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OFFICIALS HAIL GARBAGE-TO-GOLF AT MEADOWLANDS
Associated Press, 5/18/04
Lyndhurst - Consistent with the remaking of the Meadowlands from dump to destination, and
with a golf industry trend, state officials announced Tuesday that four capped landfills
will be transformed into a residential and business complex surrounding two 18-hole
EnCap Golf Holdings LLC of Raleigh, N.C. will develop a $1.1 billion, 785-acre site, which
will include two hotels - totaling 750 rooms - and 750,000 square feet of office space.
The project also calls for 100,000 square feet of retail space; 1,130 units of senior
housing, and another 850 market rate units.
Cleanup of the landfills is expected to take four years, and it will take at least another
three years to complete the golf courses and other work. Both golf courses will be open to
The development, which will be spread over parts of Rutherford, Lyndhurst and North
Arlington, was approved by the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, the agency that controls
the 30-square-mile region overlapping Hudson and Bergen Counties. In January, the
commission adopted its first new master plan since its creation in 1971, codifying a shift
in emphasis in recent years from decades of encouraging development and solid waste
disposal to fostering conservation and ecotourism.
EnCap revealed details of the project earlier this month, after closing on a deal in which
it has paid the commission $13 million for the site and put another $3.75 million into
escrow. The state's Economic Development Authority issued $150 million in bonds to finance
the cleanup, which will take place whether the site is developed.
About 70 of the nation's nearly 16,000 golf courses were built on old landfills, strip
mines or industrial brownfields, a concept that began 40 years ago and is picking up steam
despite higher development costs, experts said. Although the trend preserves land, some
environmentalists oppose the approach, cautioning that blighted land requires constant
monitoring and poses unknown health risks.
Gov. James E. McGreevey went to the site Tuesday for an official tee- off of the project,
which he said will provide 2,400 jobs and $19 million in property taxes.
"This $1.1 billion Garbage-to-Golf project will protect the environment, create jobs
and help taxpayers," McGreevey said in statement. * * *
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