The site, adjacent to the Federal Aviation Administration’s William J. Hughes Technical Center, has the capacity to offer a total of 400,000 square feet of research and office space when all seven planned buildings are constructed. The facility could generate more than 2,000 high-paying jobs related to research and development of the FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), including new air traffic control capabilities and the integration of unmanned aircraft systems into the National Airspace System.
“It was a very tortuous process but this is going to be a tremendous opportunity,” said U.S. Rep Frank LoBiondo, who represents southern New Jersey’s 2nd District and chairs the House Aviation Committee. “All of us are very appreciative that Stockton decided to be involved and to oversee the project.”
The FAA today reassigned the lease to the SARTP for a period of 50 years with provisions for extensions. The South Jersey Economic Development District, an agency which is no longer involved with developing the research park, transferred the lease it formerly held on land.
Construction is expected to begin on the first building by the end of the year, said Joseph Sheairs, executive director of the SARTP. Plans call for a 66,000-square-foot building with 49,000 square feet of research and office space, with the FAA receiving 7,000 square feet of space.
“This is a key milestone in the evolution of the SARTP which has been realized through the efforts of many,” Sheairs said. “The SARTP will promote collaborative research between academia, industry, and government while spurring economic growth across Atlantic County, New Jersey and the nation.”
The university has assigned development and management responsibilities to the SARTP.
New Vistas of Linwood, NJ was designated in 2012 as the site’s developer.
At a ceremony at Stockton marking the transfer of the lease, Anne Harlan, vice president of the board and a former director of the FAA Technical Center, said: “This achievement is the result of tireless dedication from Stockton University, the SARTP staff, Atlantic County, the State of New Jersey, and the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center. The SARTP Board of Directors could not be more pleased and has great hopes for the future.”
The agreement was previously signed by Dr. Edward H. Salmon, board president of the Stockton Aviation Research & Technology Park, Inc., who could not attend.