The redevelopment of a shuttered and leaking Atlantic City, N.J., casino-hotel ballooned from an interiors renovation into a complete curtain wall replacement, due to years of neglect and water intrusion. Plans call for two hotel towers, one with seven residential condominiums, as well as restaurants, a retail mall and more.
Owner Colosseo Development Group Inc. obtained a construction permit last September to begin recladding the buildings with watertight glass curtain walls. Waterproofing the exterior is the biggest challenge associated with the renovation, which includes mold remediation and bringing lighting, life safety and fire suppression systems up to current standards.
The facade work has yet to be bid, says Rocco Sebastiani, president of Colosseo. He declined to share names of the project's investors or to disclose the purchase price for the Atlantic Club, bought in 2019 from TJM Properties of Florida.
The former Atlantic Club property—previously the Golden Nugget, Bally’s Grand, The Grand, and Atlantic City Hilton—closed in 2014 due to dwindling business after casino competition increased in neighboring states.
“We had the plan to go in and modernize the furniture and the fixtures,” Sebastiani says. “But when we got in there the systems didn’t work. It was really, really bad."
In addition, bricks were falling onto the street, he adds. Colosseo corrected that problem by removing loose bricks from one side of the building.
The reflective glass cladding—including for the former casino that has no windows—is expected to bring a modern aesthetic to Atlantic City’s Chelsea neighborhood. Sebastiani, who designed the facelift, says the facade will reflect the ocean, sun and sky from 23 stories above the city's boardwalk.
“Growing up in Florida gave me inspiration, just to be able to enjoy the outside,” said Sebastiani. “If you come here to go to the beach, why come here and not be able to look out the window?
There will be no new casino in Atlantic Club’s redevelopment. The plan is to turn the existing one into an area for shops, food outlets and an event space.
Local realtor Paula Hartman, who is marketing the units and says she has received inquiries from around the world about the property, says similar projects are likely to follow on neighboring properties. “The luxury will be spreading,” she predicts.