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Contact: Phil Sheridan, 215-597-0865
National Park Service Announces Termination of Fort Hancock Rehabilitation Agreement
PHILADELPHIA – National Park Service (NPS) Northeast Regional Director Dennis R. Reidenbach today announced that an independent third party has concluded its final review of the financing commitments submitted by Sandy Hook Partners, LLC (SHP) for the rehabilitation of historic Fort Hancock at Sandy Hook. Based on its review of all the information submitted, the independent third party reviewer, Maurice Robinson and Associates LLC, 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.
The NPS will consider and explore all available options for preserving Historic Fort Hancock, including continuing development discussions with Rutgers University and Brookdale Community College for their joint potential development of educational facilities at Fort Hancock, and the NPS will explore other compatible adaptive reuse possibilities for Fort Hancock including using the authority legislated by the Congress to the NPS to enter into another lease agreement with a private entity for park compatible uses to preserve, rehabilitate and adaptively reuse the historic buildings.
This final decision comes after detailed reviews since March 2009 of the financial commitments submitted by SHP. In March and June of this year, in accordance with the terms of the lease between the NPS and SHP, SHP submitted information that outlined its evidence of sufficient 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 (CHM). Based on its review of all information submitted, the NPS determined that the financing commitments made by SHP were insufficient to meet the purposes and financial requirements of the lease.
In August, in accordance with the terms and provisions of the lease between the NPS and SHP, SHP requested a third party independent review of the NPS review and final “Insufficiency Decision.” The NPS and SHP retained by mutual agreement Maurice Robinson and Associates, LLC as the independent third party reviewer. The third party review was completed October 8, 2009. The review consisted of a thorough review of the Lease and all materials and information submitted by SHP through June 25, 2009.
This notice 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 in not affected by the decision with respect to the original lease.