The short- and longer-term initiatives of the master plan are to promote cleanliness, commercial development, and safety, and were unveiled before the board vote. They included:
Creating a series of connected neighborhoods along Atlantic Avenue.
Making improvements to Michigan, Missouri, and Mississippi Avenues.
Developing Gardner's Basin into an authentic waterfront experience.
Making Bader Field into a mixed-use residential area.
Developing new gaming and nongaming resorts, as well as a network of pedestrian and bicycle paths, within the Marina District.
In April, the development authority approved boundaries for the tourism district, considered the centerpiece of Gov. Christie's proposed overhaul of Atlantic City to help boost tourism and gaming.
The boundaries are Albany Avenue to the west, New Hampshire Avenue to the east, and the Boardwalk to the south, incorporating Atlantic City Outlets - The Walk outdoor mall, the Atlantic City Convention Center, Bader Field, the Marina District, and historic Gardner's Basin.
On May 1, the authority took control of the district, encompassing about 1,700 acres. Wednesday's vote was the culmination of months of fine-tuning the master plan, as required by state law.
Don Marrandino, Eastern Division president for Caesars Entertainment Inc., said: "The master planning for our destination is crucial to moving us forward. All of these shareholders, along with the casino industry and business district, want what is best for our city. . . . Supporting top-notch entertainment bookings at Boardwalk Hall, along with signature events and festivals, are some of what's key to our future success."
Said Tom Ballance, senior vice president of administration for the Borgata and a trustee of the Atlantic City Alliance : "We applaud the efforts of CRDA to produce this critical plan for the revitalization of Atlantic City." The alliance is a newly created nonprofit organization that will market and promote the city, using $30 million annually from the casino industry as part of Christie's overhaul.
Ballance said the master plan "replaces blight with developments that encourage pedestrian connections between our greatest assets, the Boardwalk and the existing nongaming developments, the Walk, and the Atlantic City Convention Center, which is exactly what our research has suggested is needed for Atlantic City to appeal to a broader audience."
Contact staff writer Suzette Parmley at 215-854-2594 or firstname.lastname@example.org.