Huge Plans for Atlantic City Tennessee Avenue

Big Things in Store for Atlantic City

Atlantic City is Finally Waking Up

Tennesse Ave is part of big ideas. Finally people have woken up to the potential here.


 The area highlighted in bright yellow is the block where local investors plan to open several businesses.

Tennessee Avenue hits the boardwalk two blocks north of the Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum.

If investors get their way, Atlantic City will be the hot place to be.


Tennessee Avenue does not look all that much different than other blocks in Atlantic City. A few motels and boarding houses dot the street, along with some vacant buildings and empty lots. At one end of the long block stands the twin spires of St. Nicholas of Tolentine Catholic Church, and at the other, the beige rectangle of the Casino Control Commission offices.

No entertainment to speak of.

By this summer, things could be far different if the plans of a group of local investors pan out. They envision handmade chocolates, an independent coffee house, yoga classes, a beer garden and a thriving scene welcoming visitors and locals alike.

“What we’re really trying to do is create a destination,” said Evan Sanchez, one of the founders of Authentic Partners, along with Zenith Shah. Both grew up in Atlantic City, and are working with Mark Callazzo, whose Iron Room Restaurant at the other side of town has draws a hip crowd night after night.

An artist’s rendition of how Tennessee Avenue would look after its fixed up.  

The trio have been buying up vacant buildings along one block of Tennessee Avenue, laying the groundwork for a transformation they think could set the mold for a new approach to Atlantic City development.

“We already have the bones of it in place,” Sanchez said.

So while Atlantic City has tried to change with gambling finally people are realizing they got some other hot commodities here.

What ghost town?

Gambling came to Atlantic City 40 years ago to reverse decades of economic decline. For a time, it worked, with a massive surge of jobs, construction, and cash flowing into town. But throughout that process, some complained that little of that windfall flowed into the city’s poorest communities. More recently, hard times seemed to be coming back. Earlier this decade, five casinos closed, one after another, putting thousands out of work and slamming the local economy. In the fall of 2016, Business Insider ran a story with the dire headline “How Atlantic City went from a bustling tourist hub to a ghost town,” outlining the city’s economic woes.

A local business woman, is right where she needs to be to profit. The opportunities abound for those who are ready.

Non-profit yoga

The yoga studio is the first of the new enterprises. Leadership Yoga opened in the fall, and founder Allie Nunzi believes it’s the only yoga studio in the city. She’s the founder of Grace & Glory Yoga, and began Leadership Yoga as a non-profit organization, offering pop-up classes at various locations.

So the real deal is with gambling, ocean, boardwalk, people are waking up to fix Atlantic City to its glory days.

Tennessee Avenue could become what South Street is for Philadelphia, he said, and potentially set a path for similar development in the city and beyond.

So who wants to own this property?

Atlantic city deals