Paterson City Council rejection of a related lease agreement dealt a setback to a proposed Hinchliffe Stadium renovation project, though the city’s mayor says the effort will continue.
Discussions about bringing the former Negro Leagues ballpark back into working order have been taking place, with Paterson mayor Andre Sayegh supporting a renovation as part of a larger development project. The goal is for the repaired facility to be part of a $70-million initiative that includes new development in the surrounding area, with housing units, a restaurant, and parking garage among the amenities that would be constructed. The proposal calls for a $40 million share of $130 million in previously approved New Jersey tax credits for Paterson development initiatives, making it one of several projects being considered for the credits ahead of a July 1 filing deadline.
As part of the planning for the project, city officials have been discussing a lease extension for Hinchliffe Stadium with the facility’s owner, the Paterson school district. A proposed lease extension was approved by the school board last week, but did not clear the Paterson City Council, which rejected it in a 5-4 vote early Wednesday morning. Sayegh, however, has since insisted that the push for the renovation will continue. More from the Paterson Press:
Sayegh said he would make another try to get council approval before the end of the month. When asked whether his administration and the developers would submit the tax credit application without council support, Sayegh said all options are being considered.
“We’re going to keep pushing forward on Hinchliffe Stadium,” he said. “We have an opportunity to make history.”…
Voting against the lease were council members Maritza Davila, Michael Jackson, Shahin Khalique, Flavio Rivera and Luis Velez.
“You’re asking me to blindly vote on something,” Khalique said, arguing that the administration had not provided complete information on the project.
Hinchliffe Stadium opened in 1932 and hosted the New York Black Yankees and New York Cubans along the way, but it closed in 1997 and has since fallen into a state of decline. Restoration efforts are notable in that Hinchliffe Stadium is one of the few Negro Leagues ballparks that remains standing.
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