The Real Deal Miami

South Florida developer may end Atlantic City casino bet

Glenn Straub blames New Jersey for his inability to reopen a 6.2 million-square-foot casino

August 21, 2016 05:00PM

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Revel Atlantic City and Glenn Straub (inset)

Revel Atlantic City and Glenn Straub (inset)

Wellington real estate developer Glenn Straub says he may quit trying to reopen a shuttered casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, that he bought last year.

Straub paid $82 million for the Revel casino in Atlantic City, which cost $2.4 billion to build. Revel opened in 2012, then descended into bankruptcy twice and closed in 2014.

Straub blames the state of New Jersey for his failure, so far, to reopen Revel. In an interview, he told the Star-Ledger, “This state stinks. It just stinks. … I worked in five states. This is 10 times worse than what it would be anyplace else.”

Asked if he still would try to reopen the casino, Straub told the newspaper, “To hell with that. I’ve got other things to do. I don’t have time to be screwing around with this stuff.”

Straub earlier had pledged that at least part of the 6.2 million-square-foot Revel casino would be in operation by the middle of June.

But his company, Polo North Country Club, is still seeking city and state permits to reopen Revel, where fencing blocks entrances to the casino from Atlantic City’s oceanfront boardwalk.

Straub’s company needs site-plan approval from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority to do construction work at Revel before reopening it.

The authority decided in an August 18 public hearing to continue the hearing to September 8, allowing Polo North more time to address potential street-traffic issues at the casino.

The authority’s decision to extend the public hearing is “unnecessary and unwarranted,” said Nick Talvacchia, an attorney representing Straub’s company.

The extension of the public hearing led Straub to tell the Star-Ledger that he may end his efforts to reopen Revel: “I’m pretty much there now.” [Star-Ledger] — Mike Seemuth