The Atlantic County Improvement Authority called the partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration, Stockton University and members of Congress a stimulant for job development in Egg Harbor Township at the groundbreaking of the first building of the Stockton Aviation Research & Technology Park LLC.
John C. Lamey, the executive director of the improvement authority, said the organization entered an agreement with the FAA to build the 58-acre campus on FAA-owned land. The FAA will occupy 7,000 square feet of the first building, a 66,000-square-foot office building at the technology campus, and will work alongside Colliers International to lease the remaining 47,000 square feet of office space.
“The jobs we anticipate, the projects we anticipate, will be companies that will be expanding their activities or are new to the area or are expanding their current activities,” He said. “We hope it will increase job development. The first building, we anticipate it’s going to be probably between 200 to 250 people.”
The Atlantic County Improvement Authority financed the first building, a $17.2 million project, and selected Marlton-based Hessert Construction Group to carry out the first build.
Michele Holmes, manager at the FAA’s William J Hughes Technical Center — right down the road from the future tech park, said the FAA will use the space in the first building to collaborate with corporations in research and to provide expertise.
“We’re taking the opportunity of utilizing the space to collaborate and work with the industry on these different kinds of projects,” Holmes said. “They’ll have access to our data, they’ll have access to our subject matter experts. It’s more of an opportunity for the FAA to work with the industry with what’s happening and what’s cutting-edge that we would like to be a part of.
If there’s a project, let’s say a research or a school or a company that wants to do a project on UAs, unmanned aircraft, the FAA does research on unmanned aircraft, as well. We can work and collaborate as well with these schools and researchers that are looking to either grow their programs or grow in the area of unmanned aircraft. The FAA can work with them, provide them data, provide them information, work together to develop a project.”
The FAA owns more than 5,000 acres in the area surrounding the Atlantic City International Airport.
Completion of the first building is slated for mid-2018.