In an idea being explored by local officials, redevelopment of nearby land could help fund upgrades to TD Bank Ballpark, home of the Somerset Patriots (independent; Atlantic League).
TD Bank Ballpark originally opened in 1999, and the Patriots are currently locked into a lease that runs through 2032. To explore the potential creation of a revenue stream to help fund improvements, Bridgewater Township, NJ officials will study the idea of redeveloping Somerset County Industrial Improvement Authority-owned land near the ballpark, with funds generated by that development going toward future ballpark improvements.
The study moved forward with a vote on Monday, when the township council referred it to the planning board. Local officials and Patriots owner Steve Kalafer are intrigued by the possibility of using revenue from redevelopment to fund ballpark improvements, but both parties are cautioning that it remains to be seen whether the concept is viable and, if so, what amenities the property could accommodate. More from My Central Jersey:
Kalafer said until the study is completed, it is too early to say what the property can support, whether it’s multi-family housing or another use.
“Just because it is going to the planning board, it’s not a fait accompli,” said Bridgewater Council President Chris Rose.
In a letter to the township, the Somerset County Improvement Authority said the importance of the Somerset Patriots “cannot be overstated.” The authority’s intention is “to create a ballpark property that sustains the current use and allowing for necessary improvements and upgrades so that the ballpark will remain competitive in the market without being a negative impact on county taxpayers.”…
The focus of the redevelopment study will be on the train station and the land to the west of the stadium that is used for parking and extends to the Adult Day Center of Somerset County.
Any final decision on whether or not to move forward with new development will be made as part of a longer process. The study is slated to be completed within a three-to-six-month window, at which point it will return to the township council for further consideration.