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Home state advantage: Morris, Jingoli discuss plans in Atlantic City, partnership with Hard Rock

From: RealEstateNJ.com

By Joshua Burd

September 25, 2017

From left: Joseph R. Jingoli Jr., Jim Allen and Jack Morris discuss plans for the new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City during an April 5 event at the property. — Courtesy: Hard Rock International

From left: Joseph R. Jingoli Jr., Jim Allen and Jack Morris

Without question, Jack Morris is thankful for the casino owners that have kept their doors open in Atlantic City and continue to employ tens of thousands of people.

He even calls them partners in the effort to revitalize the embattled resort town.

Yet he sees one key difference between those operators and the team that is set to transform the former Trump Taj Mahal into the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.

“They have shareholders and stockholders who care about making money and they have issues all over the world that they have to contend with — and then they can contend with what they have to contend with in Atlantic City,” Morris said. “We are true New Jerseyans. We truly have our heart and our dollars in Atlantic City and in what we do. That will continue.”

That connection to the state is as much about business as it is about sentimentality. Morris and Joe Jingoli, whose families have partnered with Hard Rock International to acquire the former Taj Mahal, bring decades of experience in New Jersey real estate and a level of hands-on, local expertise that an outside investor simply wouldn’t have.

Combined with the resources and the pedigree of a global brand like Hard Rock, Morris and Jingoli feel strongly that their plans for Atlantic City will be the catalyst that is often promised but not as frequently delivered. And they say it’s about more than simply reopening a casino: Already, they are thinking about prospects such as new local housing opportunities for employees, “where somebody can get up in the morning, spend their time exercising, being healthy, eating healthy, rather than … spending 45 minutes on the road each way.”

“Spend it taking care of yourself, where you can walk to work and you come in in the morning and your attitude is different,” said Morris, a prominent developer who is the CEO of Edgewood Properties. “This is what you see is being done throughout the country. We need to do more of that, in my opinion, in New Jersey.”

The partnership announced in March that they would acquire the shuttered Taj Mahal from investor Carl Icahn and redevelop it as a new Hard Rock resort and casino. With plans to open by next summer, they are now moving quickly on the roughly $500 million plan that includes removing all traces of its famed exterior and décor, along with gutting and rebuilding the interior of the former Donald Trump-owned property.

Morris and Jingoli offered an update on the project during a recent meeting with reporters, just a few weeks after an auction to sell off the items and furnishings found inside the hotel. Jingoli said the Taj was “a very, very well-thought-out” property, whose “original design (and) original bones lay out well for what we want to do.” That will entail some 2,000 rooms and potentially growing the Mark G. Etess Arena from 5,500 seats to almost 7,000, among other plans.

He noted, however, that the investors bought the building “where is, as is, close in 30 days.” So for a 4.5 million-square-foot property that is 35 years old, there is much to sort out.

“So there’s a combination of getting our hands around what needs to be done and working with Hard Rock and Jeffrey Beers, the architecture firm, to turn it into an iconic destination,” said Jingoli, CEO of Joseph Jingoli & Son, a Lawrenceville-based contractor and construction manager. “There’s a lot of work — nothing we’re afraid of, but it’s a lot of work.”

The hard work will be about more than just physical construction. Increased competition in the Northeast has caused Atlantic City gaming revenue to be cut in half from its 2006 peak of $5.2 billion. That led to the closure of five casinos in less than three years, including the Taj last fall.

Morris conceded that, when they “decided that we wanted to make a difference in Atlantic City, we knew we were taking on a large challenge. So … you can’t go into something this big and this complex without expecting there to be a lot of hurdles.”

But he believes the resulting venue will thrive, in large part because of the demand for entertainment and the experiences that Atlantic City can offer.

“Across the globe, people have responded in some fashion or way in a positive manner to Hard Rock and to what we’re doing in Atlantic City,” Morris said. “And we were really surprised at the amount of people that have come to us wanting to be part of the success of the Hard Rock Atlantic City.”

He said he was unable to disclose the names of any potential operators or offerings for the time being, but said “they’re game-changers.”

“The entertainment, the experience, are going to bring people there,” Morris said. “Being able to go to the beaches, being able to go to the Boardwalk, being able to go to do the things that people really want to do and love to do in New Jersey — that makes New Jersey the great state it is — hasn’t really been used or had in Atlantic City for a long time. … So we can bring that back.”

