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  #121  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2005, 12:23 AM
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  #122  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2005, 6:30 AM
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From an article from Philly Inquirer - by Jane M. Von Bergen

"Harrah's Entertainment Inc. will spend $550 million to upgrade and expand its entertainment, casino and hotel facilities in Atlantic City, the Las Vegas gambling company said.

The expansion, which will include a 964-room hotel tower, comes as Harrah's chief rival, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is continuing with its expansion plans, which include 800 new hotel rooms.

Harrah's 172,000 square feet of new retail and entertainment space will include a Red Door spa, an indoor pool and entertainment complex, a nightclub, a new Diamond Lounge, stores, a 650-seat buffet and a 500-seat coffee shop. The current buffet will be turned into space for 400 slot machines and 20 table games.

If Harrah's receives the approvals it needs, it hopes to open the entertainment and retail complex by the end of next year. The hotel tower should open in the second quarter of 2008, the company said."
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  #123  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2005, 3:05 PM
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Harrah's adding tower
By WILLIAM H. SOKOLIC
Courier-Post Staff


ATLANTIC CITY

Harrah's Entertainment opened the House of Blues this year at Showboat. Next year, the Pier at Caesars comes aboard. On Thursday, the Las Vegas-based corporation announced an expansion at Harrah's Atlantic City.

The company plans to build a 964-room hotel tower, along with a 172,000-square-foot dining, retail and entertainment complex located in several stories between the new hotel rooms and an adjacent tower.

Shops, buffet

The retail and entertainment center, opening at the end of next year, will feature:

an Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa with 22 treatment rooms;

an ultra-lounge nightclub;

an indoor pool and entertainment complex;

new retail shops;

a 650-seat buffet;

a 500-seat coffee shop;

The existing Fantasea Reef buffet will be converted into additional gaming space, adding 400 slot machines and 20 table games.

Unmet demand

"This buffet will be even better," said Carlos Tolosa, Harrah's Eastern Division president. Although no deals have been set, the retail stores will feature recognizable names, Tolosa said. "We realize the Marina area is becoming more and more of a destination, and with next year's expansion at the Borgata, it would benefit both of us to have more lounges, restaurants and retail," he said.

The hotel tower will be completed by mid-2008.

"The new tower will allow us to capture more of the tremendous unmet demand for Atlantic City hotel rooms," Tolosa said. "There are few markets that have historically been as attractive, stable and business-friendly as New Jersey and we're pleased to make this sizable investment in the future of Atlantic City."

The decision shows tremendous confidence in Atlantic City, said Roger Gros, editor of Global Gaming Business magazine. "It won't necessarily be the last expansion for the company. Positive revenue figures the city is posting are proof."

Gros said Harrah's executives in the past scoffed at the importance of retail and dining attractions. But the success of Borgata and Tropicana changed the thinking, he said.

The need to add more nongaming amenities was driven home with the release Thursday of the third quarter earnings report by the Casino Control Commission.

Although Harrah's reported a 6.8 percent increase in gross operating profits, the casino hotel lags behind the city average in the percentage of revenue gleaned from outside the gaming hall.

The dozen casinos reported 21.7 percent of total revenues came from nongaming sources. For Harrah's, it was just 20.6 percent.

By contrast, nongaming revenues at the Borgata, which raked in more money in the casino than any other property in the third quarter, was 27.4 percent of the total.

Nongaming revenues at The Tropicana, home to the largest hotel in the state and The Quarter dining and retail attraction, accounted for 26.9 percent of the total.

The Borgata led the industry with gross operating profits of $76.2 million, an increase of 16.9 percent over the same period a year ago.

Tropicana reported a 64.6 percent increase.

Reach William H. Sokolic at (609) 823-9159 or wsokolic@courierpostonline.com
Published: November 18. 2005 3:00AM
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  #124  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2005, 12:20 PM
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Posted on Sun, Nov. 20, 2005

Vegas meets Times Square on beach

Atlantic City's newest attraction will be high-tech neon signs and huge graphic screens for $175 million shopping complex.

