October 13, 2016
Atlantic City casinos were supposed to be a “unique tool for urban redevelopment.”
And while urban redevelopment didn’t work all that well during the heyday of casinos in A.C., now the closing of five casinos – and related losses of jobs and tax revenues – is triggering a giant fire sale in the troubled city that could change the cityscape.
Atlantic City plans to take possession of nearly 500 abandoned buildings and put them up for sale in hopes of raising enough money to stave off a threatened state takeover.
Mayor Don Guardian this week told The Associated Press the city would use tax liens, emergency condemnation or eminent domain proceedings.
"It has frustrated the community for decades that it seemed almost impossible to do anything about these abandoned properties," the mayor told the AP.
A list of 598 properties was submitted to the city by six community groups.
But the owners of more than 100 of the derelict properties responded by making repairs after the city threatened to take possession.
The city has attempted to tag properties in unsafe or uninhabitable condition, many of which have not recently generated taxes.
The mayor has no target figure he hopes to raise.
AC is trying to assemble a financial plan to stave off a threatened state takeover next month.