Not to mention that both Morris and Jingoli have a track record of taking on difficult projects that help to spark the surrounding area. In Somerville, Edgewood built the borough’s first luxury apartments as part of a redevelopment of a run-down shopping center on West Main Street. The new mixed-use town center includes not only a 70,000-square-foot ShopRite, a Starbucks and other retailers, but also the first New Jersey location for the international Wolfgang’s Steakhouse chain.

Edgewood’s 108-unit upscale apartment building opened in 2014 and is fully leased, Morris said, and Somerville now has a half-dozen other mixed-use projects in its development pipeline.

“People that have never been to Somerville are now coming to Somerville,” said Morris, who spoke during a recent interview at Wolfgang’s. “You look at some of the people here. These are people that would not normally come to Somerville.

“The same thing is going to happen in Atlantic City.” The partners also know that it takes more than one high-profile project to help a community. Jingoli said he doesn’t believe that Atlantic City residents feel a connection to the major industries in the city, but “we’re taking some big steps to try to change that on our watch.”

For instance, in March, Joseph Jingoli & Son launched a training course at the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City, where students were mentored by professionals in the construction, utilities and casino industries and offered additional assistance toward education or job placement. The firm, which is the construction manager for the mixed-use Gateway development in the city, has also sponsored training for residents that led to jobs on the project.

“I think we’re going to make a statement and a change that says that the community and the city will be included in our project like hasn’t been done before,” said Jingoli, who spent a decade living in the city and whose firm oversees similar programs in Newark and Camden.

He added that “this is not altruistic, this is not charity — this is smart business: Hire the people that live in the community that your company is in.”

“You get all the benefits of the relationships that they and their families in their communities all have there,” Jingoli said. “They have buy-in to your company and your project.”

Morris also said workforce housing will be essential to the larger goal of revitalizing Atlantic City. Whether Edgewood is the one to build it remains to be seen, but he said he is committed to the idea in the city and statewide.

“It’s a passion of mine, and I truly believe that part of turning Atlantic City around will be affordable housing where people can work, where people can play, where people can enjoy their lives and start turning the place around,” he said. “And that will happen. I promise you that will happen…

To read article in its entirety click here: RealEstateNJ.com

Levin Commercial Real Estate Management Welcomes Two New Team Members

Pictured: Gwynedd Office Park, Managed by Levin Commercial Real Estate Management

Pictured: Gwynedd Office Park, Managed by Levin Commercial Real Estate Management

Levin Commercial Real Estate Management recently welcomed two new members, Cathy Levin and Erika Bhatia, to our Southeastern Pennsylvania Management team.

Cathy Levin will oversee property maintenance, service, and emergency issues.

Erika Bhatia will be handling financial inquiries and general administration duties.

Their contact information is as follows:

Mailing Address:

Levin Commercial Real Estate Management, LLC
PO Box 52
Merion Station, PA 19066

Phone: (609) 344-5200
Cathy: extension 307
Erika: extension  303

Fax: (609) 344-5272

Cathy Levin: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Erika Bhatia: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

About Levin Commercial Real Estate Management:

LEVIN Commercial Real Estate Management is a full service firm. The Staff has decades of experience providing professional service in commercial real estate for Southern New Jersey and South Eastern Pennsylvania.

We have applied our market knowledge and the latest cutting edge technology to deliver comprehensive solutions to our clients' needs. We leverage our reputation for honesty and hard work to deliver superior results.
LCRE understands the importance of communication, advanced research and support capabilities allowing us to provide rapid, high quality information and service to our clients, enhancing the "hands on" approach, and relationships, that are the core of our business.
Having the only Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) in Atlantic County gives us superior analytical abilities, access to resources and a global presence previously unavailable in this market place. Our client base consists of buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants.

We specialize in the Management of:

* Office
* Industrial-Warehouse
* Retail
* Land
* Mixed Use

Our Services:

Levin Commercial Real Estate Management provides a broad range of fully integrated real estate management services:

* Court Appointed Receiver
* REO Services
* Asset Management
* Property Disposition & Leasing
* Financial Accounting
* Lease Administration

For more information on Levin Commercial Real Estate Management please visit our asset management page by clicking here: Asset Management

Levin Commercial Real Estate Sponsors MBCA's Jamaican Summer Jam


Levin Commercial Real Estate recently sponsored the MBCA (Metropolitan Business & Citizens Association) Jamaican Summer Jam. The Summer Mixer "Jamaican Summer Jam" to benefit the MBCA Scholarship Foundation took place Monday July 31, 2017 at Borgata's Beer Garden. The sold-out event featured Island Food, steel drum music,and a silent auction.The purpose of the MBCA Scholarship Foundation is to promote higher education to the residents of the Greater Atlantic City area by offering financial assistance in the form of scholarships. Scholarships are awarded to help individuals achieve their goals of educational growth, develop their, knowledge and potential, and allow them to contribute productively to the community.

