(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Vince Mazzeo, John Armato and Thomas Giblin to create the Garden State Growth Zone at Atlantic City International Airport and surrounding areas was approved by the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee Monday afternoon.
Under the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program and the Economic Redevelopment and Growth Grant Program, qualified business located in a Garden State Growth Zone (GSGZ) benefit from enhanced incentives offered only to businesses located in GSGZs. The state currently has five designated Garden State Growth Zones: Atlantic City, Camden, Passaic, Paterson, and Trenton.
“Atlantic City Airport can become an aviation hub in South Jersey,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “It’s proximity to educational institutions, such as Stockton Aviation Research and Technology Park, creates enormous potential for development of new aviation technology and putting Atlantic and the state on the forefront of the industry. Designating the airport and its surrounding area as a Garden State Growth Zone would be a win-win for the city and its residents.”
The bill creates a new Garden State Growth Zone within an “aviation district,” which is defined to mean all areas within the boundaries of the Atlantic City International Airport and the Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center, and the area within a one-mile radius of the outermost boundary of that airport and technical center.
“This is an opportunity for innovation, aviation educational research and economic development in Atlantic City,” said Armato (D-Atlantic). “Creating a 6th Garden State Growth Zone in and around the Atlantic City airport would bring high paying skilled jobs, business growth and lend to the stabilization of the local economy.”
“There’s an opportunity here to bridge aviation with education while building up Atlantic City’s airport center,” said Giblin (D-Essex). “Using the benefits of creating a Garden State Growth Zone, the state can generate the type of long term investment very much needed in Atlantic City.”
The bill extends the deadline for applications three years, from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2022 for businesses in an aviation district to apply for enhanced incentives under the program.
The bill will now go the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.