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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ-A controversial plan to build a massive mixed-use project on 800 acres of reclaimed landfills in the Meadowlands took another turn earlier this week when a US Bankruptcy Court judge dismissed a Chapter 11 reorganization motion filed by EnCap Golf Holdings, a published report in The Record newspaper stated. Without bankruptcy protection, EnCap, a subsidiary of Raleigh, NC-based Cherokee Investment Partners, could face a number of drawn-out lawsuits from 200 unsecured creditors, according to the article.

“I regret the ending,” says Judge Novalyn Winfield, as quoted in The Record. “But a superb result just wasn’t to be.”

This is just the latest in a string of setbacks for the developer, which had sought to build golf courses, 750 hotel rooms, 750,000 square feet of office, 2,000 homes and 100,000 square feet of retail space at the site. The project has been plagued by cost overruns and delays, until in May, EnCap filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, a state agency, approved EnCap’s participation in the project back in 2004. According to the Record report, the Meadowlands Commission and insurance giant AIG testified that negotiations over a disputed $148-million insurance policy that was to finish the landfill cleanup at the site had fallen apart. The commission then sided with Wachovia, which wants to foreclose on the property, in asking that the case be dismissed.

“For months we have tried to work with AIG and other stakeholders to move this process forward through negotiations,” says Robert Ceberio, executive director of the commission, in a statement to GlobeSt.com. “Unfortunately that hasn’t happened. We have little choice but to push forward in court in an effort to get this cleanup moving to best protect residents and the environment.”

The project even spawned an assembly bill to increase oversight of major projects that receive $50 million or more of public funds.

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