A weekly update of stories previously reported.
Three years ago: Ventnor firm awarded contract to build hotel near the Atlantic City International Airport
With the NextGen project and expansion at the Atlantic City International Airport looming the need for a hotel at the Airport Circle in Egg Harbor Township was a high priority.
The South Jersey Transportation Authority, which operates the airport, awarded the contract for a new hotel near the facility Dec. 15, 2009, to Argus Development Corporation Inc. of Ventnor.
The plans for the hotel included 135 rooms, among which would be some extended-stay suites; about 6,000 square feet of conference space; 22,000 square feet of retail space; and possibly a restaurant on 13.5 acres at Airport Circle near Delilah and Tilton roads.
Plans called for construction to begin in the middle of this year, but owner Lester Argus said the project is on hold until the plans to reconfigure the traffic circle are finalized.
Argus said the problem is the stalled plans to connect Amelia Earhardt Drive with the Atlantic City Expressway over the circle. The South Jersey Transportation Authority decided last week to split the project into two phases to expedite the process.
Argus said the firm will not move forward until that is resolved.
“We don’t have an answer on what they want to do with that,” he said. “We have our plans for the property but we need to know where the access will be. It threw our plans in a holding pattern.”
Two and a half years ago: Former Atlantic City police chief resigns
John J. Mooney III served in the Atlantic City Police Department for 34 years, but his career ended May 27, 2010, when he resigned his position instead of being demoted. Mooney claimed the act was a politically motivated “scheme” to hurt him personally and allow Mayor Lorenzo Langford to take full control of the city’s law enforcement.
Mooney filed a lawsuit in April 2010 asking to be returned to his position as chief. Current Chief Ernest Jubilee was sworn in Feb. 3.
Mooney said the litigation is still moving through the court system, and there are no settlement talks between him and the city. He declined further comment.
Atlantic City Solicitor Braun Littlefield said the process was still under litigation and declined comment. He said the matter would be resolved through a court ruling or a settlement by the parties.
Sixteen months ago: Muslim Cultural Complex receives Planning Board approval
The Muslim Community Organization of South Jersey received approval from the Egg Harbor Township Planning Board in July 2011 to build the Mainland’s first Muslim Cultural Complex on English Creek Avenue on the site of the former John Couchoud Community Center and the historic McKee City No. 6 school.
The organization has held events at the site, including a celebration in October for the Eid Al Adha holiday, but the building has yet to open.
Muhammad Ayub, spokesman for the Islamic Center, said the center is still waiting to hear approval from the Pinelands Commission about the plans and hopes to get the update by early next year.
“It takes a long time,” he said. “We have no problem waiting through the process. We are in no rush.”