TRENTON, NJ – Efforts to revitalize the historic Hinchliffe Stadium got a major boost Wednesday with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA)’s approval of an Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) Program tax credit.
Vacant for decades, the redevelopment will include a museum honoring the site’s history as a Negro League baseball stadium, a stadium and recreational center for the Paterson community, affordable housing for seniors, a restaurant and event space, and a parking garage.
“The Hinchliffe Stadium redevelopment is an exciting project that will have a significant impact in Paterson and provide a valuable economic boost for New Jersey at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt our economy,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan following the unanimous vote by the agency’s Board of Directors. “This project will create jobs, provide much-needed affordable housing for seniors, and bring valuable community assets to Paterson. Furthermore, rehabilitating a historic landmark that was the site of major accomplishments by Black athletes will send an important message that New Jersey values our diverse residents and is committed to supporting and celebrating their achievements.
"The NJEDA is proud to support this project and we look forward to working with Mayor Sayegh to see it through to completion.”
The revitalized Hinchliffe Stadium will incorporate a variety of valuable community assets that will provide resources and job opportunities for Paterson residents. The site will include a 7,800-seat stadium and recreational and cultural facility with a museum dedicated to Negro League baseball. The project will also include 75 units of affordable housing for seniors and a 12,000 square-foot restaurant and event space. To accommodate residents and visitors, the project also includes a 315-spot parking garage.
All three of Paterson’s legislative delegation weighed in on the vote of support including Senator Nellie Pou who said that resurrection of Hinchliffe Stadium is about more than an historic ballpark. It’s “about uplifting a neighborhood in a city that is making strides toward its own revitalization,” Pou said. Lamenting the state of decay the structure has fallen into, Pou foreshadowed a brighter future adding that “today we imagine a new Hinchliffe that will not only look back at the sacrifice and endurance of such players as Paterson’s own Larry Doby, but will one day provide an opportunity for future boys and girls who can be inspired by its very existence toward their own unique greatness.”
Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter said that she was excited for the redevelopment project because the grand scale of it makes it one that will benefit both Paterson and the State of New Jersey. “The Paterson community has been hit hard during COVID-19. This project will play a pivotal role in helping families and businesses rebuild stronger post-pandemic."
"The Hinchcliffe Stadium revitalization project is great news for the City of Paterson," said Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly offered of the “all-encompassing project” is the type that changes communities and its citizens grow through job creation. The economic boost and safe housing for seniors it will also provide, Wimberly said, “are more than welcomed.”
“Paterson deserves it,” Wimberly offered before giving a nod to the revitalized stadium’s cultural impact that will “finally recognize Paterson’s esteemed place in sports history."
“The revitalization of Hinchliffe Stadium is the economic boost Paterson needs as we begin our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to build up our city,” Mayor Andre Sayegh said, offering hai gratitude to the members of the Paterson City Council and Board of Education that had supported it to date. “Hinchliffe Stadium is an iconic part of Paterson’s history that has been left vacant and in disrepair for too long. The NJEDA support approved today will allow us to finally begin the process of restoring this historic site and adapting it to the needs of today’s Paterson residents. I am thrilled the NJEDA Board has chosen to support this project and eagerly anticipate the many benefits this project will bring to Paterson.”
Major League Baseball legend Dwight “Doc” Gooden also shared enthusiam for the project saying it will “not only have a positive impact on people's lives, but it will also pay proper tribute to the Negro League legends who played on this field," while Larry Doby Jr. whose father Lary Doby, a Paterson native and baseball Hall-of-Famer who was the second Black player in the Major League, concluded with his hope that “other Patersonians can excel on this hallowed ground just like my father did.”
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