News & Noteworthy



Deal Announcement - Rich Crooker Represents Montgomery Township in Skillman Village Sale
Brownfield Rehab of Former Somerset County State Mental Hospital Integrates Diverse Risk Management Tools
OCTOBER 27, 2011

Rich Crooker served as special counsel to the New Jersey Township of Montgomery ("Montgomery Township") in its successful sale of the Skillman Village property to the Somerset County Improvement Authority (the "Authority"). The Authority plans to develop the brownfield rehabilitated land as a public park.

A partner in the Madison, NJ office, Rich began the engagement in 2007 when Montgomery Township first acquired the site of the North Princeton Developmental Center, an inactive hospital from the State of New Jersey. In the five years leading up to the sale to the Authority, the complex assignment integrated diverse risk management tools, including:

  • Fixed price and other liability transfer agreements and contracts by which environmental and building demolition risks inherent in such a site were transferred to independent contractors;
  • Environmental insurance providing security for the foregoing agreements, including the broad indemnifications provided under them; and
  • Managerial integration and community outreach so that the moving parts worked together to allow effective, safe and simultaneous environmental remediation and extensive building demolition while land at the property's core remained in constant use as a municipal middle school.

Rich said, "Our client and the Somerset County Improvement Authority deserve praise for the completion of this transaction. Skillman Village exemplifies rehabilitation of underutilized public brownfield assets --- in this case a former State mental facility --- for reuse. Through the creative application of technical, environmental, insurance and financial tools, the evolution of Skillman Village will serve as a reference point for anyone seeking to return brownfield properties to performing status." Montgomery Township, Somerset County and the State of New Jersey will now have 265 more acres of open space as a result of this transaction.

Learn more about Windels Marx's Environmental Law practice group.

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