AC Ocean Walk, a subsidiary of Ten RE AC NJ, plans to acquire the shuttered Revel from owner Glenn Straub, a Florida-based developer, for $200m.
When inquired about the sale of Revel, Straub clings to stating that there is no sale. However, according to records filed with the Atlantic County clerk’s office, there is an ‘agreement of sale’ document that shows otherwise. It identifies Bruce Deifik, now president and chief executive of Denver-based developer Integrated Properties Inc., as the manager of the entity. Although unusual to file such a document in connection with a property if no deal had been signed for its sale, Straub insisted in an interview Wednesday that there was no deal to sell the failed 47-story, 900-guest-room resort.
“There’s no sale,” he said. “I can file that I’m the king of Arabia at the clerk’s office.”
Ten RE ACNJ is owned by Mile High Dice, which is under the control of Colorado developer, Bruce Deifik. Deifik, who is no stranger to property acquisition deals. The company was formed in April 1990 to handle acquisition, development, asset management, property management, leasing and disposition of commercial properties under the ownership of Deifik and his investment partners.
This is the third time that Deifik’s group has been linked to a sale of Revel in the past few months. According to Moody’s report, in addition to the $200 million invested in purchasing the property, Deifik’s group reportedly plan to spend $175 million to renovate the casino hotel and to fix the electrical wiring, since it closed its doors in September 2014. It is reported AC Ocean Walk will operate 20000 slot machines, 100 gaming tables, 1400 hotel rooms, 13 restaurants, as well as nightclubs, pools, spas and other amenities. Revel could reopen its doors by May 2018.
The targeted opening date collides with another casino. Hard Rock International plans to open its Hard Rock Atlantic City, the former Trump Taj Mahal. Hard Rock Atlantic City underwent a nine-figure facelift that began earlier this year.
The Revel Casino has a history of turmoil. In 2009, hundreds of workers were laid off due to the project running out of financial aid. In 2010, it went through construction delays after its main financial backer pulled out of the project, pushing back its grand opening. Acquired by Glenn Staub, a Florida-based developer, Revel finally opened in 2012 at a staggering cost of over $2.4b and just as the stock market and the economy crashed. It was pitched as the stagnant savior of the casino industry, but the property quickly went from hopeful to fruitless, as it failed to attract a large crowd. In 2015, Straub paid $82m for Revel, however, his plans to reopen the venue for gaming hit a snag when he balked at submitting himself to the traditionally invasive probing required by gaming regulators over the need for licenses and permits, and attempted to rebrand Revel as TEN. After yet again failing meet the targeted opening date in 2016, the casino declared bankruptcy for the second time.
The Revel wasn’t always set on being a casino. After acquiring the property, Straub originally cycled through a series of unconventional ideas for the site, which included a medical tourism facility, a so-called “genius academy” where the world’s top minds would tackle society’s problems, an equestrian facility and even a temporary home for Syrian refugees.