ATLANTIC CITY, NJ-This city replaced its scruffy old bus terminal with a new $7.5 million facility just six years ago, and now New Jersey transit is moving to replace it with an even newer one. It’s not that the terminal is already obsolete-city and transit officials have decided that it’s more valuable as a retail site.

That decision involved a little arm-twisting by the Baltimore, MD-based Cordish Co., which is developing The Walk, an upscale, $75 million open shopping complex. The bus terminal sits on one of four corners that make up the focal point of the company’s retail development, and the company convinced local and state officials to move the terminal operations elsewhere.

“Elsewhere” isn’t very far-New Jersey Transit officials plan to build a new, slightly larger bus terminal at a cost of $8 million less than 100 yards down the street from the existing one. To deflect criticism of replacing the new terminal with an even newer one, all for the sake of a retail development, NJ Transit officials have let it be known that it won’t cost the agency anything to build it.

“The Cordish Co. will pay up front for the new building,” according to an NJ Transit spokesperson. “The company will then be reimbursed for the cost through the collection of sales and luxury taxes.”

As far as Cordish’s plans for the existing bus terminal, the company has gotten a commitment from Polo Jeans to occupy most of the building’s rotunda. Boarding areas and other common space will eventually be occupied by a mix of retail stores and restaurants.

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