Atlantic City History Threatened By Eminent Domain? - My9 New Jersey

Atlantic City History Threatened By Eminent Domain?

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Atlantic City, New Jersey (My9NJ) - Charlie Birnbaum has a rich history in Atlantic City. He has been a piano tuner all his life and has tuned pianos for superstars like Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli, and John Legend. This talented tuner has lived in Atlantic City for over 45 years and has recently found himself in an ongoing situation with the city. Birnbaum recently filed papers challenging an unconstitutional attempt by an Atlantic City agency to seize his family home using eminent domain in order to redevelop the area surrounding the Revel Casino.

There are not many buildings left in Birnbaum’s area. Most of them were affected by Hurricane Sandy or have been recently torn down by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, which according to a statement from them is: “Seeking to acquire and assemble various properties within the Atlantic City Tourism District for future development to expand job opportunities for citizens of Atlantic City.”

Birnbaum’s home was built in 1921 and it’s full of history and memories for him and his wife. His parents were holocaust survivors who bought the house in 1969.

“So 45 years of history, 45 years of sometimes joy, often a lot of sorrow,” he explained.

Birnbaum’s referring to how his family stuck by Atlantic City when it was sieged with violence. His mother was even a victim of this violence. She was murdered in the home in the 90’s, but Birnbaum still has never given up on the city.

He said that when you have that much that ties you to a place it’s not easy to just get up and move on.

“It’s very hard for me to accept, especially when I wasn’t given an answer as to ‘what are you going to do with this ground?’ And the answer was ‘we don’t know’,” he explained.

The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority said that: “This project contemplates the acquisition of approximately 5.4 acres of land for one or more residential-retail development projects.”


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