Vacant Atlantic City Airport Could Become Recreational, Residential and Retail Project for Car Lovers

An old Atlantic City airport could soon become a major attraction for car lovers. Proposals for the project include a 2.44-mile – or 4-kilometer – auto-track course. This course would be designed for car lovers to drive their high-end vehicles. The $3 million project also proposes the development of 2,000 housing units; a shopping area; and auto-themed activities and attractions. The unique project has been introduced by DEEM Enterprises, a company with bases in both Los Angeles and Atlantic City.

“There is literally nothing like this anywhere in the world,” notes Michael Binder, a spokesperson for the company.

“The latest trend in motorsports is the country club environment,” Binder continues. “Where people bring their exotic cars, they stay there and become part of a motorsports community.”

An Incredible Proposal

Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small has stated that he is on board with the one-of-a-kind opportunity. Small has noted that the project is a good one and “the most credible proposal that this city has seen for Bader Field.”

The Department of Community Affairs in New Jersey will have the final word on whether or not the site is sold at all, let alone to DEEM for this project proposal. The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs also has a say in what will be developed on the land before selling the property.

The proposed recreational and residential area would include a hotel, a 4,000 seat amphitheater, and an auto-themed museum. The proposed project would also feature a facility designed for e-sports video game playing as well as a sportsbook that will be aligned with one of Atlantic City’s current casino licenses.

Along with the private amenities, the site, which will produce as many as 1,500 jobs would also include a variety of public areas. Some of these proposed areas would include a nature trail; retail opportunities and Intracoastal waterways.

“This isn’t about a racetrack; we’re not holding races here,” notes Atlantic City attorney Dan Gallagher.

“The track is about 10% of what we’re proposing here,” Gallagher explains.

“This is about sustainability, jobs, green energy,” he adds. “It checks all the boxes. It seems like everyone has had an idea for this property, but nothing like this.”

Atlantic City’s Airport Has a Unique History

Bader Field closed in 2006 after 96 years of business. Additionally, Bader Field is the site of many historic moments. In 1910, Bader Field became the site from which the first pilot would attempt to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. Seventeen years before Lindbergh accomplished the feat, Walter Wellman attempted the flight in an aircraft dubbed “America.”

However, Wellman didn’t get nearly as far as he’d hoped. A storm soon developed over Wellman’s route and the pilot ended up ditching the aircraft off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Bader Field was also the inspiration for a term we use regularly today. In 1919 a reporter coined the phrase “airport” in an article about the historic location.