The developer hoping to turn the former Seashore Gardens retirement home in Atlantic City into an apartment complex will get a $1 million federal grant to help fund the project, state officials announced Friday.
Homes Now Inc. got the grant to help fund construction of the Beachview Residence Apartments complex approved for a site where three vacant buildings stand at 3850 Atlantic Ave. in the city’s Chelsea neighborhood.
The project is one of 18 statewide slated for a combined $18.7 million in low-income-housing tax credits. Another $523,167 will go to Walters Development Group for its planned 24-unit Laurel Oaks Family Apartments 2 in Barnegat Township, according to a statement released Friday by the New Jersey Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency.
Funding guidelines put age restrictions on some Beachview units and mandate that people with special needs live in 15 of 58 units planned, the agency’s release states.
Collectively assessed at $7.4 million, the properties are owned by Cherry Hill-based Atlantic 17 LLC.
Atlantic 17 principal John Costanza, who also heads Costanza Construction, described the developments as “preliminary” via email Friday.
“We won’t know anything firm until September,” Costanza wrote.
The development would rid the resort of an eyesore picked as one of its worst by readers polled by The Press of Atlantic City in 2010, eight years after Seashore Gardens vacated the 94-year-old structure and moved to Galloway Township.
Despite opposition from Chelsea residents, the city Planning Board approved Beachview a year ago.
City Council voted 8-0 in support shortly thereafter. But before voting in favor of the initiative, 6th Ward Councilman Tim Mancuso cited concerns about using beachfront property for a development that would pay less in taxes. NJHMFA rules mean Beachview will pay taxes equivalent to 6.28 percent of its rental revenue.
Seven years ago, that wasn't the plan. But by the time legal challenges from the adjacent Enclave condominium high-rise had progressed through the Supreme Court, the recession had all but killed development.
Residents of the 27-story Enclave sued the city after their objections failed to stop the Planning Board from approving an application in 2005 for Chelsea Residence, a 23-level condominium building.
Their legal argument hinged mainly on the distinction between rehabilitation and redevelopment designations for the area.
Lawyers for Enclave also argued that local officials should reconsider the project because it was approved just before a City Hall corruption scandal came to light.
The investigation yielded home confinement for Chelsea Residence developer Frank Barbera for offering bribes and a federal prison sentence for former City Council President Craig Callaway, who also sat on the Planning board, for taking them.
Judicial decisions on the Enclave suit and subsequent appeals noted the Chelsea Residence project was never named in the investigation.
All three courts upheld the Planning Board approval and ruled against the Enclave.
Homes Now Inc. representatives did not return a call for comment Friday. The Brick Township, Ocean County-based company also got an $870,000 grant in January from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York for the Beachview project.
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