With a proposed state program that is to provide nearly $3 million in tax credits still in limbo, the developer behind a renovation of Paterson, NJ’s Hinchliffe Stadium is revising the project’s funding plan.
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. A renovation effort gathered momentum over much of last year, as local officials and developers moved forward with plans to bring the historic ballpark back into working condition for amateur sports as part of a larger development project that will include a 315-space parking garage, 75-unit senior citizen apartment building that includes a child care center, and a restaurant.
One of the funding sources for that plan is supposed to be $2.8 million from a state historic preservation tax program proposed by New Jersey governor Phil Murphy. Although that funding has been pledged for the Hinchliffe Stadium project, the program itself does not officially exist because a bill approving it has yet to be introduced in the state legislature, prompting developer Baye Adofo-Wilson to tentatively tweak the funding model. To make up for the uncertainty over the $2.8 million, Adofo-Wilson is planning to defer that amount from a fee that he is supposed to collect from the project. The project is not expected to be delayed as a result, though other tax credits included in the funding plan still have to be finalized. More from the Paterson Press:
Adofo-Wilson said he tentatively has taken the revenue that was supposed to come from the state historic tax credits out of the financial plan and would make up for that loss by postponing $2.8 million of the $7.9 million fee he’s slated to collect from the job. The developer said he would collect the full fee if the state historic tax credits get enacted, but risks losing that portion of the money if the New Jersey Legislature does not approve the program.
Beyond the state historic tax credits, the Hinchliffe project is still waiting approvals on most of its key funding sources, including the use of $50 million in state economic redevelopment growth (ERG) tax credits, federal low income housing tax credits that are supposed to generate $9.2 million and federal historic tax credits that would produce another $5 million in revenue.
City officials said they plan to meet with the developer and representatives of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) next week to discuss the $50 million in ERG tax credits….
Mayor Andre Sayegh has made rebuilding Hinchliffe one of his top priorities, saying the reopening of the stadium would help revitalize the surrounding neighborhood and spur a citywide renaissance.
Restoration efforts are notable in that Hinchliffe Stadium is one of the few Negro Leagues ballparks that remains standing.
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