Stockton University has formally turned ownership of the iconic Carnegie Center back to the city of Atlantic City.
In short, there is a reverter clause in the original agreement that requires Stockton to use the Carnegie Center for certain qualifying educational purposes, or the ownership legally returns to the city.
The historic Carnegie Library, built in 1904, served as the city’s library until the library moved to a more modern facility in 1985. The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority acquired the then-abandoned building in the 1990s and spent several million dollars to restore it.
The CRDA conveyed ownership of the property to Stockton in 2009 and the university
used the building for various academic programs and events in the city.
When the new Stockton Atlantic City campus opened in fall 2018, the university began moving those programs to the new Academic Center.
The terms of the deed conveying the property to Stockton contain restrictions on the use
of the property, requiring it be used for specific business-related academic curricula or
other approved uses. During COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, Stockton suspended
plans to reopen the site. Over the last year, the university reviewed facility needs in
Atlantic City and determined it will be unable to use Carnegie Center for the restricted
uses. Therefore, in accordance with the terms of the deed, ownership of the property
has reverted to the city.
Stockton President Harvey Kesselman said reverting ownership back to the city will
provide new opportunities for the city’s residents and ensure the historic building
remains in active use for their benefit.
“Our understanding is that the Carnegie Center will be used to provide academic and
other support services for at-risk teenagers and young adults in Atlantic City. We
applaud those efforts and look forward to those students becoming future Ospreys here
at Stockton,” Kesselman said.