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Hinchliffe Stadium Redevelopment Agreement Approved

Hinchliffe Stadium

A proposed renovation of Hinchliffe Stadium took another step forward Tuesday, when the Paterson City Council approved a redevelopment agreement for the project. 

Renovations to Hinchliffe Stadium–a former Negro Leagues ballpark–are proposed as part of a roughly $76-million development project that includes apartments, a restaurant, and a four-story parking garage. Paterson mayor Andre Sayegh has asked the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to earmark for the project a $49 million share of $130 million in previously approved state tax credits for Paterson development initiatives.

After an earlier version of the plan ran into city council opposition, a reworked proposal has been gaining favor with council members, a trend that continued Tuesday with its approval of a redevelopment agreement. The vote does not finalize the project, but some city officials expressed their hope that the decision would help it come to fruition. More from the Paterson Times:

Council members approved the agreement in a 7-2 vote on Tuesday night. Some had objected to the agreement for the past months forcing the developers to make revisions.

Under the changes, the city will no longer be required to take on debt to support the renovations, according to Baye Adofo-Wilson, primary developer on the project. Low-income housing component has been changed from family to senior housing. And a daycare has been added to the project.

“Now we had some input on the redeveloper’s agreement,” said council president Maritza Davila. “I want this project to move forward. I’m hopeful.”

Project officials are hoping to break ground in the middle of next year. A few steps remain in the planning process, however, including consideration of the tax credits application by the state.

Renovations to Hinchliffe Stadium are estimated to account for about $31.4 million of the project’s cost, and would put the facility back into working order as a multi-sport venue. 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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