$50 million renovation planned for Pier Shops in Atlantic City

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
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Plans were unveiled Wednesday for a $50 million renovation at the Pier Shops in Atlantic City.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (WPVI) -- Plans were unveiled Wednesday for a $50 million renovation at the Pier Shops at Caesars in Atlantic City - with shopping, a music venue, and even a bowling alley.

"This is the beginning of the new AC," said Senator Stephen Sweeney.

"We're here. The pier is a symbol of what AC is going to become," said Bart Blatstein, developer.

The developer who turned Northern Liberties Piazza into a hot spot is now tackling his first project outside of Philadelphia.

He hopes to breathe new life into the boardwalk city that was hit hard by casino closings.

"I've never failed in my career. I've never not picked an area that has not turned around," said Blatstein.

"We just need something more. This is the wow factor we want to have," said Mayor Don Guardian, Atlantic City.

And it means about 500 more jobs for the city.

The $50 million project called The Playgruond will include shopping, restaurants, bars, a concert hall, bowling alley and an attraction called T-Street.

"We wanted you to say Memphis, New Orleans, Austin, Texas, Nashville, Tennessee. This is going to be the capital of entertainment on the East Coast. We want to be mentioned shortly in those circles," said Paul Steelman, architect.

The new project appeared to be hung up in court as Blatstein and Caesar's battled over who had control of the mall.

However Wednesday it appeared the two sides worked out that issue.

When it's all up and running, the hope is that an estimated 30 million people who they say are a short drive from Atlantic City will make the trip.

"I commit and I promise you this will become the number one tourist attraction in AC," said Blatstein.

"It is the end of AC as we know it. It's not a gaming community. It's a resort destination. The best of AC is to come - starts here, starts today," said Senator Sweeney.