WNYC's Bob Hennelly is an award-winning investigative journalist. While at WNYC he has reported on a wide gamut of major public policy questions ranging from immigration and homeland security to power outages and utility mergers.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a bill that will provide hundreds of millions of dollars to revive the stalled Xanadu Mall and several other projects across the state.
Christie initially pledged $200 million backed by sales tax revenue to the developers of the Mall of America, Triple 5, in order to open the long stalled Xanadu mega-mall in the Meadowlands.
The Democratic legislature has increased that funding by 75 percent — and Xanadu will now get $350 million.
At the same time, Democrats expanded a special tax credit intended to encourage developers to build multi-family housing near mass transit.
Before, developers could get credits worth 20 percent of their construction costs. Now, they'll get up to 35 percent back and won't have a strict requirement for including some low income housing.
Affordable Housing and environmental groups like the Sierra Club denounced the bill, but legislators from both parties said it was needed to jump-start stalled projects statewide.