Revamp of Jersey City’s Casino in the Park Set For Next Year

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casino in the park lincoln park jersey city
Photo credit: CasinointheParkNJ.com

One of Hudson County’s longest-running institutions is set to meet the wrecking ball sometime after the snow melts, but a new 25,000-square-foot facility with a dining area, two banquet halls, and a rooftop bar will rise in its place.

The process to overhaul Casino in the Park started back in late 2017. The building, inside of Lincoln Park, is not historically protected but has nonetheless occupied the property for almost a century. According to the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy, it originally opened as the Lincoln Lodge in 1929 before the Sweeney family took over managing it in the 1950s.


Lincoln Lodge Casino In The Park Jersey City
Lincoln Lodge. Photo via Jersey Journal archives.

Hudson County owns the land the venue operates on and was looking to update the aging facility through a Request for Proposals from interested restaurateurs. The county let the Sweeney family’s lease expire at the end of 2017, which marked the end of an era for a venue that hosted countless political and social events over the years that included the 50th wedding anniversary of Frank Sinatra’s parents.

Since then, the Hudson County Improvement Authority has tapped Frank and Jeanne Cretella, owners of Landmark Hospitality, to redevelop the property. Landmark owns several New Jersey venues that include Liberty State Park’s Liberty House and Port Liberte’s Hudson House, which is in the process of launching this season. They are also behind an effort to bring a 120-room facility dubbed Morris Hotel to Jersey City’s Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood.


Casino In The Park Jersey City 1
The future Lincoln Park restaurant, bar, and event space. Rendering via Landmark Developers.

Last week, the Jersey Journal reported on a public meeting that was held inside Lincoln Park’s Gallo Center unveiling Landmark’s plans. The deal will see Hudson County issue a $6 million bond to cover the costs of tearing down the current building and constructing the new one, but Landmark is responsible for the remaining build-out costs beyond that.

Casino In The Park Jersey City 2
The future Lincoln Park restaurant, bar, and event space. Rendering via Landmark Developers.

Landmark, who will have a 30-year lease under the agreement, will oversee the development of a new 25,000-square-foot, three-story building to be constructed in the footprint of the existing Casino in the Park. The facility will include an open kitchen restaurant, two banquet halls, and a rooftop bar plus dining area.

Casino In The Park Jersey City 3
The future Lincoln Park restaurant, bar, and event space. Rendering via Landmark Developers.

Keeping a small piece of the site’s legacy, stone from the existing building will be incorporated into the new venue’s chimney and fireplaces. 80 new parking spaces will be added under the plan and the restaurant and rooftop bar components intend to be open six days a week for lunch and dinner.

There’s no word yet on what the venue will be called, but demolition at the property could commence as soon as February or March. Landmark says they hope to open the venue during the first half of 2021.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. This new building is really unattractive. I’m surprised it’s not in the “too old to be demolished category” but I guess Lincoln Park is county property, lucky for them.

    • I just don’t get why JC gets so many unattractive buildings. My guess would be the real talented architects are busy in Manhattan and Brooklyn since there is more money there. So unfortunately we’re left with the hacks.

      • Quite true. A friend of mine works for a high end architectural firm in Brooklyn. A couple of months ago I spoke to the principal of her company and mentioned the huge building boom in Hudson County. He said that they actually had submitted some proposals in HC but really weren’t worth pursuing. Cheap ass developers simply are not going to pay for creative designs and exotic materials.

        • I was walking around Brooklyn few weeks ago, some amazing buildings. Some massive but just design and material made it blend into the neighborhood. They do have their share of ugly buildings but not many.

          The hacks in JC are like…what you mean you can build something without tan bricks and vinyl??? And I agree the developers are third class. Just google Mike Demarco and imagine that nerd is basically building downtown JC and harborside. He managed to somehow make the one cool spot there, piggyback, run away and open in Manhattan. And now he’s bringing in Manny’s District Lounge.

  2. What an amazingly unattractive building. The original stone building is still there under the unattractive additions it could have been creatively integrated into the new design but creative and attractive design don’t often come the Hudson County.

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