Senate Panel Advances Sweeney-Van Drew Bill to Create Garden State Growth Zone for Atlantic City Airport

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Jeff Van Drew to create a Garden State Growth Zone at Atlantic City International Airport and surrounding areas was approved by the Senate Economic Growth Committee today.

“Atlantic City is making an economic recovery that offers the opportunity for continued growth and development,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “The International Airport can play a significant role as an aviation hub for the entire region. The designation of the airport and the surrounding area will help to support the expansion of the aviation industry, the business community and the educational institutions in the region.”

“This is an opportunity for innovation, aviation educational research and economic development in South Jersey,” said Senator Van Drew (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). “Establishing a Garden State Growth Zone in and around the Atlantic City airport will bring high paying jobs, business growth and economic opportunities for the entire region. The airport’s proximity to educational institutions creates enormous potential for development of new aviation technology that will put the Atlantic City region in the forefront of the aviation industry.

Under the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program and the Economic Redevelopment and Growth Grant Program, qualified business located in a Garden State Growth Zone 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.

The bill, S-2307, 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.

The legislation 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.