Adventure Crossing developer describes changes to project in Jackson

JACKSON – The members of the Jackson Planning Board are scheduled to hear additional testimony regarding an amended site plan for the Jackson Crossing 2/Adventure Crossing project during their meeting on April 5.

Jackson Crossing 2/Adventure Crossing is being developed by Vito Cardinale of Cardinale Enterprises on a 75-acre site on Route 537 between Interstate 195 and Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson.

Phase 1 of the project broke ground in July 2018 and consists of fast food and sit-down restaurants, a convenience store with a gas station, two hotels, a recreation building, four outdoor sports fields and an Air Dome building with a sports bar, party rooms, an arcade and physical therapy space, according to a representative of the applicant.

During a Planning Board meeting on Jan. 25, the application was before the board and Cardinale Enterprises was represented by attorney Salvatore Alfieri.

Alfieri said his client is seeking to amend a prior approval from the board in the following manner:

• Consolidate two approved warehouse buildings totaling 745,000 square feet into one warehouse building totaling 618,000 square feet;

• Eliminate a planned recreation building totaling 450,600 square feet and replace it with a warehouse building totaling 384,377 square feet.

In remarks to the board members, Cardinale addressed what he described as false statements that were made online regarding the project.

“This is certainly not a warehouse project. It is still a sports and recreation project. We have done everything in this particular application tonight to satisfy some of the neighbors who were not happy with the original approval,” he said.

“This is a modification, it is actually 16% in the building size. It is about a 28% decrease in the number of parking spots. We have increased the buffers two or three times, as much as we could to help some people on Holly Tree Court.”

Holly Tree Court is off Anderson Road and proximate to the Adventure Crossing development site.

“The site lighting will be shielded from the residents. Truck access will not come out on Anderson Road, it will not go in front of children on baseball fields, it will be contained to just one road parallel to the main road, and children will not be running in front of 18-wheelers,” Cardinale said.

He said plans remain in place to construct a multiple sclerosis research center at the site, and added, “I will hopefully satisfy many families in town with a wonderful sports and recreation project.”

Cardinale said he eliminated a residential component of the project next to Anderson Road and removed a golf tenant when residents of Anderson Road expressed concern about the height of a net associated with a golf facility and the height of lighting that would be needed by a golf facility.

“So we had to come back with another solution and the solution was to get three warehouses approved … but we found from the market that (businesses) don’t want three warehouses out there, they prefer to have two (warehouse buildings) and that is why we are here tonight,” Cardinale said.

He said there would be an emergency access point on Anderson Road, which municipal officials recommended.

Planning Board Chairman Robert Hudak asked Cardinale if the proposed warehouse buildings would be commercial and if there would be multiple tenants.

“Based on the location, I do not think it will be many tenants. It would probably be a national tenant,” Cardinale said.

Hudak asked Cardinale if he meant something like an Amazon-type warehouse.

“I don’t know if (Amazon) would come this far interior; they like to focus on the turnpike and those type of roads, but it could happen,” Cardinale said. “It is in the location where we originally had the golf (facility) planned, parallel to Anderson Road, and obviously I did not want to see a warehouse there. I would have preferred to see the golf (facility) there and the convention center and everything else we had to move over.”

He said the professionals who are designing the project created a large buffer from Anderson Road and the community next door to the property.

“And even on the interior part of the project, where we have the hotel, the convention center and the ball fields, we did not want to see the warehouses.

“I did not feel that was something I wanted, so we created a very, very nice landscaping buffer between the warehouses and us.

“We will not see the warehouses internally and my goal is to not let the people who live on the road and in that community see the warehouses either,” Cardinale said.

He said it is critical that trucks would not pass children playing on the fields.

“The I-195 corridor is a perfect warehouse location because you are not going through communities or the town,” Cardinale said.

The Jackson Crossing 2/Adventure Crossing application was carried to the Planning Board’s meeting that is scheduled for April 5.