Pictured left to right: Rachel Goloff, Matt Cadira, Carol Goloff, Ahmed Khan, Meta Marshello Kelly,
Joshua Levin, Michael Goloff, Lee Jerome

Picture left to right: Lee Jerome, Dr. Fred Coville, Genia Bettiner, Gary Hill and Mark Vanderwielen,
Borgata Vice President of Hospitality

For more information on the MBCA or to become a member please visit their website: MBCA

Come to New Jersey and take advantage of New Jersey's Financing and Incentives for Businesses

Are you currently doing business in New Jersey? Interested in making a move here? Learn about the many financing and incentive programs available to New Jersey businesses at the State of New Jersey Business Portal, a one-stop shop for business. Visit this website for more details: www.nj.gov/njbusiness/financing


From: www.acbiz.org:


Grow New Jersey Assistance Program (Grow NJ)
Grow NJ is a powerful job creation and retention incentive program designed to be competitive with surrounding states programs. A qualified business could see tax credits ranging from $500 to $5,000 per job, per year. Visit this website for more details: http://www.njeda.com/financing_incentives/programs/grow_nj

Economic Redevelopment and Growth Program (ERG)
This program is an incentive for developers and businesses to address revenue gaps in development projects. Residential and commercial projects could see assistance of up to 20% of the total project cost. Visit this website for more details: http://www.njeda.com/ERG

Urban Enterprise Zone Program (UEZ)
This program is currently available to businesses located in Pleasantville, Atlantic County. Businesses can benefit from reduced sales tax to 3.5%, tax-free purchases on capital equipment/ expansions and financial assistance from agencies such as the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Visit this website for more details: http://www.nj.gov/dca/affiliates/uez/

The 108 Loan and Micro Loan Program (ACIA)
Administered by the Atlantic County Improvement Authority, these programs are open to businesses located in municipalities that participate in the Community Development Block Grant as well as Atlantic City. The Micro Loan Program offers loans between $1,000 and $35,000 to start-up businesses that meet the HUD criteria of low to moderate income. The 108 Loan Program can provide for-profit businesses with loans up to 40 percent of the project cost. Visit this website for more details: http://atlanticcountyimprovementauthority.org/Main/business-loan-programs.asp

NJEDA Site Evaluator tool - Evaluate potential business locations in NJ and get information associated with the Economic Opportunity Act of 2013.

NJ Economic Development Authority - Financing and Incentives

On-the-Job Training (OJT) Wage Reimbursement Program

  • Program A: Employers are eligible for up to a $4,000 wage reimbursement for a specific occupational title over a period of time.
  • Program B: Employers are eligible to collect up to 100% of the commensurate wage for a specific occupational title over a period of time. The wage must pay $7.25 per hour and be full-time. The employer must hire and train participants enrolled in a subsidized employment program.
  • Program C: Employers are eligible for 50% of the commensurate wage for four to 26 weeks. The wage must pay $8.50 per hour and be full-time. The employer must hire a participant receiving General Assistance (GA) or Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP).
  • Program D: Employers are eligible for up to 100% of the commensurate wage for the first 13 weeks and 50% for the remaining 13 weeks. The wage must pay $8.50 per hour and be full-time. The employer must hire a participant receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
  • Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) Regulations and Guidelines - Project funding for Atlantic City-based development. Funds can be used for construction, rehabilitation, acquisition and professional fees. The CRDA can provide both construction and permanent financing.


From:   http://www.nj.gov/njbusiness/financing/

To learn more about our programs, explore our interactive Financing and Incentives Tool, which offers detailed information on NJ business incentives and financing programs. Click on links below for more information:

Clean and Renewable Energy

Culture and Arts Grants

Environmental, Geographic and Urban Redevelopment

Job Creation and Retention Incentives


Nonprofit Organizations

Real Estate

Small- to Mid-Size Businesses

Technology and Life Sciences

Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer Program



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