Stockton, NJ residents were introduced to the new owner of the Stockton Inn and its ambitious plans to revitalize the 310-year-old property in a typewritten letter that arrived in the mail last month. Within the letter was a link to a five-minute and 42-second video that elaborates on the concept with renderings. (You can view it here. The password is StocktonInn1.)
“The vision for the rebirth of the Stockton Inn lies in a big and bold idea,” the video’s narrator says. “The master plan envisions a recreation of a sense of place that will re-establish a multitude of past and new venues, which will include a full repositioning of the existing inn, maintaining the integrity of the interiors, furnishings, and fine art. This restoration plays a vital role in re-establishing the inn as the place for the village.”
Avon Road Partners is proposing to restore the five existing buildings on the two-acre site at the heart of downtown Stockton and erect two new structures, a 17,000-square foot, three-story hotel with 28 guest rooms on the north side of the property and a 1,500-square foot, two-story “connector” that will link the new building to the existing inn. “In addition, a wellness center is planned for the future, along with an expansion of the guestroom component,” the video says.
But the most sensitive part of the $15-million plan revolves around a proposed 1,000-seat tented amphitheater that would sit at the center of the property, next to the existing outdoor dining area, which will remain. The video refers to the amphitheater as the “centerpiece” for this concept.
“This performing arts center will play an integral role in redefining the Stockton Inn,” the narrator says.
Avon Road Partners is a privately-held venture capital firm. According to a brief biography on its website, the company’s “participated” in more than $1 billion in transactions across the gaming, technology, and real estate sectors. In addition to the inn, it’s also developing the Rock Hill Logistics Center, which will create 1.7 million square feet of e-commerce warehouse space in New York state. Construction is expected to begin this summer. Avon Road Partners estimates the project will cost $200 million.
The inn, according to Avon Road’s video, would reopen as a 100-seat fine-dining restaurant. The 80-seat outdoor area would be reserved for casual dining.
The inn has been closed since July 2017.
I hope you will do a follow up article about how the community is against this development.
It’s about time the Delaware River town local starts interviewing the local people of Stockton and Surrounding area to see what the real people of the area think about this disaster of an idea. I have heard of no one that likes this to happen in Stockton. There is a 100% of people that want the Inn reopening but NOT with this revitalization plan. Not 1 person
Why wouldn’t residents want something that stimulates the economy of a small town? I am sure some iteration of the proposed development is healthy for the town.
You may be unaware that the developers have explicitly stated that the 1,000 seat amphitheater cannot be scaled down:
“Scaled down proposals for the inn could not sustain it as a profitable business, they say.
The amphitheater, Alan said, would host between 25 and 45 dates per year. “It’s not like we’re going to be running shows for 365 days. And a lot of the acts that we’re going to bring in are going to be high-profile acts,” Alan said.” -Feb 24, 2021, nj.com
A smaller venue will not attract “high-profile acts”.
You may also be unaware that the developers have requested converting the borough’s only park into a parking lot for their venue. The park sits adjacent to the Delaware and Raritan Canal, a source of drinking water for over one million New Jersey residents. The developer plans to put 400 cars there per event.
Do you live in Stockton? A project of this magnitude would irrevocably change the charm and character of this lovely little town. Crowds, lack of parking, noise, litter, extra need for law enforcement, environmental concerns affecting the canal and the Delaware River are just the tip of the iceberg of concerns. This developer should buy some huge parcel of land to build their amphitheater etc in. Let someone restore the Inn and keep it an Inn. Way too many negatives for a tiny river town like Stockton.
Ever been to Stockton? Aside from being a disaster for the town’s feeling and community, one minor aside is the fact that it would actually end up costing far more than it would take in. If you want to know how we feel about it, go here. You’ll find posts from locals who constitute more than three times the Borough’s residents. I challenge you to find a single one in favor of it.
Please come to Stockton and see for yourself how this town CANNOT physically support a project this size. Yes, reopening the Inn, it can support that, but there is little room for the crowds, the traffic, the parking and lodging, the service needs that a 1000 seat
amphitheater will bring. The plan is just ludicrous. I’m sure there is some building, somewhere else, sitting 0n a big piece of property that is better suited for this type of development.
This is bad reporting, if you can even call it reporting. Please do some research and get a local perspective before posting things that aren’t true. Avon does not own the property, and this is just the beginning of this process where they want to change the zoning to be able to building a massive 1,000 person amphitheater in a town of 600 people .