NEW BRUNSWICK - In 2016, Rutgers University proudly opened “The Yard,” a student housing and retail complex along College Avenue built under the direction of the New Brunswick Development Corp.

Now the corporation, the non-profit development arm for the City of New Brunswick and commonly known as DevCo, is replicating the housing and commercial construction more than two hours away, on the shores of Atlantic City.

On a 10-acre tract of land once slated to be the site of the Hard Rock Casino, DevCo is now building housing and retail and medical office space, and classroom and faculty offices for Stockton University’s Atlantic City campus. The site sits at the boardwalk on the south side of the city, just steps from Ventnor. 

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DevCo, which purchased the oceanfront property and is directing the development, is working on the $210 million project in a partnership with Stockton University, Atlantic County, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and South Jersey Gas.

The gas company will occupy 80,000-square-feet of office space for its headquarters in the finished project.

DevCo officials, which previously directed work for Rutgers in New Brunswick and Newark, said this is the first effort for another university in another part of the state, 

“Given our expertise, we were asked by the state to get involved,” explained Christopher Paladino, executive director of the New Brunswick agency..

Dennis Levinson, the executive for Atlantic County, which sold the bonds for the Gateway project, praised DevCo for the agency’s work on the quickly-evolving project overlooking the beach.

“They've done a good job,” said Levinson, who said he is familiar with DevCo’s reputation and has met with principals for the agency.

“We believe they are a top-notch firm,” Levinson said.

Gateway will offer housing for about 520 students, more than The Yard in New Brunswick, which has a capacity for 442 students. The look of the communal green in Atlantic City is very similar to The Yard in New Brunswick, and should be instantly recognizable for any Rutgers student or faculty visiting Atlantic City. 

Stockton’s academic building at the site has been designed to accommodate 1,800 students.

With student apartment units along the city’s boardwalk and beach front, the residential building will have storage space for bicycles and surfboards, as well as majestic waterfront views that are widely uncommon from standard student dorms.