400-acre development planned for corner of A.C. airport

South Jersey Transit Authority to partner with California-based Industrial Realty Group on project

A plan to develop 400 acres in the northwest corner of Atlantic City International Airport moved one step closer to reality Tuesday with the announcement that Industrial Realty Group has reached an agreement with the South Jersey Transportation Authority on a ground lease.

The project is being called mixed-use, but it will include only industrial and air-related development — not residential or retail — according to a spokesperson for California-based IRG, one of the largest industrial real estate developers in the nation.

IRG has acquired/developed more than $1 billion in property across the country. It is known as a leader in adaptive reuse.

IRG President Stuart Lichter said the firm is eager to get going.

“IRG has a wealth of experience in the aviation segment of commercial development,” he said. “We have already discussed site opportunities with many job-creating tenants. We believe this momentum will continue to grow because of the property’s location and airport proximity.”

The deal moved quickly.

In July 2022, SJTA authorized the executive director, Stephen Dougherty, to enter negotiations and execute an agreement for the development of the northwest quadrant of the airport. This lease agreement is the culmination of efforts from the SJTA and IRG under the July 2022 authorization.

“We could not have found a better partner to make this project a reality,” Dougherty said. “(We) look forward to a rewarding and mutually beneficial business relationship with IRG for many years to come.”

As part of the agreement, SJTA and IRG agree to work cooperatively towards the construction of a new, mixed-use development with the potential for multimodal infrastructure.

IRG also has been working with Atlantic County Economic Alliance on the deal that could stimulate tens of millions of dollars in new private investment in the region.

“IRG’s proposed development supports our mission to diversify and strengthen the economy of Atlantic County,” ACEA President Lauren Moore said. “We look forward to working with IRG and the South Jersey Transportation Authority to support this exciting project.”

Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson was pleased to learn about the signing of the lease.

“This agreement is conducive with our efforts to explore the development of an air cargo maintenance and repair facility that could result in hundreds of short-term construction jobs and many more long-term jobs,” Levinson said.