The Pointe, Main Street Bypass require further discussions

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By Jacqueline Durett
Correspondent

SAYREVILLE — Changes to The Pointe development may be coming.

At the Jan. 18 Planning Board meeting, Chairman Thomas Tighe said he does not yet have complete details, but he shared with the board that he believes there have been some changes with the developer, O’Neill Properties Group, for the large-scale mixed use development at the Main Street Extension and Chevalier Avenue.

He said he believes that as of now, the project’s design and scope would stay intact, but the funding sources may change. That change could also impact timelines for various phases of the project. To get clarification, he said, a subcommittee would be doing a call with O’Neill.

Borough Engineer Jay Cornell agreed with Tighe’s assessment of the situation.

“That’s my understanding … that there are some financial issues that are being worked out between the parties, and that’s why they’ve been reluctant to come to the board until that’s all taken care of,” he told the board. “My understanding is Bass Pro [Shops] is still going to go through and happen in accordance with that [existing] timeframe.”

Construction is slated to begin soon on Bass Pro Shops.

Also at the meeting, Cornell shared an update regarding the borough’s Main Street Bypass project. The road, when complete, would run parallel to Main Street from River Road to The Pointe.

Cornell said the Army Corps of Engineers had recently requested some clarification regarding outdated information it had. The borough will submit updated documents next month, Cornell said, which will be followed by the Army Corps’ public information period.

Cornell also clarified that the current permits are only being sought for the first phase of the project, which runs from River Road to Kimball Drive East.

“We have to make sure it goes all the way through. It can’t terminate at Kimball Drive East. That’s going to be a disaster,” board Member Michael Macagnone said.

Cornell agreed, but explained that the phase of the project that encompasses Kimball Drive East to Crossman Road requires property acquisition, an action the borough did not want to take prematurely.

He added that there is still benefit to completion of the first phase of the project—providing an additional access route to the 1,000 residential units between Main Street and the Raritan River that currently only have one means of access from their respective neighborhood.

Tighe recommended informally to the board that the bypass be a private road until the project moves into a subsequent phase.

Macagnone cautioned that there might be resident opposition to the bypass.

“You remember the last time, this chamber was pretty full,” he said.

“I’m sure it will be again,” Tighe agreed.

Also at the meeting, the board voted to cancel the Feb. 15 meeting. Tighe also advised that at the Feb. 1 meeting, the board would be opening and reviewing proposals for the board attorney position.