Atlantic City Passes $2.7B Plan for Bader Field Airport Mixed-Use Development

This week, the Atlantic City Council unanimously approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a proposed $2.7 billion mixed-use development located at Bader Field. Dubbed “Renaissance at Bader Field”, the project is being marketed as a “net-zero carbon LEED Platinum community.”

The former airport, which has been dormant since 2006, has been eyed for development by both state and local authorities for some time. With the agreement of the city, the 143-acre property, located just a half-mile from the Boardwalk and six of the town’s nine casinos, is one step closer to being redeveloped.

DEEM Enterprises, LLC, a collective of local businessmen and real estate developers, is the firm behind the ambitious project, which includes plans to build 4,000 housing units composed of luxury condominiums, townhouses, and apartments, as well as a 2.4-mile, Formula One-graded raceway. Additionally, the community will feature retail shopping centers, restaurants, and the opportunity to rent high-performance cars like Ferraris and Lamborghinis.

“This project won’t just change the landscape of Atlantic City but will give our taxpayers relief like never before,” said Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small (D). “The ratable base will nearly double.”

The approval gives DEEM Enterprises a competitive edge over rival bidder Showboat owner Bart Blatstein and Post Brothers, a nationally recognized builder of multifamily developments. In November, Blatstein and Post Brothers proposed a $3 billion multi-use project for Bader Field, which included plans to build 10,000 residences, 400,000 square feet of retail and office space, and canals modeled after Amsterdam.

However, Blatstein has alleged that the city and council did not conduct a competitive bidding process for Bader Field.

The City Council’s sign-off is ceremonial only and New Jersey’s state government must still approve the development. Still, the memorandum of understanding provides DEEM Enterprises with a six-month period of exclusivity to Bader Field, in which it must demonstrate that it has the financial means to purchase the property for $115 million.