By Suzette Parmley

Inquirer Staff Writer

ATLANTIC CITY - Imagine 70,000 square feet of high-tech neon signs and graphics on giant screens glistening over the ocean, a sort of mini-Times Square on a luxury cruise liner.

That sea of signage, stretching from the famed Boardwalk to the beach here, is what Scott Gordon, president of Gordon Group Holdings L.L.C., envisions for the enormous structure now standing on the pier.

"It will give the city a whole new dimension - an attraction to bring people in," said Gordon, the developer behind the $175 million Pier at Caesars luxury shopping and entertainment complex.

But John DiFranco sees something quite different. The manager of Lo Presti's II, a pizzeria four blocks from the Pier, envisions few customers, and even fewer small shop owners along the Boardwalk. He fears most will probably be put out of business by the new Pier, which will be connected to Caesars casino through an enclosed skyway.

"It's bad because everyone will stay inside the casino," DiFranco, 33, said. "Why come out on the cold Boardwalk when you can stay warm inside?"

Looking out the front window of his pizza shop, DiFranco can see the Pier on his left and the $285 million Quarter retail, dining and entertainment complex to his right. The influx of well-heeled tenants has made everything on the Boardwalk more expensive, especially rent, he said.

"It's good for the city, but bad for us," he said. "We can't compete."

The two competing visions will soon play out.

The Pier, in its final phase of construction, is set to open in late spring. Renamed the Forum Shops at the Pier, it will feature 106 stores and more. About 90 will be retail and fashion boutiques, such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton, and it will include 15 nightclubs and restaurants with celebrity-chefs run by Stephen Starr of Philadelphia and Todd English of New York.

"The idea is for us to bring back the luster of the Caesars brand to the Boardwalk," said Carlos Tolosa, Eastern Division president for Harrah's Entertainment Inc., the company that owns Caesars, Showboat, Harrah's and Bally's casinos.

Luster and a whole lot of light. The Gordon Group, which is based in Greenwich, Conn., announced a partnership earlier this month with New York-based Clear Channel Spectacolor to create the look of the advertising on the outside of the Pier.

Spectacolor is known for some of the giant signs that flank New York's Times Square. They include the towering Mr. Peanut on the Marriott Marquis Hotel and the Hershey World of Chocolate overlooking the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Broadway and 48th Street.

Expect similar mega-signs for the four-story Pier, said Gordon, whose father, Sheldon Gordon, developed the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

"It will be quite dramatic," he said, adding that some of the signs will be four stories high.

Michael Forte, president and chief executive officer of Spectacolor, faces a difficult sales challenge. He has been showing renderings of what the Pier will look like for several months to advertisers, mostly in New York.

"When you say, 'Atlantic City,' they still think lots of elderly people on buses," he said. "I have to convince a relatively jaded advertising community that Atlantic City is not what they all think it is."

Hanging huge signs on the Pier would not be a complete departure for Atlantic City or the Pier. Forte said the old pier was strewn with advertising in the early 1900s, and some of the billboards up and down the pier and the Boardwalk have been around for 100 years.

"Atlantic City had infinitely more signs than Times Square in that era," he said. "What the new Pier is doing is bringing that back in a very contemporary and modern way."

The Gordon Group, which took over the site in 2003, is putting the millions back into what was dubbed "Young's Million Dollar Pier" when John L. Young bought it in 1906. Over the years, it went through a series of investors who leased it for different purposes.

From 1950 to 1963, it was leased to Beach Amusement by Max Tubis and Harry Schwartz. They installed amusement rides, carnival attractions, and a miniature golf course.

In 1969, the pier was sold to JEM Corp., which also owned the whole block across from the pier. That land became the site for the Caesars casino, which opened in 1979.

Forte said he was surfing online for old images of Atlantic City when he came across black-and-white photos of the former pier. The photos were part of R.C. Maxwell Co.'s collection of advertising signs that is kept at Duke University's outdoor advertising museum.

When Forte gave his presentation before the city's Zoning and Planning Board two years ago, photos showing a Boardwalk filled with people and the old pier draped in vinyl signs were part of his presentation. The board approved the new Pier project, 7-0.

