*Update 2/14/12: Some of the images fromt his story have been updated. The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) recently approved The Atlantic City Tourism District Master Plan, a set of ideas and strategies to rejuvenate the city and increase tourism by creating a world-class resort destination. The Master Plan was developed by real estate services consulting firm Jones Lang LaSalle and Los Angeles-based architecture and design firm The Jerde Partnership.
Totaling approximately 1,700 acres, the Tourism District encompasses some of the city’s most valuable land, including the beach, Boardwalk, casinos, and retail areas such as The Walk, Marina District, and Gardner’s Basin. Among the pedestrian improvements included in the plan is an expansion of the successful “Walk” to connect the Central Business District to Pacific Avenue and the Boardwalk. The plan also calls for improvements to lateral streets, such as Michigan, Missouri, and Mississippi, which connect Atlantic and Pacific Avenues to the Boardwalk. Those improvements will include a combination of upgrades to the casino facades, improved lighting, and restrictions on delivery and waste collection times.
“Reinforcing the street life and pedestrian circulation of Atlantic City, particularly between the main tourist streets and around the casino core, is one of the key goals of the master plan strategy and is critical to enhancing the overall visitor experience,” says Rick Poulos, AIA, Jerde partner and executive vice president. “A more vibrant, accessible and safe street life will foster a stronger sense of place in Atlantic City and create experiences for visitors and residents not found in any beachfront resort city in the world.”
The master plan was mandated by a state law in February last year that gave CRDA control of the development of the Atlantic City Tourism District and required the agency to put together a strategic development plan by February 1, 2012.