December 14, 2015 |
ATLANTIC CITY - Once upon a time, there was a peep-show business that paid taxes. But the United Adult Book Store at 1826 Atlantic Ave. was bought and torn down by the state's Casino Reinvestment Development Authority last year, becoming part of a vast inventory of land tax-exempt under state law. Hundreds of parcels are land banked by the agency, which is charged with taking a tax from casinos to be an agent of economic redevelopment. But with the Atlantic City economy tanking, many current projects are stalled, leaving empty lots and millions of dollars off tax rolls.
November 22, 2015 |
ATLANTIC CITY - The head of the John Brooks Recovery Center, who against the backdrop of Gov. Christie's viral speech on drug addiction sounded an alarm that his center would have to close, says the governor's office has summoned him to Trenton for a meeting. Alan Oberman said he would meet with Deputy Chief of Staff Amy Cradic on Monday. He said Cradic contacted him after stories appeared about the plight of the 119-bed inpatient center. "She called me saying the governor doesn't want to see us close," Oberman said Friday.
November 7, 2015 |
ATLANTIC CITY - Gov. Christie is getting robust political traction - nearly six million views on Facebook at last count - with an impassioned speech recorded from Shooter's Tavern in Belmont, N.H., about treating drug addiction. But back in New Jersey, an Atlantic City inpatient treatment center that accounts for 10 percent of the state's long-term recovery beds has said it will close this spring - in part because the state's reimbursement rates are too low to sustain a move out of the tourism zone Christie set up. Alan Oberman, executive director of the John Brooks Recovery Center, said the state Casino Reinvestment Development Authority had also backed off a plan to fully finance the construction of a new 119-bed facility and that he has been unable to secure construction loans.
July 10, 2015 |
There will be poetry at the Farmers Market in Atlantic City after all. After the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority scrapped a proposal to pay poets at the Farmers Market because politicians complained about the spending, area poets offered to read their work free in the financially beleaguered city. Poets can relate. They're usually scrapped for cash, too. Galloway Township poet Joel Ollander and Aubrey Gerhardt, the founder of SJPoets, recruited other poets after the authority (CRDA)
December 19, 2014 |
ATLANTIC CITY - Charlie Birnbaum, the piano tuner who is fighting to keep his family home in Atlantic City from being seized by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, delivered a petition Wednesday with more than 100,000 signatures to Gov. Christie. In addition, Birnbaum's attorneys are now arguing that Christie's plans for Atlantic City make the CRDA's efforts to seize his home even more questionable than when a Superior Court judge ruled the CRDA was within its rights to seize the house.
December 1, 2014 |
As Atlantic City continues to suffer an economic free fall, state officials are contemplating turning to the private sector to jump-start development there. One proposal being reviewed by Gov. Christie and legislative leaders is the creation of a nonprofit development corporation that would help decide what projects to build. That could involve demolishing the shuttered Trump Plaza to create walkable retail and restaurant space and open sight lines, officials said. The nonprofit Atlantic City Development Corp.
November 19, 2014 |
ATLANTIC CITY - Superior Court Judge Julio Mendez ruled Monday against Charlie Birnbaum, a piano tuner fighting to keep his family home near the former Revel casino from being seized by the state casino redevelopment authority. In a 27-page opinion issued Monday evening, Mendez said the state's enactment of the Tourism District Act is "the legislative declaration of a legitimate public purpose" that would justify the seizure of property by eminent domain. "The fundamental public purpose contained in this legislation is to promote tourism, to create and protect jobs in Atlantic City, and to assist the ailing gaming industry," Mendez wrote.
October 26, 2014 |
Lawyers for Atlantic City and the bankrupt Revel Casino Hotel are locked in an intensifying battle over as much as $30 million that Revel owes for property taxes and penalties. Atlantic City wants to sell the right to collect that money by auctioning a tax certificate on Dec. 11, but it can't do that without bankruptcy court permission. The city asked for that permission last month, saying it desperately needs the money to meet its budget. Revel's property-tax levy this year of about $38 million - based on an assessment of $1.15 billion - equals 19 percent of Atlantic City's $200 million in expected tax collections.
May 22, 2014 |
It was an Atlantic City plot as familiar as a rerun on Turner Classic Movies: Homeowner vows to save house against the forces of eminent domain, played out in the shadow of a casino. It has been playing for the better part of two decades in this troubled seaside resort, since Vera Coking famously stood up to Donald Trump. But this latest version has impeccable and elegant casting. On Tuesday morning, homeowner and onetime piano prodigy turned piano tuner Charlie Birnbaum, 67, the son of Holocaust survivors, found so many ways to show just how much his three-story brick walkup building at 311 Oriental Ave., on the back side of Revel Casino Resort, means to him. He held a news conference with anti-eminent domain lawyers from the Virginia-based Institute for Justice.