Stockton University officials on Wednesday, May 3, welcomed elected leaders and members of Atlantic City Development Corp., the master developer of a new 416-bed residence hall in Atlantic City, to unveil the 135,000-square-foot, six-story building at Atlantic and South Providence avenues. — Courtesy: Stockton
By Joshua Burd
Stockton University has opened the doors to a second residence hall in Atlantic City, in another key step toward revitalizing and growing the resort town beyond its historic casino industry.
Located in the city’s Chelsea Heights section, the complex at Atlantic and South Providence avenues includes 416 beds across a mix of apartment- and suite-style units. The project has expanded the university’s housing supply in the city to nearly 1,000 beds, following the completion of a residence hall that opened in 2018 alongside a new academic building, under a plan to create a beachfront campus that would infuse the neighborhood with students and school personnel.
On Wednesday, Stockton officials welcomed elected leaders and members of Atlantic City Development Corp., the project’s master developer, to unveil the new 135,000-square-foot, six-story building.
“I want you to know how excited we are to finally step inside and tour this amazing new building,” Stockton President Harvey Kesselman said, according to the university’s write-up of the ceremony. “Today represents another incredible milestone on this exciting journey.”
As the school noted, most of the suites include four single bedrooms, a common area, two bathrooms and a full kitchen. The building also has a lounge on each floor, a meeting room, a business center and laundry facilities, while students have views of the beach, the Atlantic City boardwalk and O’Donnell Park, with access to a courtyard with outside seating.
The facility is a short walk from the first residence hall and the 56,000-square-foot academic building, both of which are part of the Atlantic City Gateway project. The master-planned public-private development also included a new 72,000-square-foot headquarters tower for South Jersey Gas, which opened in fall 2018.
“Congratulations to all,” said Jon F. Hanson, the chairman of The Hampshire Cos., who also serves as AC Devco’s chairman. “I’m proud of the work that we were able to do here.”
AC Devco President Chris Paladino added: “This is another step in Stockton University’s journey of not only building a state-of-the-art urban campus, but more importantly building a community within a community in Atlantic City.”
Wednesday’s ceremony followed a move by Stockton’s board of trustees to rename the first residence hall in honor of Kesselman, who is retiring as the university’s fifth president on June 30.
“Today marks a significant milestone for our institution as we celebrate the opening of yet another state-of-the-art facility that will provide our students a safe, comfortable and welcoming home away from home,” said Raymond Ciccone, the chair of the Stockton board.
Kesselman, for his part, said the new residence hall continues the “incredible partnership” involving Stockton, the city of Atlantic City, Atlantic County, regional and state leaders and AC Devco. He also touted the support of state Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, calling the lawmaker “one of Stockton’s staunchest allies in fighting for equity in higher education funding.”
“I am the luckiest person in the world to have had the privilege of leading Stockton’s efforts to be an economic driver and a community-engaged anchor institution in this great city,” he said. “Thank you to my Stockton colleagues, partners and friends for working together to achieve our collective vision for a growing, vibrant Atlantic City campus.”
Philadelphia-based O’Donnell & Naccarato provided structural engineering services for the new residence hall after doing the same for the initial phase.
“O&N is honored to partner with AC Devco and architect Thriven Design to help Stockton University expand its already impressive presence in Atlantic City,” said Anthony Naccarato, the firm’s president. “These buildings will ensure that the university is well positioned to continue attracting the best and brightest minds for many years to come.”