OLD BRIDGE – Once eyed possibly for a training facility for the National Football League or a data center for the telecommunications industry, the Old Bridge Crossroads Redevelopment Area is back on the drawing board.
Mayor Owen Henry said the area is unique since the township owns the property.
“We want to make sure whatever happens on that property, it is in the best interest of the taxpayers, who [essentially] own the property,” he said.
In March, the agency, through a resolution, terminated the designation agreement with RPM Development Group, LLC, as the conditional developer of the Crossroads Redevelopment area for affordable housing.
Glenn D’Antuono, chair of the agency, presented the status of the site at a Township Council meeting on April 29. He said the agreement with RPM had expired in February and after much discussion decided the most recent plan of apartments at the site were not in the best interest of the township.
A survey has been sent out to the Township Council to garner input on what is the best use for the site.
“The purpose of the survey is to bring the council into the exploratory process and provide input and guidance for the agency prior to any development and [request for proposals] so we are not wasting any time and effort on a plan that would not fit and is not favorable to the council in the end,” D’Antuono said, adding the final decision for the site lies with the council.
The area was included in the township’s master plan reexamination report dated Sept. 22, 2017.
The Old Bridge Crossroads Redevelopment Area includes 13 parcels, which contain approximately 542.8 acres, based on township tax records. The redevelopment area includes frontage along four roads: East Greystone Road, Marlboro Road, Texas Road and Route 18.
The purpose of the Old Bridge Crossroads Redevelopment Plan is to develop an area that has had difficulty being developed over time and has been problematic in determining the most appropriate mix of land uses.
The plan at the time was to provide a mix of residential housing types and neighborhood retail services to serve a growing senior population; as well as use high quality design standards in the construction of residential/mixed-use development, including highway commercial and office development and market opportunities for high-value commercial uses. Overall, the plan sought to provide appropriate infrastructure improvements to the area.
D’Antuono said the redevelopment agency is a group of dedicated volunteers, who include Erik DePalma, Joseph Dunn, Kenneth J. Farina, Stephen A. Florek II, Nora Schmitz and Ward 5 Councilman Tony Paskitti.
The commissioners of the redevelopment agency work with Steve Mamakas, executive director for the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, to research and explore possibilities to help shape and vet development projects of any size catering to the future of the township.
“Mr. Mamakas has discussed the parcel with other interested parties [including Goodman Logistics Center Carlisle] and has had conversations with Hackensack Meridian Health [Raritan Bay Medical Center] related to future expansion of medical office space,” he said.
The redevelopment agency will continue to be transparent in the process, which is in the very early conceptual phase, as they work together to put the best plan forward for the township, D’Antuono said.
The next agency meeting will be held on May 23 and is open to the public.