LYNDHURST, NJ-A troubled redevelopment project in New Jersey’s Meadowlands has apparently found a rescuer in the form of the Trump Organization. According to a source familiar with the deal, Donald Trump yesterday signed an agreement with Cherokee Investment Partners to take over redevelopment of the 800-acre former landfill site from Encap Golf Holdings, which had been chosen by the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission to remediate and redevelop the tract. Cherokee is Encap’s parent company.
Encap’s plan had called for two golf courses and upwards of 2,000 residences. Although it had a promising start, the project stalled earlier this year as Encap struggled to raise funds and was issued fines from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for failing to control methane emissions from the site and violating several state environmental protection laws. In September and October, the NJMC issued letters threatening to terminate Encap’s development agreement on Nov. 20 unless the company resumed work on the site and paid a $16-million security guarantee. On Oct. 5, the State Environmental Infrastructure Trust cut Encap off from the $300-million pool of low-interest loans that were issued to cover the costs of the project.
According to GlobeSt.com’s source, Trump is in the process of retaining a new master planner for the site. Although no plans have been finalized, Trump envisions an ambitious plan for the site that includes a single, world-class golf course designed by world renowned golf course architect Tom Fazio, who designed the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster.
Also likely in the works for the site are a hotel and more housing than Encap’s plan called for. The source estimates it will take between three and four months to finalize a plan, and the redevelopment could build out to a cost “in excess of $5 billion.” The first step will be to complete the remediation of the site, which lies just off the western spur of the New Jersey Turnpike.
The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission was not involved in the deal and declined tocomment.