The Atlantic City Development Corp. hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the Gateway project on Thursday, with dignitaries including Gov. Chris Christie, ACDevco Chairman Jon Hanson, South Jersey Industries CEO Michael Renna and Stockton University President Harvey Kesselman.
“This 675,000-square-foot project is the first major non-casino development seen since the completion of The Walk, which, unbelievably, was 15 years ago,” the governor said. “More importantly, it is expected to generate 925 direct construction jobs and, once completed, the project will bring an additional 300 permanent jobs into Atlantic City.”
The $220 million project includes the redevelopment of a new South Jersey Gas headquarters, as well as a campus for Stockton University in the Chelsea neighborhood of Atlantic City. The South Jersey Gas headquarters component, a six-story tower with a shared parking garage, is expected to cost $50 million.
“For South Jersey industries, this was one of those rare times when need, an impact and an opportunity come together,” Renna said. “When the opportunity presented itself to come to Atlantic City, to come in when everybody else seemed to be wanting to go out, it was something that we couldn’t pass up. This is our home. We started in Atlantic City, so we’re really proud to be coming back. The energy that is in Atlantic City is like nothing I’ve seen in the 20 years I’ve lived here.”
The new headquarters is schedule to open next fall.
Stockton University’s new campus, which will cost $170 million and is also scheduled to open next fall, will include a retail and housing mixed-use facility able to accommodate 500 staff and students, a new academic building with classrooms and office space, and a parking structure that accommodates 880 parking spaces.
“Today, we take the first steps of a new journey,” Kesselman said. “One that recommits our intellectual promise to the residents of this city and all of southern New Jersey by establishing a new branch campus on the world’s most famous Boardwalk.”
Christie thanked the state Economic Development Authority for its involvement in the Gateway project.
The Stockton project received $68.3 million from the EDA and a $22 million grant from the Higher Education Capital Improvement Grant program.
South Jersey Gas received a $12.6 million Grow New Jersey tax abatement to return to Atlantic City.