Jersey City’s New Casino in the Park Event Space Set to Break Ground Soon

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The new Casino in the Park will break ground in Lincoln Park, Jersey City, soon. Rendering by Jeffrey Fleisher AIA.

A lot formerly home to a noteworthy catering facility has been vacant for almost a full year, but construction of a new venue from an experienced hospitality group is slated to begin in the coming months.


Hudson County started the process of upgrading their former Casino in the Park property several years ago. The venue, located near the tennis courts inside Lincoln Park, opened as the Lincoln Lodge in 1929 before the Sweeney family took over managing it during the 1950s.

Casino In The Park Current Lincoln Park Jersey City
The current site in Lincoln Park, Jersey City. Photo courtesy Hudson County Improvement Authority.

The old facility hosted a variety of noteworthy events over the years including fundraisers attended by a slew of politicians and the 50th wedding anniversary of Frank Sinatra’s parents. But the county marked the end of an era in 2017 when they let the Sweeney family’s lease expire.

The Hudson County Improvement Authority (HCIA) has since demolished the building and tapped Frank and Jeanne Cretella to redevelop the property. The pair own Landmark Hospitality and operate several New Jersey event and dining venues including Liberty State Park’s Liberty House and Port Liberte’s Hudson House.

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The new Casino in the Park. Rendering by Jeffrey Fleisher AIA.

A proposal that emerged for the property in 2019 was recently finalized by the city’s planning board during their February 2 meeting. Drawn up by Flemington-based architect Jeffrey Fleisher, the new Casino in the Park will rise three stories, span 25,000 square feet, and include a 46-space parking lot for guests.

The three-story facility will be able to host a total of 740 patrons between its many sections, which will consist of two banquet halls, a dining area with an open kitchen restaurant, and a rooftop bar. The new building will occupy a smaller footprint than the original did and the structure itself will be utilizing an eclectic mix of laminated wood beams, steel, concrete, and masonry on its exterior.

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The new Casino in the Park. Rendering by Jeffrey Fleisher AIA.

In terms of public-minded uses, the new Casino in the Park is slated to feature a ground floor patio designed for parkgoers to purchase grab-and-go style grub. The HCIA will be issuing over $7 million in bonds to finance the development and Landmark will be responsible for overseeing the buildout of the facility, which they will operate under a 30-year lease agreement.

Landmark had planned to begin developing the property last year, but their intentions were delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Barring any additional setbacks, the new Casino in the Park will break ground in the spring and wrap up construction sometime in mid-2022.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. The design don’t blend in with nature and it’s really outdated with those big wooden beams
    It has no style or identity the old original design ( not the one was demolished) was far better than this building 🙁

  2. Had to check the calendar to make sure it wasn’t April Fool’s…nope still February. Straight up hideous, Jeffrey Fleisher should be ashamed of himself for putting something like this together. I can’t believe this actually got approved but then again with JC politics anything is possible.

  3. It’s hard to tell what this is supposed to look like from the illustrations as the one at the top of page is completely different from the one at the bottom. Both however look like cheap and/or goofy imitations of a Swiss chalet. The colorways is as awful as it gets.

  4. How do you demolish a gorgeous stone structure! The “West Bergen East Lincoln Park” Historic District got its name from its proximity to Lincoln Park where this new clumsy Goliath structure is to be erected!
    I have to take it that ‘history’ has absolutely no meaning ! Really hypocritical and sad!

  5. The original stone building was actually beautiful and historic. They should’ve just demolished the ugly 1970s additions and then made some tasteful upgrades and additions to the original stone structures. This new thing is hideous.

  6. I agree! This area is a historical neighborhood! Why would the city that enforces historical rehabilitation allow this really cheap looking modern building. It’s gonna look so weird with the beautiful restored historic fountain (they spent millions restoring). I don’t understand how they’re getting away with this!

  7. How can this monstrosity be called beautiful, in anyone’s eyes . I went to many of events at the old Casino in the Park and it never ceased to give my heart a little jump in my heart. It was wrhat told me, that I was home after 7 years in the military. It said home to many of the Viet Nam War service men and women that had their last night of Joy their on Prom night and their weddings before leaving for their individual basic training camps. How dare anyone say that monstrosity will be good for all of Jersey City’s population. You forgot the population that would go and sit on the grass across the street in nightmare full nights and destress by remembering gentler and carefree times. Shame on you, Hudson County.

  8. 25,000 square feet, can host up to 740 patrons and there will be a parking lot with 46 spaces!?!?! That probably wont be enough space for the staff ! and there really is very little parking within the park, which means the local neighborhood will be overrun. But I guess patrons could get all dressed up for a wedding and take the bus.

  9. I agree that it’s hypocritical but I guess the county is exempt from historic guidelines which other residents within this community have to abide by. It’s all about the money & politics. Shame! Shame! Shame!

  10. Amazingly unattractive building for what should be a classic Olmsteadian park. The old stone building, mins the unattractive add ons, referred to the early Dutch farmhouses that used to dot the city. Restored and updated it would have been an attractive addition to the park landscape. The design you posted is so bad in so many ways it beggars explanation.

  11. As a long-time runner and passionate recreational visitor at Lincoln Park, I am sorry that the architectural rendering does not represent the Park’s true identity, value, and uniqueness.

    The right design could be deeply symbolic of the Park and draw praise as a world-class destination.

    Further, the restoration of the Park evolved from a vision and was transformed into a great jewel among the Hudson County Parks system. The goal of this building should match the quality of the far-reaching restoration.

    Committees do not inspire visionary concepts, and this building lacks a singular vision.

    It’s not too late to do the right thing – to recognize a real opportunity for an elegant architectural experience.

    Additionally, if the facility isn’t actually a Casino, a name brand that supports the building should, at a minimum, include the name Lincoln when Googled or searched.

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