The future of the ocean front portion of Atlantic City continues to be waged between stakeholders with differing ideas of what to do with entertainment East; Atlantic City. Stockton University just announced that it has filed legal documents in federal bankruptcy court against Caesars Entertainment for damages relating to an agreement to purchase Atlantic City’s Showboat casino and hotel. Essentially, Stockton is seeking monetary damage claims adding up to as much as $22 million as well as “declaratory relief” from a deed restriction Caesars placed on the property in 2014 that further limits its use. (We previously blogged about Stockton’s acquisition and you can read it here).
The University’s multi-million dollar deal for the property, which included plans to transform the former casino into a satellite campus in Atlantic City, was announced roughly a month before Caesars and related entities filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year.
Stockton basically claims that Ceasars breached its contract with the University in that it concealed material facts mostly related to a failed resolution of restrictions placed on the Showboat property by a 1988 covenant that limited its use to a casino hotel. The University also claims that it was not told of Caesars’ plans to file bankruptcy at the time of the sale.
The power play began after Trump Taj Mahal announced their plans to invoke the covenant’s restrictions on the Showboat deal. Faced with that dilemma, Stockton announced plans to sell the property to Florida developer Glenn Straub in for $24 million. That deal, however, has not be finalized.
The landscape on the ocean side of the City is looking contentious to say the least. Hopefully, these disputes can resolve quickly so that the focus can return to bringing back patrons and quality performers to entertainment East.
KEN “K BO” BIEDZYNSKI