Commissioner Susan Bass Levin Announces Agreement with EnCap Golf, Marking Largest Brownfields to Greenfields Initiative in State
Entire Region to
Benefit from Environmental Preservation and
LYNDHURST, N.J. - Susan Bass Levin, Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and Chair of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (NJMC) today announced that the NJMC has entered into an agreement with EnCap Golf Holdings to transform 950 acres of landfills into golf courses, a resort destination and a beautifully designed pedestrian village to benefit the entire region. The Meadowlands Golf Redevelopment Project is the largest brownfields to greenfields redevelopment initiative in New Jersey.
The announcement today marks a significant step forward in the remediation and redevelopment of the Meadowlands District. "The Meadowlands Golf Project demonstrates Governor McGreevey's Smart Growth goals of curbing sprawl, protecting the environment and focusing development on the revitalization of former landfills, said Commissioner Susan Bass Levin. "This project will create a sense of place -- a regreened Meadowlands and a revitalized urban landscape. This is a win-win-win -- for the State, the Meadowlands Commission and the people of New Jersey."
The Meadowlands Golf Redevelopment Project will bring environmental, recreational and economic benefits to the Meadowlands district by converting 950 acres of landfills into greenfields, and permanently preserving 1,250 acres of open space in Lyndhurst, North Arlington, Kearny and Rutherford.
When completed, the
regreened Meadowlands will feature four golf courses - two public courses and two private
courses; hotel and resort complexes; office space; residential housing, including active
adult communities; a village retail center and 45 acres of parks. Four miles of biking and
walking trails will link buildings and parks. A total of 1,250 acres of open space will be
preserved as a direct result of this project.
EnCap will be responsible for the remediation and closure of seven landfills: 1-E and 1-A both formerly operated by the Commission; Erie, presently operated by the Commission; Kingsland, formerly operated by the Bergen County Utility Authority (BCUA); and three abandoned landfills: Avon, Rutherford, and Lyndhurst. The cost to EnCap of the cleanup will be approximately $298.5 million. The remediation of seven landfills will prevent an estimated 12 billion gallons of leachate, a liquid generated through the natural degradation of waste, from entering the local ecosystem over the next 30 years. Converting the landfills to golf courses will create a stretch of green open space from Exits 15W to 16W on the New Jersey Turnpike.
The project will generate significant economic growth for the region by generating approximately $20.16 million annually in property taxes for local municipalities, as well as creating over 7,000 jobs in the next 11 years.
The total financial benefit to the NJMC and the State of New Jersey is estimated at $178 million, including $54.65 million in cash payments to the NJMC from EnCap, $3 million in solid waste costs, which EnCap will assume, and additional solid waste revenue to the NJMC of $35 million. NJMC and the State will also benefit as EnCap assumes responsibility for the closure of the landfills in that the existing closure and post closure accounts will be transferred; $61.5 million to the State General Fund and $24 million to the NJMC. The NJMC will continue to utilize and generate revenues from landfill operations through December 31, 2008 at an estimated revenue of $5 million annually. EnCap will pay for the cost of property acquisition for privately owned land at an estimated cost of $11 million.
Under this agreement, EnCap will build a police substation and an EMS station in both Rutherford and Lyndhurst, and will contribute over $300,000 toward the purchase of fire equipment for Lyndhurst. EnCap will also pay for transportation improvements as needed for the development and will contribute its fair share of costs for transportation improvements needed for the region as identified by the NJMC. EnCap will post a $ 1 million dollar letter of credit to pay for a possible school expansion and will provide shuttle bus transportation for active adults to downtown Rutherford or Lyndhurst.
This agreement will result in a well planned project as envisioned by the new Meadowlands Master Plan, and consistent with the aim of Smart Growth, said Robert Ceberio, Executive Director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission.
The Meadowlands Golf Project is
slated to begin in July 2003.