Stockton University has been trying for a number of months to sell the former Showboat casino in Atlantic City after the university realized in retrospect that it had made a bad decision in purchasing this casino property which it initially expected to turn into a university campus.
Stockton announced in September that it managed to work past all the legal loopholes and was finally in a position to sell the property. The university stated that it had received a number of proposals from interested parties and was in the process of reviewing and making a final decision. Stockton would later confirm that it had finalized on a buyer but wasn’t willing to disclose the name of the buyer.
The university recently announced that it planned to sell the property to Tower Investments of Philadelphia after its board of trustees had given approval to the $23 million purchase agreement. The University decided to raise the purchase price from $22 million to $23 million because Tower Investments had requested for additional time to close the contract. Tower Investments were okay with the new price and are expected to sign the new contract before 15th of Jan 2016. One of the reasons why Towers agreed to close the deal in the New Year is because it is expected to receive significant tax benefits.
Stockton had $18 million for the former Showboat casino in December 2014 and since it could not proceed with transforming the former casino into a university due to a contractual clause with the neighboring Trump Taj Mahal casino, Stockton had no other option but to sell the property. Stockton was paying around $500,000 each month in maintenance costs and these bills drained the financial reserves of the University as Stockton had to spend close to $7 million in maintenance charges till date.
Now that the a $23 million agreement has been made, Stockton will make up a large percentage of it’s out of pocket expenses but will still be a couple of million short. In a statement, Harvey Kesselman, Interim Stockton President said “The new agreement is positive for Tower Investments and its CEO, Bart Blatstein and for Stockton University” The new agreement also includes a clause for collaboration between the two organizations as students from Stockton will be eligible for outlines internships at the hospitality and tourism management programs in Blaststein’s hotel.
Stockton management were relieved to have finally reached an agreement that will help them sell the ex-Showboat casino and put an end to the controversial purchase that cost the former president Herman Saatkamp his job.