"People ask about the pier all the time," said Gary Brown, 35, who pushes rolling chairs along the Boardwalk. "Everybody remembers what it was like 40 years ago. They always ask me what the new pier is going to look like."

Located on the 50-yard line of the Boardwalk, Forum Shops at the Pier will measure 800 feet long and 200 feet wide - the equivalent to three entire buildings in Times Square.

Spectacolor has been livening up Times Square since the early 1970s. Forte, who joined the company in 1996, said it took years to get advertisers. "There were all those misconceptions about Times Square - the sex, sin and three card monte," he said.

Spectacolor also became the first to sell major national advertising in 2003 on the Las Vegas Strip, where it uses four giant LED screens with sound at the Fashion Show Mall.

In Atlantic City, The Walk, an eight-block retail-entertainment district, and the Quarter at Tropicana, which both opened last year, have helped to solidify the market as a retail and dining destination, and not just a gambling mecca.

"I think Atlantic City is under tremendous change," said Jackie Ershan, 68, who is from nearby Ventnor and walks the Boardwalk daily. "It's too fast for me, but I'm not the typical person that they're catering to."

Ershan, a retiree, said Atlantic City was catering to the young, affluent type. "They don't want people coming in on the buses," she said. "They had my generation when they had 'Buy One, Get One Free.' Now, it's time to move on."

Last week, construction crews were busy putting finishing touches on the new Pier. Only interior work remains.

"It's going to be beautiful," said Gary Dougherty, 60, of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., who was strolling the Boardwalk with his father-in-law last week. Both stopped to gaze at the massive aqua-green-colored glass structure.

Customers at Caesars will not have to leave the casino to stroll over to the new Pier. Harrah's Entertainment is constructing a 60-foot enclosed bridge to connect the two.

The Pier will benefit from the marketing and advertising budget of its parent casino. The big push to sell ad space started this month, Forte said. He said he had plans to bus his entire sales team from New York to walk the Pier next month.

"Seeing it is believing it," he said.
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  #125  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2005, 9:59 PM
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Quote:
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More fake deco for Atlantic City:


Completed in 2004
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  #126  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2005, 2:32 AM
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giant windmills

I just saw the first of the giant windmills that are going up around the marina district...all i can say is they are HUGE...

the one thats up is really futuristic looking...one 3 blade white mill towering to the left of the borgata when going east on the AC expressway...its crane was still there.

i didnt have a camera w/me to snap a pic of it...maybe someone can grab a pic of it.
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  #127  
Old Posted Dec 4, 2005, 9:39 PM
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Rendering of all the windmills

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  #128  
Old Posted Dec 4, 2005, 9:43 PM
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windmills

whoa...awesome rendering of all the windmills...
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  #129  
Old Posted Dec 5, 2005, 12:03 AM
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The Juniper building is moving along quickly now. There is some steel work up along the Justison Street side of the site. The poured concrete garage is beginning to take shape as well:





There'll be four more floors on top of what's already here. Needless to say, it'll dramatically change the feel of this part of West Street. Also, it'll give visitors and conventioneers a better impression of the city than the decrepit warehouses that were once here (even though I kind of miss them). And, thankfully, the sidewalk will be much wider.

There is also updates on the WSFS Bank Center and Christina Landing threads.
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Last edited by mglan80; Dec 5, 2005 at 12:30 AM.
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  #130  
Old Posted Dec 5, 2005, 5:00 AM
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Cool.
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  #131  
Old Posted Dec 5, 2005, 5:09 AM
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Nice pics, Mglan. I noticed some steel while getting onto 95 the other day, yet didn't get to drive down Justison Street to see it.
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  #132  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2005, 1:25 AM
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Just another update from the city of Wilmington:

1) A tower crane foundation is in place for the Blue Cross Blue Shield building at 800 Delaware Avenue. I never thought about this, but where are they going to store the materials? Four cranes on the skyline (whenever River Tower puts theirs up)!

