The first market-rate housing development in nearly five decades will be completed this summer when the $85 million, 250-luxury unit complex 600 North Beach opens in the South Inlet.
"Atlantic City has never seen anything like this," Councilman William "Speedy" Marsh said during a tour of the project Wednesday afternoon.
That is exactly the sentiment the project’s lead developer, Wasseem Boraie, vice president of Boraie Development LLC, said he expects when people get their first look. Boraie said part of the reason the company chose to develop in Atlantic City was because the resort, and its noticeable revival, was deserving of a new housing option. The South Inlet, an underdeveloped section of the city, was an ideal location, he said.
The project was originally known as The Beach at South Inlet. But the new name, 600 North Beach, conveys a message of luxury and elegance better suited for what the finished project will be, Boraie explained.
"We built this for a community of people that want the better things," Boraie told Marsh, City Council President Marty Small and Councilman Kaleem Shabazz during the exclusive tour. "People want to live in a brand-new building, they want amenities. This project will deliver what people want."
David Thomas, 41, of Atlantic City, works with Local 172 on the project. Thomas said he will be a bit sad to leave once it is finished but "excited for that first roar" when the public gets a look at 600 North Beach this summer.
"This is an amazing thing for the city and for this area," he said.
The project is three buildings — one with 80 units and the other two with 85 — positioned around a courtyard that features a raised pool and community space just blocks from the ocean. Located in the area referred to by locals as Pauline’s Prairie, 600 North Beach rests between Pacific and Atlantic avenues bordered by New Jersey and Connecticut avenues.
Apartments in the first building will be available for occupancy in August, the second in October and the third by the end of the year, Boraie said.
One-bedroom apartments are 850 square feet, while two-bedroom units are 1,350 square feet. Apartments on the fourth floor in any of the three buildings feature 21-foot ceilings and double-stacked bay windows.
The land on the other side of New Jersey Avenue is also owned by Boraie, and he has plans to build a luxury high-rise there as well. For now, the vacant property will serve as a parking space for the residents of 600 North Beach.
Small, speaking at a planning and development meeting prior to the guided tour, said projects such as 600 North Beach are a clear indication that "the worst days of Atlantic City are over. The storm is over."
Boraie said he saw the investment in Atlantic City and the South Inlet as a no-brainer. He said it was clear to him and his team that the resort was on the way up when they began looking into development more than five years ago. With the anticipated June 28 openings of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino on that side of the city, as well as the Stockton University Gateway project and South Jersey Gas headquarters at the other end, Boraie said his bet on Atlantic City was a good gamble.
"We’re not coming here to put up a building and run," he said. "We’re here to stay."