Can an influx of young professionals reinvigorate the urban scene in Atlantic City? Real estate development professionals in New Jersey are very clear in feeling that they can and they will, as new residential projects are cleared for building in the long neglected area.
According to Wasseem Boraie, of Boraie Development, LLC, there is a pent up demand for upscale residential housing in the Atlantic City area, as there has been a lengthy (40 year) stretch here with no major new housing developments being built in the area.
Wasseem and other developments spoke out recently at a summit on housing in New Jersey, and they addressed the need for new housing to come in to attract the area’s lively new generation of urban professionals. What’s hopeful, according to Wasseem, is that right now there are several exciting new projects being developed here, and it’s the number and quality of the projects that is so positive for the future of the area.
Developers in Atlantic City are feeling very positive about the area’s future because of the movement now taking place towards new development. The feeling is that as more young professionals (those between the ages of 25 and 34) come here to live, housing will boom and the tax base will be spurred towards growth.
A recent census (from 2010) showed that the population of Atlantic City had only 13.6 percent of people in the 25-34 age range. This number makes it clear that attracting that key part of the working population is crucial for the future of Atlantic City.
In Boraie’s view, one of the keys to truly attracting young professionals and creating a solid base for future growth is to have several large developments underway, rather than just one. In the past, he noted, the city had rallied all its hopes on a coming boom around one large development. This thinking has lead to disappointment and a loss of momentum for the area. The good news is that right now there are five to ten major projects underway, and this mass of energy around new building is a great magnet for the working population.
Is there a glittering future in the works for the Atlantic City area? As Boraie sees it, the answer is a definite yes, as long as development stays strong. Here’s hoping it does.