As promised by Glenn Straub, the new owner of the former $2.4 billion Revel Hotel and Casino is at it again. Yesterday he promised there would be a major joint announcement with Stockton University, which he is calling their “master plan”. Not only has he been approved to buy Revel for $82 million, which was a 96 percent discount, he also has had his eyes set on acquiring Showboat. Stockton University previously purchased Showboat for $18 million but has been placed in a bind by Trump Taj Mahal. The casino is trying to get a 1988 law enforced prohibiting the property from being used for anything besides a casino.
It is starting to become more apparent that Mr. Straub is in Atlantic City to stay, and stay for a long time at that. According to court filings, Straub agreed to buy the Showboat property from Stockton for $26 million. Although an agreement has been reached, the college has 90 days to get all of the legal issues worked out with Trump Taj Mahal. If everything isn’t worked out Stockton has the opportunity to back out of the deal.
Straub Buys Showboat as Part of a Bigger Plan
After all this litigation, Polo North Inc. and Stockton University finally announced Straub’s $500 million “Master Plan” named “The Phoenix Project”. It encompasses an eight-part development plan, allowing Atlantic City to “rise from the ashes.” Straub and the Showboat property, including Stockton, are part one of the plan. They have ambitious plans to transform the two properties into top-notch universities and resorts like nothing Atlantic City has ever seen. Both are very optimistic about Straub’s plan to incorporate Stockton University into The Phoenix Plan, which now seems to be progressing at a rapid pace.
It has been a wonder where Straub came up with the name of the plan, and he surely didn’t disappoint with his reasoning. Straub said, “As the name of the project signals, the Phoenix rises out of the ashes to be reborn and will evolve to include diversified collection of projects including eight parts designed to show that the American dream is still alive and well.”
The Rise of The Phoenix (Plan)
The Phoenix Plan seems to be a very aggressive one at that. When all is said and done, $500 million in investments, according to “The Phoenix Plan” will encompass projects such as bringing Stockton University’s Island campus to the Showboat property to start. That is where the $26 million purchase comes from even though Straub has full intentions of still transforming it into a University. Also the plans call for, an airfield project at Bader Field, extreme sports complex, two marinas with the capacity to dock super yachts, multipurpose equestrian complex, indoor and outdoor waterparks, two universities, a pier project with laser light shows, and lastly a high-speed ferry and helicopter services to help bring in the NYC feeder crowd from Manhattan.
I had the pleasure of working at the Revel Hotel and Casino, I am very intrigued to see where “the Phoenix Plan” end up. It is a very exciting time for Atlantic City. Not only has there finally been movement with Revel, but Bart Blatstein has also announced his plans for “The Playground” project at the Caesar Pier shops.