The NextGen industry is expanding in southern New Jersey with plans for an International Aviation Center for Excellence located at the site of the Atlantic City Race Course in the township of Hamilton, NJ.
South Jersey Economic Development District Executive Director Gordon Dahl recently unveiled a rendering of the conceptual aviation technology center to the Township of Hamilton Committee.
“This project will help increase the economic footprint of the NextGen Industry in southern New Jersey,” stated Dahl. “The IACE in conjunction with the upcoming groundbreaking of the first building of the nearly completed Next Generation Aviation Research & Technology Park (ARTP) could bring an estimated 5,000 jobs to the area.”
Included in the project would be the development of six office buildings, potential on-site corporate or academic housing, a transit center, a 20-story hotel, renovations of the race track’s grandstand area, and related infrastructure and road work over the more than 250-acre site.
The estimated cost of the project ranges from $300 million to $400 million, according to Dahl. The cost range is based on several factors, including total square footage of offices, final size of the conference hotel, and the adaptive reuse strategy for the racetrack grandstand, he added.
The project was designed by a team of architects engaged by the SJEDD, including Environetics, SOSH Architects and LWDMR Architects.
The IACE would be developed in conjunction with the construction of the Next Generation ARTP in neighboring Egg Harbor Township. The first building of the Next Generation ARTP is scheduled to break ground early this year.
The ARTP will be home to a state-of-the-art research facility that will meet current and future demands of the nation’s air transportation system. The first building will consist of 66,000 square feet of adaptable research space, a media room and classrooms. When fully developed, the ARTP will consist of seven buildings encompassing 400,000 square feet of research and development facilities and create an estimated 2,000 new high tech jobs.
A recent study found southern New Jersey, which is home to several key and unique aviation facilities including the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center, to be a prime location for the development and testing of unmanned aerial vehicles commonly known as drones, according to officials.
“The IACE would be an ideal location for the establishment of the UAV industry in southern New Jersey,” said Dahl. “The UAV market is expected to expand over the next decade and could bring as many as 23,000 jobs to the nation, many of which could be located here in southern New Jersey.”
Another key initiative that plays an important role in the development of the aviation industry in southern New Jersey includes the recent opening of the Aviation Institute at Atlantic Cape Community College.
For more information: SJEDD.com