Declining casino market helps Atlantic City landmarks sell for pennies on the dollar

Industries Associated Press

The meltdown of Atlantic City's casino market has created some stellar bargains for would-be purchasers of some of the city's biggest landmark properties. Here are a few of the recent discount sales:

Continue Reading Below

— THE PIER SHOPS AT CAESARS: Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein is buying the multi-level shopping and entertainment pier that juts out over the ocean for $2.8 million, according to a source with knowledge of the deal, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss it publicly. It cost $200 million to build. A closing is expected in November.

— REVEL: Atlantic City's newest and costliest casino became its biggest failure when it shut down last month. But Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management is buying the casino hotel, which cost $2.4 billion to build, for $110 million, having acquired it through a bankruptcy court auction. The company plans to re-open it as a casino, but has not given a timetable for it.

— THE ATLANTIC CLUB and THE CLARIDGE: A Florida company, TJM Properties, has bought both former casino buildings at bargain-basement prices now that they no longer offer casino gambling. It paid $12.5 million for the Claridge, which it runs as a non-gambling hotel, and $13.5 million for the Atlantic Club, which shut down in January. The Atlantic Club's former owners paid more than $500 million for it.

— THE TROPICANA: Expected to fetch about $1 billion in a bankruptcy court auction, the casino instead went to billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who swapped $200 million of debt he had acquired at a steep discount for ownership of the casino.

— RESORTS and GOLDEN NUGGET: Resorts Casino Hotel sold for $31.5 million in 2010 after nearly going out of business. And the former Trump Marina was sold in 2011 to Texas-based Landry's Inc. for $38 million — about a tenth of its asking price just three years earlier.

Continue Reading Below

— TRUMP PLAZA (ALMOST): A California company, The Meruelo Group, reached a deal in 2013 to buy Trump Plaza for $20 million, which would have been the lowest price ever paid for a casino in New Jersey. But the deal fell through, and Trump Plaza shut down last month.