2) Some privacy netting has been put up on the fencing around the garage site on Shipley Street. Perhaps work will shift into construction mode now that excavation and stabilization is done. I'm still in the dark as to how this one will look when finished. I don't think it'll be that large or aesthetically impressive when finished, though.

3) The Juniper building is rolling along quickly. Steel goes so much faster than poured concrete.

4) The River Tower's pile caps and grade beams are still being poured. Work seems kind of slow lately. Maybe Gilbane was splitting crews between River Tower and WSFS Bank Center?! Looks like the interior work on the apartment tower have about five more floors to go.

5) No word on Renaissance Centre. It's probably dead in the water until after Bank of America annouces how much space is going on the block in Wilmington and the county later this month. It's a shame, that building could have done so much for the area.
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Last edited by mglan80; Jan 8, 2006 at 7:56 PM.
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  #133  
Old Posted Dec 19, 2005, 12:34 AM
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No real news here... just wanted to remark on a few things that have caught my interest lately.

To my surprise, the AAA building's steel is more prevalent in the skyline than I would have previously thought. That sight is really huge (space wise). This is one project I really kinda shit on.

There are cranes all over the skyline, with one/two more coming for the River Tower. I love that look.

The interior lights are up to about the 5th floor on the Residences, and really are starting to light up the skyline.

Another thing I noticed - Is it just me or does it appear that a crane is in place for the Blue Cross Building?

Any news on Justison Landing yet? I'd be interested in seeing a render on the new hotel they're planning on building there.

That's all for me
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  #134  
Old Posted Dec 19, 2005, 1:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey D
Another thing I noticed - Is it just me or does it appear that a crane is in place for the Blue Cross Building?
See #1 in the post above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey D
To my surprise, the AAA building's steel is more prevalent in the skyline than I would have previously thought. That sight is really huge (space wise). This is one project I really kinda shit on.
You mean Juniper? Also, since they were acquired by Barclays earlier this year, the sign will be changing soon. Hopefully it'll be their crest, not just their name:



Nothing new on Justison yet. They've kept that under pretty tight wraps, which is hard in this town.

[Edit: I guess they replaced the Juniper sign over the weekend. I went by today and noticed it is replaced with both the name and crest.]
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Last edited by mglan80; Dec 19, 2005 at 11:58 PM.
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  #135  
Old Posted Dec 20, 2005, 3:51 AM
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^Ehh. I had a big brain fart on that post.

And btw... yeah. Juniper.

Even handsome, intelligent, successful individuals like me make mistakes at times
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  #136  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2006, 9:57 PM
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Borgata Tower Rendering

Heres the rendering of the new tower going up at Borgata from the Boyd investor presentation.

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  #137  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2006, 10:07 PM
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WOW. That looks incredible.
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  #138  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2006, 11:53 PM
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I believe they are up and running now. I saw them on a flight back to Philadelphia last week. We flew up the coast and over Atlantic City before turning west for Philadelphia.
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  #139  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2006, 8:03 PM
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An update on Juniper and the Blue Cross Blue Shield buildings:

Juniper, or should I say Barclays, is up first:





I thought it would be a bit more imposing, but then the cladding isn't on yet either.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield building has the first few floors up:

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  #140  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2006, 12:58 AM
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Some other general updates and developments:

1) A former junk yard on S. Market at Howard Street was cleared out about a month ago and the few buildings there demolished. It's not known if this will be part of the second phase of the Christina Landing townhome project, or something else. Either way, I'm sure BPG is the developer.

2) The Burns McBride site on S. Market across the street from Christina Landing was also vacated about a month ago. Again, I don't know if this is due to future development, or just to clean up the area for potential renters and condo owners for the two high-rises.

3) There have been crews out at the Market Street buildings on the Renaissance Center site. There isn't anything going on over on the King Street side, so that leads me to believe that the prognosis for the tower is negative, but good for the rehab of the retail/residential. However, a CBRE seminar I went to last night suggested that there was little new Class A space in Wilmington, and that it wouldn't be surprising to see another 500-600,000 sq. ft. of space added by 2007 or 2008 (read: Christina Centre 2 and possibly Renaissance Center).
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