Contact: David Zuba, Publicist, Media Relations/Communications
IN “AN EXCITING DAY FOR ATLANTIC CITY”, CRDA BOARD APPROVES FUNDING FOR STOCKTON UNIVERSITY ATLANTIC CITY CAMPUS AND BEACH AT SOUTH INLET PROJECTS
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – (Wednesday, January 6, 2016) – The Board of the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) approved at its special meeting on Tuesday two projects that will bring substantial non-gaming development to the city and will serve as a catalyst for potential future growth in the South Inlet and Chelsea neighborhoods.
First, the CRDA Board approved a resolution granting preliminary determination of project eligibility that includes a $17 million fund reservation as part of an intergovernmental agreement between the CRDA and Stockton University for Stockton’s Atlantic City Campus Redevelopment Project. Bounded by the Boardwalk, Lincoln Place, and Albany, Atlantic, Ventnor and Trenton avenues, the Atlantic City campus project will feature a 56,000-square-foot academic building on the site of the former Atlantic City High School and a residential housing complex for up to 500 students complete with laundry facilities, fitness center, an outdoor green space courtyard, and 9,000 square feet of retail along the Boardwalk and 5,500 square feet along Atlantic Avenue.
“This project is a prime example of a public-private partnership working together to bring meaningful non-gaming development to the city,” said CRDA Acting Board Chairman Robert Mulcahy. “This demonstrates the potential that is here in the city and may create opportunities to spur additional revitalization efforts in surrounding neighborhoods.”
The academic building site will feature on-site parking and may eventually be used to potentially double the size of the school. An additional lot adjacent to the former Atlantic Club property that will be utilized for surface parking may also be used for future school expansion. In all, the academic and residential buildings for Stockton’s Atlantic City campus will cost $125 million.
“Stockton University is pleased that the CRDA has approved this financing to move ahead with the AC Devco project in Atlantic City, which is envisioned as a true public-private partnership,” said Stockton University President Harvey Kesselman. “Stockton intends to be part of Atlantic City’s renaissance and we believe it is in the best interests of our students to expand educational options and opportunities in the region. We are still lining up partnerships, financing and approvals, but this is a very encouraging step.”
In addition to Stockton’s Atlantic City campus, South Jersey Gas Industries will simultaneously construct a parking garage adjacent to Stockton’s residential building. The garage structure will feature seven floors with 885 parking spaces (600 for Stockton and 200 for SJ Gas), a 72,000-square-foot headquarters facility for SJ Gas office personnel and 7,500 square feet of retail space on Atlantic Avenue.
Both projects will generate hundreds of new construction jobs throughout the city and region. The Stockton campus project alone, which will take up to 24 months to build, is expected to generate nearly 775 jobs, along with numerous permanent positions at the facility upon its completion in fall of 2018.
“We are changing the tempo of the neighborhood with up to 1,500 people per day at one intersection of the city,” said Chris Paladino of AC Devco. “This is an extraordinary partnership and a great start.”
In another non-gaming development, the CRDA Board approved an amended and restated fund reservation for the Beach at South Inlet Project in an amount not-to-exceed $15 million for an additional period of six months, expiring on July 31, 2016. In addition, this approval gives the CRDA the authorization to negotiate and execute project funding agreements and loan documents.
“This is an exciting project that we feel can become a key component in jumpstarting a new wave of development throughout the South Inlet neighborhood,” said CRDA Executive Director John Palmieri. “We are pleased to be able to come to an agreement that will see this housing development project move forward.”
Bounded by Atlantic, Pacific, Connecticut and New Jersey avenues, this residential housing project will feature 250 units of multi-family dwellings – 200 market rate units and 50 affordable rate units – 7,000 square feet of retail on Atlantic Avenue, gym and amenity room. The CRDA’s $15 million in funding consists of an $11.4 million loan with a repayment schedule over 30 years and a $3.6 million equity stake with a 2% annual dividend over eight years. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority is also contributing $24.433 million in tax credits, while the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency is providing $30 million towards this project.
“With more than $200 million worth of projects approved here, this is a significant and exciting day for Atlantic City,” Mulcahy concluded.
Board actions will take effect following the expiration of the Governor’s statutory review period.
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The only agency of its kind nationwide, the CRDA has used Atlantic City casino reinvestments as a catalyst for meaningful, positive improvement in the lives of New Jersey residents, investing nearly $2 billion in more than 400 projects statewide since 1984. Under the 2011 Tourism District Act, CRDA’s mission evolved from statewide projects to becoming the state’s key economic development agency for Atlantic City. CRDA responsibilities expanded to include land use regulation, clean and safe initiatives, tourism marketing, ownership and oversight of the Atlantic City Convention Center and Boardwalk Hall, and partnership with the Atlantic City Alliance to brand and market Atlantic City. The former ACCVA, now a division of CRDA, is the first destination marketing organization in New Jersey to achieve prestigious Destination Marketing Accreditation by the Destination Marketing Association International.
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