Jackson planners approve second phase of Adventure Crossing

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JACKSON – The members of the Jackson Planning Board have granted preliminary and final site plan approval to the second phase of the Jackson Crossing 2/Adventure Crossing project.

Planning Board Chairman Robert Hudak, Township Councilman Martin Flemming, Business Administrator Terence Wall, Michele Campbell, Jeffrey Riker, Andrew Jozwicki and Joseph Riccardi voted “yes” on a motion to grant approval during a special meeting that was held on July 27 at Jackson Memorial High School.

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The board approved a second phase that will take shape as one of two options: three warehouses or two warehouses and one indoor recreational facility.

Developer Vito Cardinale of Cardinale Enterprises will announce at a later date the option he selects for the second phase of Jackson Crossing 2/Adventure Crossing at a 75-acre site on Route 537 between Interstate 195 and Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson.

Attorney Salvatore Alfieri represented Cardinale before the board on July 27 to discuss the second phase of the project.

The applicant was seeking preliminary and final major site plan approval to construct warehouses and/or a recreation facility under one of three alternatives:

•  Alternative No. 1 proposed three warehouses totaling 1.18 million square feet;

•  Alternative No. 2 proposed two warehouses totaling 735,100 square feet and a 450,000-square-foot recreation building;

• Alternative No. 3 proposed combining the two warehouses into one warehouse. This option was withdrawn by Cardinale.

“This was the site where we originally had a Top Golf (recreation facility), a convention center and apartments … That is what I originally had and that is what the neighbors on Anderson Road (which adjoins the property) do not want. They do not want apartments, they do not want access to Anderson Road,” Cardinale told board members.

“We are back tonight with a new plan that does not include the convention center on this property, a plan that does not have any access to Anderson Road and a plan that does not have lights from Top Golf,” he said.

Cardinale said a sports and entertainment element in this area was removed as part of the settlement of a lawsuit residents filed against the project.

“This property was created, obviously, for a recreation use in the community, the state, Ocean County and Monmouth County,” he said.

Cardinale told the board and members of the public he will proceed with his plan to build a medical research center, but will do so on another side of the property.

The Linda E. Cardinale Multiple Sclerosis Center at CentraState Medical Center, Freehold Township, is named for Cardinale’s wife who passed away from MS in 2013.

“I am trying to kill MS, that is my goal, so we will build a medical research center … It will be one of the largest brain institutes in the world, it will be funded by this property,” he said.

Cardinale has said the five-story medical research center he plans to construct in Jackson is expected to include retail uses on the first floor, medical research space and 58 residential units for individuals who have special needs.

During the public comment portion of the July 27 meeting, several residents expressed concern about Adventure Crossing changing what they described as the “character of the neighborhood” in regard to traffic and the surrounding environment when it comes to possible noise, light and air pollution.

Phase 1 of Jackson Crossing 2/Adventure Crossing broke ground in July 2018 and consists of fast food and sit down restaurants, a convenience store and a gas station on Route 537, according to Ian Borden, who is the planner for the project.

Phase 1 also includes two hotels, a 100,000-square-foot indoor recreation building, four outdoor sports fields and an Air Dome building with a sports bar, party rooms, an arcade and physical therapy space, Borden said.

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