A massive $3 billion redevelopment master plan has been revealed for the 140-acre Bader Field site in Atlantic City. The project, called CASA MAR and developed in partnership by both Tower Investments and Post Brothers, would be one of the largest in the city’s history, built over five phases over an estimated span of 12 years. The project is expected to add around 10,000 residential units to the local market. An additional 400,000 square feet of office and retail space is also planned for the property, making it a true mixed-use neighborhood. A total of 20 acres of public amenity space such as green spaces and parks will also be included with the project.
The development would also provide employment opportunities and economic growth. Plans call for the creation of around 44,000 construction jobs, with around 8,000 permanent jobs after the project’s completion.
Renderings for the master plan are conceptual, though they still provide a glimpse at the planned scale and tentative design that the final product may feature. The development will be oriented around and take advantage of its waterfront location, while also featuring a newly constructed canal system inspired by likes of Amsterdam and Venice. The project will feature a multitude of high-rise buildings, though not exceptionally tall, with most structures likely falling in the 100-250-foot range.
The buildings in renderings that are not simply slightly opaque white blocks all retain modern designs, similar to other coastal developments seen in other locations. Most buildings feature large glass components with balconies, and are oriented so that the majority of residents will have proximate access to waterfront views.
An interesting feature in the renderings is the variety of housing types in the development. Rather than having a largely uniform layout of similarly-styled buildings, available imagery depicts townhomes, lower-scaled multi-family buildings, and small-scale high-rises alike, which would allow the area to feel slightly less of a masterplanned community and bit more of an organic neighborhood.
What is perhaps one of the most exciting details within the new development, however, is the emphasis on new green space. The entire perimeter of the development is shown to be covered in green space and pathways, allowing the surrounding community to enjoy the complex. Rather than barricading these desirable spaces, as some projects may do, plans for CASA MAR highlight the public aspect: non-residents and workers will still be able to walk through the new neighborhood just as those actually invested in the area.
The new canal system has the potential to create a more intimate streetscape environment that will nicely contrast the more open and sweeping “green acres” along the waterfront. Though plans do not show retail space planned along these canals, the simple presence of street greenery and human-oriented pedestrian space will likely prove to create a desirable and welcoming environment.
As for the retail space, there certainly will be no shortage of it, and the neighborhood will likely become a destination for those in surrounding neighborhoods and beach towns. Most heavily oriented along Route 322 side of the parcel, diagrams show a new “Town Center” with features such as “retail shopping,” “dining,” and “entertainment.” More retail space will be included at a marina planned for the eastern portion of the site.
Presently, the massive Bader Field parcel is largely unused and does not contribute much to the surrounding area. The discontinued Atlantic City Surf, a minor league baseball team, have not played at the site in more than a decade. The airport that covers the vast majority of the site has been dormant for an even greater time. The site, unfortunately like others in the city, has simply sat awaiting redevelopment and investment for quite some time, and it is certainly positive to see some action moving forward after many years.
If constructed as plans suggest, CASA MAR has the potential to be one of the most impactful developments in the Philadelphia region. The added 10,000 residential units will be a massive contribution to Atlantic City and will help restore former population numbers. Very few projects across the nation add such a number of units, and it would be incredible to see this quantity delivered in full.
The added retail and green space would likely make the new neighborhood a major destination. The jobs created to support these commercial operations will be a great employment opportunity for the surrounding area, and the concentration of these planned businesses would likely bring an influx of new people and money into the city.
The project takes a form that will need to be embraced by Atlantic City moving forward. For many years the city has largely depended on casinos to support its growth and economy, even despite their struggles. A variety of prominent land parcels in the city are zoned almost exclusively for such use. In order for authentic and increased growth, AC will need to expand its horizon and add to its identity by constructing true mixed-use areas such as this in order to strengthen its existing strongpoints centered around the city’s boardwalk and gambling industries.
The numbers and renderings available for the project are all subject to change moving forward. It is not even a guarantee that the joint venture between Tower Investments and Post Brothers will even be the group to develop the parcel. It is still possible that a separate party will obtain development rights for Bader Field, and that an entirely different project moves forward at this location. This project, however, seems to be a strong candidate and example for what should be built in this location.
YIMBY will continue to monitor future movement made on the project moving forward.
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This is the location of Bader Field however this site even if it is developed should be remembered for the history is gave to the nation as a whole. Bader Field is the first airport in the country that handled land and seaplanes; its also the site where the Charles Anderson flew; he was the first African American pilot to flight a transcontinental flight across the US in the 1930s; this was during Segregation. Bader Field is very important to the history of tolerance and aviation so if it is developed something should be done regarding conservation work like a museum.
This development seems extremely vulnerable to future storm surges and sea level rise that’s coming in the decades ahead with climate change. It would be fun to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there
Maybe the fact that banks and politicians are in support of this should tell you something. As they say, follow the money and the money is supporting waterfront developments throughout NYC, Miami, Boston and other waterfront communities.
So, are all of the 10,000 new residences going to be for the wealthy??
Take a look at East Hampton NY. The town is filled with millionaires who all need services but there are so very few places for service workers to live. It is a serious problem causing way overcrowding in the few affordable abodes.
Secondly, it looks like the “lawn” is planned right next to the canal. This lawn is going to need chemicals and fertilizer to look the way it’s planned. Again, look at East Hampton NY which allows all sorts of chemicals to be applied to the lawns near the bays. No wonder shellfish are almost gone.
It’s a shame such promising and well funded projects are attracted to a sinking Atlantic coastline with rising sea levels
Wait till these new residents get a load of grocery options in ac 😆
So you don’t think the developers envision a major grocery story chain as part of the retail? Pretty sure that’s the idea of a mixed use develment.
Bader Field is 2 minutes drive from Acme
They are putting in a grocery store, did you look at the plan in details
Who is the architect and site planner?
Did you ever get an answer on this?
There is an acme not far from the location. flooding due to storms and climate change is much more of a concern anyway.
The principals have stated that the entire site will be raised by 6 feet.
This looks like a great addition to AC. I hope some money can go towards affordable housing and improving the other blighted parts of AC.
Is the first 5 years cleanining up the crap across the street? The problem with Atlantic City is its lack of anything good. The CRDA has shown its ability, and that is to suck money out of AC, and create jobs that breast feed the locals, to keep their support. How is the walk? How about the boardwalk? The thriving part of AC is the ghetto, but hey put a billion dollar project in there. The people need a green area to poop at.
I think not a good idea. Is this site going to have low income housing? What a disgrace. Keep over building. Very very stupid plan.
Anything that is new and will help the image of AC as well as bring jobs and increase values of existing properties is great for me!Glad to see it is actually happening. Don’t forget the Atlantic Club casino is also being torn down and redeveloped.Maybe our taxes will actually start to come down with added revenue coming to the City.
What climate change? Obama bought on the water. It’s all a game.
How do I get on the list for affordable housing