Mayor Fulop said Liberty State Park is a “gem, jewel.(and) what is proposed here will change the character of the park.” The mayor spoke these words at the press conference concerning Governor Christie’s plans to bring commerce to the park. He is correct so I find it disappointing Fulop granted a 99 year franchise agreement with 1 Edward Hart Drive, LLC for one dollar a year (city ordinance 15.179). This is a commercial enterprise for a bowling alley and brewery.
This is on city land located in Liberty State Park but to the average person, they cannot tell the difference between city and park land since the location is indistinguishable. This is the second time the city gave a franchise agreement to a developer for 99 years with one dollar a year payment. This happened several years ago on a charging station on First Street.
Franchise agreements means the developer do no pay taxes because the land is still owned by the city. The bowling alley/brewery will have 10,400 square feet of tax free land.
In the meantime, the local Board of Education is overcrowded and is always looking for space to build schools. I have an idea, let’s put education first and stop giving away our assets to private developers, build schools instead.