The owners of four New Jersey motels agreed to sell their properties so they can be demolished and turned into open space with a $2.45 million federal grant intended to mitigate flooding, Democratic U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker said Tuesday.
The owners of the Bay Point Inn, Hi-Ho Motel, Destiny Inn and Budget Motel in Egg Harbor have agreed to sell to the township for the properties' assessed values, Township Administrator Peter Miller told The Press of Atlantic City.
About $2 million of the grant is for purchase, while the other $454,000 is for demolition, engineering and legal costs.
The land on each side of the road where the motels are located is narrow and surrounded by wetlands making it subject to flooding during high tides and heavy rainfall.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency grant is for removing structures that have had repetitive flood insurance losses greater than the value of the properties, Miller said.
The four hotels have had a total of 56 flooding claims paid out over the last 10 years and experts do not expect the situation to improve.
The area, which is one of three main entryways to Atlantic City, has long been criticized as blighted.
"This federal funding will help with the robust mitigation and resiliency project that the township has planned, and it will help enhance the gateway into Atlantic City," Menendez said in a press release.
The Economy Inn refused to sell to the township, so it will be left in the middle of the empty properties, Miller said.
Another motel, the Sea Breeze, located at a higher section of West Atlantic City, also agreed to sell but hasn't had the necessary repetitive losses to quality for the grant.