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Monday, October 3, 2016

ACIA Bond Sales Help Finance Stockton Atlantic City Campus

The Atlantic County Improvement Authority (ACIA) completed the sale of $128 million in revenue bonds on September 29, 2016 that will help finance the construction of Stockton University’s new Atlantic City campus. The campus is expected to be completed in 2018.

The ACIA sold $79,980,000 in lease revenue bonds (Series 2016A) secured by a general obligation lease with Stockton University for the development of the city campus. Lease revenue bonds are typically used to finance public improvements such as state universities and office buildings as well as prisons.

Another $48,025,000 was sold as Series 2016B bonds to be repaid through the sale of Economic Development Growth (ERG) tax credits.

“The sale of these bonds poses no risk to Atlantic County taxpayers,” stated County Executive Dennis Levinson. “In the unlikely event of a shortfall, Stockton University has guaranteed reimbursement.”

Levinson added that prior to their sale, Moody’s Investors Service affirmed the financial strength and security of Atlantic County and the ACIA by maintaining their Aa2 bond ratings.

“We are confident in knowing what the construction of the Stockton Atlantic City campus will do to bolster the economy of Atlantic City, Atlantic County and the surrounding region,” he said.

The new campus will be located on and around the former Atlantic City High School site in the city’s Chelsea section. It will include an academic building for as many as 1,800 students in addition to housing on the Boardwalk for 520 students with a student center. Excavation for the buildings began in September.

The campus is part of the $210 million Gateway Project, a public-private partnership of ACDevco that will also include an 879-space parking garage topped by the new South Jersey Gas headquarters.

Stockton President Dr. Harvey Kesselman acknowledged the significance of these bonds to the Atlantic City campus project.

“The bond closing is an important milestone for the project and the University is grateful to both Atlantic County and the ACIA for their commitment,” said Kesselman. “They have been great partners. Their support of the bond transaction is a vital component in establishing the Stockton Atlantic City campus. Together we can help revitalize the region.”

The Gateway Project currently generates approximately $250,000 a year in property taxes. That amount is expected to increase to as much as $1.5 million with the completion of the project, according to Chris Paladino, ACDevco President.

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