At its monthly board meeting on Feb. 1, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) Board meeting adopted the Atlantic City Tourism District Master Plan, as a blueprint to revitalize the district and position Atlantic City for sustainable, long-term economic growth and job creation. The Atlantic City Tourism District Master Plan presents a strategic framework for the short and longer term initiatives, programs and projects critical to improving the local economy.

The creation and adoption of a Tourism District Master Plan was mandated in Senate Bill 11, landmark legislation signed into law by Governor Christie on February 1, 2011 to move forward with Governor Christie's agenda to revitalize Atlantic City and set the region on a new course for economic growth, job creation and prosperity. The plan was developed in consultation with the consulting consortium of Jones, Lang LaSalle, The Jerde Partnership, Inc., Birdsall Services Group and Hill Wallack LLP.

CRDA Board Chairman James B. Kehoe noted, "This is a landmark day for Atlantic City and CRDA is excited to be at the helm of this redevelopment undertaking."

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A website launched in December, www.revitalizeAC.com, was designed to survey public and stakeholder perceptions and is being administered by international real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle. The website has received an overwhelming response and will continue to collect data related to the Atlantic City Tourism District. A number of public meetings soliciting stakeholder input were held over the past few months in conjunction with community and civic meetings in Atlantic City and also received strong support.

"This plan creates an innovative model that integrates Atlantic City's seaside location and world-class resorts, and introduces new concepts that stimulate pedestrian foot traffic throughout the district," said CRDA Executive Director John F. Palmieri. "We look forward to bringing all the elements together to create a new visitor experience in Atlantic City."

The Master Plan is designed to improve the city's and tourism district's amenities, creating a clean and safe environment and enhancing the visitor experience with a broad array of offerings throughout the approximately 1,700 acres that comprise the Atlantic City Tourism District.

It addresses short-term objectives to transform the Boardwalk, Pacific Avenue, Atlantic Avenue and several cross-streets into a lively, walkable destination with shopping, entertainment, dining and nightlife venues. Mid-term objectives include the redevelopment of mid-town to incorporate concepts such as an artists' district and entertainment complex, invigorating Gardner's Basin to promote its existing characteristics and offerings as a tourist destination, and improving direct access from the Boardwalk to Gardner's Basin, among other initiatives.

Long-term objectives include the creation of a mixed-use residential area at Bader Field while continuing to use the facility for music events and festivals in the interim. Long-term plans also call for development of new gaming and non-gaming resorts in the Marina District along with a network of pedestrian and bicycle paths to connect the Marina District properties.

Minutes from today's meeting and a .pdf of the Master Plan will be available on CRDA Web site, www.njcrda.com.