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    National Recreation Area NY,NJ

NPS Announces Termination of Fort Hancock Rehabilitation Agreement

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Date: August 12, 2009
Contact: Brian Feeney, 718-354-4606

Philadelphia – National Park Service (NPS) Northeast Regional Director Dennis R. Reidenbach today announced that the NPS has concluded its evaluation of the financing commitments submitted by Sandy Hook Partners, LLC (SHP) for the rehabilitation of historic Fort Hancock at Sandy Hook.

In accordance with the terms of the lease between the NPS and SHP, SHP submitted information in March and June that outlined its financing commitments for Phase I of the project. The NPS evaluated this information with the assistance of consultants at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LLP and Capital Hotel Management, LLC.

Based on its review of all information submitted, the NPS has determined that the financing commitments made by SHP are insufficient to meet the purposes and requirements of the lease. Based on this determination, the NPS has notified Sandy Hook Partners President James S. Wassel that the lease is null and void.

Under the terms of the lease, SHP may request arbitration of the NPS determination that its financing commitments are insufficient.

This notice effectively stops any development plans and activities for 33 of the 36 buildings originally designated for rehabilitation. In 2007 the NPS and SHP entered into a separate lease agreement for three Fort Hancock buildings: the Chapel, Post Theater and the Headquarters building. SHP performed rehabilitation work on those three buildings and the lease for those buildings is not affected by the decision with respect to the original lease.

"It is unfortunate that Sandy Hook Partners was unable to secure a financing package that would preserve dozens of important historic structures at Fort Hancock," said Reidenbach. "The National Park Service is committed to the idea of using all available tools to preserve Fort Hancock for future generations," he added.

Reidenbach indicated that the NPS will consider all available options for saving Fort Hancock, including the authority given by the Congress to enter into another lease agreement with a private entity to rehabilitate and adaptively reuse the historic buildings. -NPS-

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