Stockton University today concluded the $23 million sale of the Showboat property in Atlantic City to Showboat Renaissance, LLC.
“Stockton is closing this chapter in our history, and moving on to exciting plans for the university’s future, which include new academic programs, expanding both community partnerships and global outreach, and construction of major new facilities which will transform the Galloway campus,” said President Harvey Kesselman.
“The university is fortunate to have worked with someone with a strong record of successful development and a commitment to Atlantic City, which is important to Stockton,” Kesselman said. “It has been a pleasure to work with Bart Blatstein on this successful sale. Stockton will collaborate with Mr. Blatstein in ways that will contribute to the renaissance of Atlantic City.”
The sales agreement provides for Stockton student internships at the facility. Additionally, the Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club would work with the hotel operation to accommodate customers interested in golfing.
Stockton had agreed in November to extend the original settlement date by two months at the buyer’s request and the university received an additional $1 million for the sale, along with an immediate payment of $2.216 million to cover Stockton’s carrying costs. Stockton’s Board of Trustees on Jan. 12 authorized amending the sales agreement to allow Tower Investments to assign its rights to Showboat Renaissance, LLC.
Stockton purchased the Showboat for $18 million in December 2014 with plans to develop a residential campus in Atlantic City. But land-use restrictions placed on the property at different times by owners thwarted these efforts, leading Stockton to sell the 1.73 million-square-foot facility, which includes two hotel towers, parking lots and garage.
Today’s settlement frees Stockton to focus fully on its future development in a number of areas.
The university is lining up financial support for a planned residential campus bounded by the Boardwalk and Atlantic, Albany, Trenton and Ventnor avenues, on the site of the former Atlantic City High School. The public-private development by the non-profit Atlantic City Development Corp. (AC Devco) would include a 56,000-square-foot academic building with on-site parking and residential housing for 500 students.
The N.J. Economic Development Authority has approved almost $70 million in tax credits that would support the new campus. The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) is scheduled to vote final approval of $17 million for the proposed project at its Jan. 19 meeting. Stockton would contribute $18 million toward the development.
The university also has applied for funding from the state Building Our Future Fund Act (GO Bond Act) and the Higher Education Capital Improvement Fund Act to support the expansion of the Unified Science Center, construction of the new classroom building and other improvements at its Galloway campus, as well as to develop an Atlantic City campus.
“Students come first in all things,” Kesselman said. “The university is committed to investing in new academic opportunities and technologies in order to attract prospective students, benefit our region, state and nation, and expand internationally.
“A Doctorate in Organizational Leadership program will offer its first classes next week, expanding our graduate degree programs,” Kesselman said. “Plans for the Stockton Aviation Research & Technology Park are underway near the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center, and Stockton will be the lead agency in developing aviation-related educational programs and research, many of these in partnership with other institutions.
“Construction will begin this spring on a 37,720-square-foot new classroom building and a 58,210-square-foot expansion of the Unified Science Center, offering world-class facilities for students in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, which awards almost 25 percent of all the science and mathematics undergraduate degrees at New Jersey’s public master’s and doctoral colleges and universities,” Kesselman continued. “These projects, coupled with a green area for gathering outside, will form a Quadrangle that creates a stunning new entrance to the Galloway campus.
“It is an exciting time to be at Stockton, and we look forward to continued advances, while maintaining our mission of excellence in teaching, support for scholarship and dedication to service,” said Kesselman.