Christie says American Dream construction to begin this quarter
Gov. Christopher Christie said last week during a press conference in Little Ferry that construction on the American Dream project in the Meadoweands, formerly Xanadu, will start this quarter.
The $3.7 billion American Dream project, on Route 3 by the MetLife Stadium, includes a mega mall, entertainment center, and indoor ski park.
“I am convinced that in the first quarter of 2013 construction will start on American Dream,” said Christie. “I am convinced that will happen.”
He said negotiations between the New York Giants and New York Jets, who own MetLife Stadium, which is next to the American Dream site, and the Triple Five Developers are down to one issue.
The professional sports teams sought an injunction last June to prevent the developer Triple Five from reviving the project, which has been stalled since 2009 due to financial woes. The lawsuit filed in a state court in Bergen County alleged that Triple Five did not receive their consent to expand the project and also cited traffic impacts.
However, the judge said that the teams could go back to court once the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority’s approval process was complete.
New Schools of Technology building in Secaucus on hold
A campus for the county’s Schools of Technology will not be coming to Secaucus any time soon after the county Board of Freeholders at their last meeting announced that funding is not available. The county had plans to build a new campus for the Schools of Technology. Existing campus buildings are located in North Bergen and Jersey City.
“While it has long been our hope to see a new campus constructed for the Schools of Technology, it is clear that in the current political and economic climate, the needed state support just isn’t going to be there,” said County Executive Tom DeGise. “So we will have to begin putting money into the existing campus buildings. Shiny and new is great. But restored and improved can work too.”
“I expected it,” said Mayor Michael Gonnelli in reaction to the news. “Right now we have been trying to get funding to build a new middle school and we have been told the same thing…that there is no funding available.”
Gonnelli said he has “mixed emotions” about the county school coming to Secaucus because the campus is pegged to be built on the site of the Field Station: Dinosaurs theme park. The dinosaur park has a three-year lease with the town.
“It is open space. It is a beautiful area,” noted Gonnnelli. “I had some concerns but we really didn’t address those…Quite frankly, the county and the schools themselves knew they weren’t going to get the funding.”
Gonnelli said that his priority is to get funding to build the town a new middle school, which is estimated to cost $28 million. Thus far, the town has secured $4 million from developer’s impact fees toward the project.
Secaucus to train school crossing guards, bus drivers to increase student safety
Mayor Michael Gonnelli and Board of Education President John “Jack” McStowe, in conjunction with the Secaucus Police Department, announced on Wednesday a Security and Safety Awareness Training initiative for all crossing guards, town bus drivers, and aides as well as various other town employees to increase student safety.
The goal of the training is to provide the Police Department with additional eyes and ears in the community to report suspicious, potentially unsafe and/or hazardous situations and activities, according to a press statement.
The initiative will focus on information sharing and reporting as well as enhanced situational recognition.
“Keeping our children safe is one of the primary goals of my administration,” said Gonnelli.
He added, “Utilizing resources we already have on our streets everyday is a way to enhance security, with minimal financial impact to our residents.”
“I am thankful for the spirit of cooperation and coordination we are receiving from the mayor and the police department,” said McStowe. “Everyone has stepped up in the interest of keeping our children safe and this is another example of forward thinking in an effort to maximize our resources.”
The training is expected to be completed within the next three weeks.
Goya Foods to donate $150K to build orphanage in the Dominican Republic
Secaucus-based Goya Foods, a Latino-owned U.S. food company, will donate $150,000 to the Maestro Cares Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Latin singer Marc Anthony and Henry Cardenas to build a new orphanage in the Dominican Republic, according to a press statement.
The donation will specifically go towards the development and construction of a new orphanage that will serve more than 200 children at the Orfanato Niños de Cristo in La Romana, Dominican Republic.
Maestro Cares is a non-for-profit corporation established in November 2011 to support the housing and educational needs of orphaned and underprivileged children in developing Latin American countries.
“We wanted to contribute to Maestro Cares and this new project in the Dominican Republic because of our close relationship with the people and children of the country that transcends to the Dominican communities here in New York and the rest of the United States,” said Bob Unanue, president of Goya Foods.
The new complex, which measures 30,000 square feet, will feature state-of-the-art designs and include a kitchen, laundry room, cafeteria, library, chapel, classrooms, dorm rooms, a teacher’s lounge, workshop area, business center, and a baseball field.
The donation will also help provide housing, clothing, food and staff while assisting in the academic, social and recreational development of the children through various programs.
“The contributions that donors like Goya are providing today, will help us change and improve the lives of our children,” said Marc Anthony.
“As we work to end homelessness, hunger, and violence for our children in Latin America, it is important for us to know that we have supporters such as Goya, who believe in our mission to build better futures for these children,” said Henry Cardenas.