HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — It’s been nearly five years since the Atlantic City Race Course ceased operations at its facility in Mays Landing. There finally appears to be some movement to create development on the 455-acre site.
Attorney Kevin Diduch from the firm of Maley Givens, a corporation hired by the Hamilton Township Committee to create a redevelopment plan, addressed the governing body on Monday, Oct. 7, to explain possible redevelopment plans for the site.
The firm helped the committee formulate a redevelopment plan for the township that includes tax incentives for developers.
On the agenda was a proposed memorandum of understanding with Greenwood ACRA, the owner of the property. “This agreement will provide for an escrow account for the potential developer to meet with township planning officials to create a redevelopment agreement,” Diduch said.
Diduch said that a proposal for the site could include a gaming facility, hotel, convention facility and a residential component.
Committeewoman Judy Link questioned whether the parts of the existing building that includes asbestos would be remediated. “It is likely that any of the dilapidated structures would be demolished,” Diduch said. “That is something that could be included in any negotiations.”
Deputy Mayor Roger Silva, who chaired the meeting, was excited about the prospect of development at the dormant site. “This is the first positive development since the track closed,” he said.
“This is the reason we went through the redevelopment process,” Committeeman John Kurtz said.
Also at the meeting, Silva and township solicitor Robert Sandman provided an update on the condition of the dam at Lake Lenape that is co-owned by Hamilton Township and Atlantic County.
“Our dam committee, consisting of township and county officials, met earlier today to discuss both short-term and long-term goals for the dam,” Silva said.
That meeting followed the previous week’s meeting of the Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders where Mays Landing residents questioned the status of the dam.
“There is a short-term goal to focus on the flood gates at the powerhouse on the site,” Sandman said. “The long-term goal is to replace the dam.”
According to township engineer Steven Filippone, studies and approvals by numerous state agencies could lead to the granting of permits by next September to commence work on the dam.