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Carl E David

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· Waking Dreams; The Subtle Reality

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· The Bigger Purpose

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· Jewish Exponent Interview

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· The Bigger Purpose

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What's to Become Of Bader Field?
By Carl E David
Last edited: Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Posted: Wednesday, November 05, 2008

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Recent articles by
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• Jewish Exponent Interview
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• The Bigger Purpose
• Fathers And Sons
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Maybe with the financial situation at hand, Bader Filed won't turn in to another casino complex so fast. I love the concept of making the site historic and building a Bader Field Museum to preserve its memory and earned place in history! Brilliant!!! Classifieds Place an Ad
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Bader Field / Slow is good
Published: Friday, October 17, 2008
  OK, do we hear $1 billion?

That's $1 billion for 142 acres of prime Atlantic City real estate surrounded on three sides by water and beautiful salt marsh. Only a half mile from the Boardwalk, suitable for casino development and more.

Now who's gonna bid $1 billion? Do we hear
$1 billion? $1 billion?

Hmmm ... OK, how about $850 million? ... $700 million?

Yes, Bader Field is officially up for sale or lease. The state Local Finance Board, thanks to a sensible state law approved this summer, approved the request for proposals last week. Let the bidding begin.


Of course, the timing couldn't be worse. Considering today's economic climate, developers are not likely to be immediately knocking down the door for this land, which was once expected to fetch $1 billion. Maybe it will - someday. But probably not right now.

What's important, however, is that there will be a fair and open bidding process, overseen by state government. And, thanks to the same law, the proceeds from any sale will go into a trust fund to be used solely for property-tax relief in Atlantic City.

Why should Trenton have anything to do with the sale or lease of this city-owned asset? Because Atlantic City is Atlantic City, with a long and continuing history of corruption. And the development of Bader Field has the potential to forever shape the future of the city.

All of which also leads us to the conclusion that Bader Field coming on the market in the midst of this financial crisis is actually a good thing.

Yes, it will slow the ultimate development of the site. But what's critical is finding the right bidder for the long-term benefit of the resort. There's no rush, and the city needs to get this right.

State oversight - and hard economic times - will ensure a certain discipline and a kind of hard-headed reality as the process unfolds. And that's good.

Reader Comments Post a CommentPost a Comment   View all CommentsView All Comments On This Story

Most recent comments posted: (To view all comments click on VIEW ALL link above)

  First, the City must use a 99 year land lease not a sale. If a sale had been made a year ago, the City would have lost 25 to 40 percent in the recent stock market freefall.

In that first year, the City would have lost $200 million or more. With a land lease that would never happen. The risk is so low for default. There are several condos in Atlantic City that pay a landlord for a land lease. The landlord does not worry about the stock markets as he is not involved. The risk of failure to pay are very small as the landlord could seek foreclosure and a sheriff's sale on real assets. Also, the City can never lose it's asset or value therein. When you invest in the stock market not only may you not receive any revenues (interest) you can lose your assets (principal). The landlord never loses anything in the end. The tax on say $800 million worth of A.C. land is about $10 million. Five percent interest as rent is $40 million a year, add together as the total rent thats $50 million a year with the current tax rate. When the buildings are built there would be additional taxes on the improvements.

Second, where is the real estate apprasial by a licensed apprasier? Would you sell a property that you were not sure of it's value on an open bid with no minimum bid required? That's reckless and a waste of time. The City needs an apprasial of Bader Field by a Philly or NYC commercial real estate apprasial company. You know any bidder will have done so. The City must act in a prudent business manner. Why hasn't the City?

Third, a completion ordinance is needed to assure completion of all building projects - a date assured or penalties to the developer. We don't need another Dunes or "Sands" casino project.

Fourth, an Impact Fees ordinance is needed. No one talks about another large expense the major additional need for police and fire facilities and the land, patrol cars, fire engines and manpower that will be required. This impact must be paid by the person causing the need (the developer) not the current City taxpayers to pay for. Who pays this cost as of now it's not in the RFP? The City taxpayer.

Fifth, if residential or mixed use occurs who pays for the additional classrooms, the land and teachers for a couple 50 story condos? The way the RFP is written the current City Taxpayers will pay.

Sixth, I believe a mixed use would be best with condos by the south end and casinos by the north end. The City must not permit the subleasing by one developer to another as in the Wynn dealing. Therefore, the City should create a Planned Unit Development (PUD). It should create a flexible design with a mixed use so that Bader Field is developed a manner that is designed for all to benefit not by who wants whatever.

Seventh, the RFP says it encourages the buildings to be built with green building standards (LEED). See:

This must be a requirement not optional. This would save 70 percent on electricity, 50 to 60 percent on water and 36 percent of energy compared to current casinos and condos. Otherwise, guess who pays when the City needs are for larger electric sub stations and water filtering plants and reserve locations. The City taxpayers not the developer causing the need by draining the current capacity for his buildings.

Eighth, I, also, didn't mention road building which, also, must be paid by the developer not the City taxpayer's monies derived from a lease/sale of Bader Field. The City Taxpayer could be on the hook for 10's of millions for road improvements.

If the above issues are not added to the RFP, then, any revenues from a lease/sale would be consumed by the above costs. City taxes would surely go up not down.

Posted by: Mr Ed on Tue Oct 21, 2008, 3:38 PM

  I heard that Langford wants to put section eight housing at Bader Field which would be an economical train-wreck. I don't really know if the section eight housing deal is correct but I, as a taxpayer, panicked when I heard about this deal. Now, I emphasize that I only heard it. And, if I'm wrong about this then I owe Langford an apology. But, I, as a taxpayer, panicked when I heard this -- and, as a disabled senior allegedly facing losing my home would not know where to turn if my taxes were raised again as a result of this alleged action on the part of Langford.

Posted by: May Huddleston on Sat Oct 18, 2008, 11:35 AM

  As far as property tax relief -- the residents of AC should already have property tax relief from the casino revenues, take it off the top before Trenton gets the money.

Posted by: Tree on Sat Oct 18, 2008, 10:34 AM

  Here's a thought: Bader Field should be designated a 'National Historic Site' as it is the FIRST airport in the United States. Add a little bit of culture to Atlantic City AND Atlantic County. Perhaps a quaint museum depicting the history of the site. And, while we are preserving this site, let's keep it GREEN.

Really, do we need a monster casino a the foot of Albany Ave? Stop the greed. That's what got this country in the sad state of affairs today. Greed.

Posted by: Tree on Sat Oct 18, 2008, 10:30 AM

  So while were waiting, lets get rid of all buses entering the city and place them there.

Posted by: tired of it all on Sat Oct 18, 2008, 9:07 AM

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Books by
Carl E David

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