OLD BRIDGE – An 18-hole golf course, a pitch and putt, miniature golf and much-needed road infrastructure may be on the horizon for the area of Waterworks Road, Jake Brown Road and Route 9.
Township officials are calling the proposed development a “win-win” for everyone.
“An opportunity like this doesn’t come around often,” Mayor Owen Henry said. “It came at the right time .. this stabilizes the township for the very distant future. It allows us to get infrastructure we’ve been trying to get for Jake Brown Road forever, for Route 9 to Waterworks Road forever, and a township golf course for 20 years. All this without an impact to our school system by taking 700 acres of developable land off the residential market.”
Efrem Gerszberg, owner of 2020 Acquisitions, a national real estate development company, presented the beginning stages of the project he has been working on with township officials for five months at a Township Council meeting on Jan. 26.
The project includes the proposal of a warehouse on the north side of Jake Brown Road, one building on the south side of Jake Brown Road, the gun range club, and five buildings for proposed warehouses on the site of the Glenwood Country Club at Route 9 south and Fairway Lane.
The redeveloper has agreed to build an 18-hole golf course to replace the current golf course there which is proposed for five warehouses.
The warehouses and buildings will be hidden with proposed landscape and buffering from nearby residential areas and roadways. Gerszberg is working with officials – Township Engineer Nicole Shapiro, Township Planner Veena Sawant and Township Attorney Mark Roselli – on a traffic plan, which includes no access to Route 516.
The benefits of the project include development of property that will bring in an excess of $3 million ratables and turn approximately 700 acres of property zoned for residential into positive ratables, Gerszberg said.
As part of the development, Gerszberg said they agreed to build an 18-hole golf course, a 3,000-square-foot clubhouse with patio and food amenities on the former Rose Farm site at the intersection of Amboy and Lambertson roads, which has been designated open space for future recreation.
The development of the golf course will be similar to the two high-end country clubs 2020 Acquisitions developed and own in Long Island, New York, he said.
“We originally planned for an 18-hole golf course,” he said. “We realized we had enough acreage to add two amenities, a pitch and putt and miniature golf. Beside the fact [the amenities are] more family-oriented, they are huge revenue generators.”
He estimated the pitch and putt and mini golf course could generate more than $175,000 of cash flow for the township.
Gerszberg said he has hired Stephen-Kay Golf Course Design architects, based in Egg Harbor City, for the design of the golf course. 2020 Acquisitions is spending $8 million to develop the golf course and modern amenities, which they will donate to the township.
The Township Council approved the site as an area in need of redevelopment and rehabilitation at the meeting. Last month, the township’s Redevelopment Agency moved to support the project.
Roselli said the next step includes the Planning Board undertaking a redevelopment study of the sites.