Showboat Exterior

Aerial view of Showboat Casino Hotel, in Atlantic City, Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014.

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP — Tower Investments will pay an additional $1 million and cover Stockton University’s operating costs for the Showboat Casino as part of an amended deal to extend the sale of the property until Jan. 15.

Stockton’s board of trustees approved the amended agreement at a special meeting Monday, which was the original closing date on the sale.

According to the agreement:

— The purchase price increases from $22 million to $23 million.

— The $1.1 million that was put into escrow for the original sale will be released to Stockton to cover operating costs incurred since the original sales agreement in September.

— Another $1.1 million will be paid in advance to cover anticipated operating costs from Nov. 9 through Jan. 15.

— Another $1 million will be put in escrow to be applied to the purchase process or liquidated damages.

Stockton general counsel Michael Angulo said Monday that the $2.2 million to cover operating costs has been received, and the additional $1 million must be deposited in escrow by Nov. 30.

Stockton interim President Harvey Kesselman called the new agreement a positive for Tower Investments and Stockton.

“Bart Blatstein (Tower CEO) is clearly committed to this project,” Kesselman said after the meeting. “I feel very comfortable that we have an agreement that will be fulfilled.”

Angulo said Blatstein also agreed to a personal guaranty for the $23 million purchase price.

Stockton officials said Blatstein asked for an extension for tax purposes.

The new agreement also gives Stockton the option to extend the closing date for another 60 days.

In a statement, Stockton officials said Blatstein asked for an extension for tax purposes.

Blatstein, in a brief phone conversation Monday night, said he would have had to pay the carrying costs anyway, had he settled in November as planned, and he is trying to do something positive for the city.

Stockton purchased Showboat for $18 million in December intending to convert it into an Island Campus. Instead it became embroiled in a conflict over two land-use covenants, one of which requires a casino on the site, and the second of which prohibits a casino.

Blatstein said in September that the covenant problem would be his to solve.

Another lawsuit by developer Glenn Straub remains unresolved. Straub’s KK Ventures signed an agreement in April to buy Showboat for $26 million, but that deal was never completed. Stockton won a legal challenge in court filed by Straub who wanted to extend the contract. Straub can appeal that decision.

KK Ventures sued again in September, asking that a clause in that sales contract be enforced to require Stockton to provide Showboat’s excess power to the nearby closed Revel Casino Hotel, owned by Polo North, another Straub company. That case has not yet been decided.

Contact: 609-272-7241

Twitter @ACPressDamico

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