seen as a way to possibly wrest control of the Revel property from Glenn Straub, who has done little with it.
M&J never publicly revealed their plans for the inlet area, which is mostly vacant land surrounding Revel and Tony Baloney's, a landmark hipster eatery.
At the time Straub had expressed his puzzlement over the move, and summed up the situation as: "New Jersey is doing New Jersey things. It makes you suspicious."
On the agenda for Wednesday's meeting, without explanation, is a motion to rescind the tentative agreement. Liz Thomas, a spokeswoman for M&J, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. City council president Marty Small was not immediately available for comment.
City councilman Frank Gilliam, who championed the original deal with M&J, said he would oppose rescinding the deal, and said council should simply remove Revel from the designated area if that was their main concern. He said the city was within its rights to negotiate with a developer without issuing a request for competing proposals.
"We decided to renegotiate with a developer who had a track record of building and getting things done," Gilliam said. "Some of our colleagues are under the belief that Revel and the owner of Revel will be the ultimate developer of the southeast Inlet. I'm of the believe that the more redevelopers, the better."
He added, "It's amazing that we're going backward. We should be trying to get out of the weeds."