Get 'em while they're (not) hot: Atlantic City luxury condos to go at auction

The Bella, a product of a more optimistic time in Atlantic City, is one of the city's only truly luxury condo high-rise buildings. A block from the ocean at 526 Pacific Ave., units used to sell for close to $500K back in the heady years of, say, 2008. Lately, as Atlantic City's economy tanked, nearby Revel and Showboat closed, and the neighborhood stagnated, prices have dropped precipitously, with some unit asking prices sinking (way) below $200,000.

Now, Credit Suisse Bank, which owns 40 of the units, most on upper floors with ocean views, is getting out, says Bob Dann, of Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co., and is offering the units at absolute auction. The first 15 units will have no minimum bid or hidden reserve, and will be an interesting test of how low Atlantic City's beleaguered market will sink, even with an ocean view.

The Bella

"They’ll probably sell for significantly discounted price," Dann said. "In the end, they’re a very luxury building, the amenities are top notch: the pool, the spa. In the end, it’s a block and half from the beach. If you can get a block and a half from the beach with views of the ocean, for next to nothing, you’re in good shape."

WeichertAC Realtors, which manages the Bella, had hoped that Stockton's purchase of Showboat would jump start the neighborhood, but that deal has unraveled. Atlantic City's planners, though, would like to see new second-home residents in town, regardless of whether they bought at a rock bottom auction, or not. Twelve of the units for sale are leased and being sold with the leases intact.

The auction will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday, June 28, at the Borgata. Property previews are scheduled for between noon and 2 p.m this Sunday (NOTE: not Saturday, as Max Spann press release said, now corrected to Sunday), and then the following two Saturdays and Sundays. 

"With evidence of strong recoveries in other real estate markets such as Philadelphia and Miami, now is the time for buyers to take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get in Atlantic City on the bottom floor," Dann said.