ATLANTIC CITY — A groundbreaking Thursday for a $210 million project on the Atlantic City Boardwalk brought out Gov. Chris Christie, Senate President Steve Sweeney and other officials.
Christie said the Atlantic City Gateway project is an important step in the revitalization of the city.
“Not only have we not given up on Atlantic City,” Christie said to a crowd of over 100 gathered under a tent on the boardwalk. “We want to celebrate the positive.”
The Gateway project includes a new Stockton University campus and South Jersey Gas headquarters. It’s located near Albany Avenue on the boardwalk, on the site of the former Atlantic City High School.
The mixed-use development will combine corporate, residential, restaurant, entertainment and academic buildings. Christie said it was a winning combination.
“You know the energy 500 college students can bring to any area,” said the governor, who added this is the first non-casino development in Atlantic City in 15 years.
Christie, a Republican, and the Democratic state Legislature and Democratic city leaders argued throughout 2015 and 2016 about whether the state should step in and take control of cash-strapped Atlantic City. The state Legislature ultimately passed a law that gave the state authority to assume power over large parts of the local government.
Sweeney, a Democrat from Gloucester County, complemented Christie on the Gateway Project and predicted “more things to come.”
“Atlantic City didn’t break on its own,” he said. “Together, we can fix it.”
Stockton’s main campus is located on 2,000 acres in nearby Galloway. The Atlantic City Development Corporation is also a partner in the development, scheduled to be completed in August 2018.
Officials said 1,800 students a day will attend classes on the oceanfront site and 500 will live here. Two hundred South Jersey Gas employees will be based in its headquarters here. The development is expected to revitalize the Chelsea neighborhood, officials said.