JACKSON – Members of the Jackson Zoning Board of Adjustment will hear additional testimony regarding the Cardinale Enterprises/Jackson Crossing 2 application during its meeting on April 21.
Jackson Crossing 2/Adventure Crossing is being developed on Route 537 between Interstate 195 and Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, near the Millstone Township border. The project has received approvals from the Jackson Planning Board.
The project is expected to include fast food and sit-down restaurants; a convenience store with a gas station; two hotels; a convention center; outdoor sports fields; an Air Dome building with a sports bar, party rooms, an arcade and physical therapy space; two warehouse buildings; residential and commercial uses; and a multiple sclerosis research facility, according to previous descriptions of the project.
On April 8, the Adventure Crossing project was before the Jackson zoning board. Attorney Salvatore Alfieri said Cardinale is now proposing to construct a parking garage that is not a permitted use in the zone.
In order to construct a parking garage at the site, Cardinale must obtain a variance from the zoning board. The professionals who represent the developer will seek to make the case that the zoning board should permit the deviation from established zoning.
Planner Ian Borden said the proposed parking garage “is to meet the parking demands of the entire project. Most specifically it is driven by the convention center.”
He said the parking garage, which would include about 1,100 spaces on five or six levels, would be constructed near the proposed medical research building. He said those two structures would not be connected.
Borden said the parking garage would not be higher than the four-story medical research building. He said there is no housing proposed in phase one of the project. He said two restaurant buildings have been consolidated into one building.
Cardinale said the project is more than just a sports and entertainment facility. He told the zoning board members his late wife had multiple sclerosis. Cardinale said the planned research facility in Jackson would employ more than 100 people.
“Profits from this (Adventure Crossing) project will go to funding the MS research center. If for any reason I leave this Earth before (MS) is gone, the project will continue funding MS research,” Cardinale said.
Regarding the current status of construction on the first phase of Adventure Crossing, Cardinale said, “We are working on fixing the roads. The existing jughandle on Route 537 across from Wawa is going to be eliminated. There will be a larger jughandle that will go deeper into the project to relieve some of the traffic on Route 537.”
He said tenants including 7-Eleven, Taco Bell and Popeye’s have been signed “and we are in negotiations with Jersey Mike’s and Starbucks. We are fully leased on our baseball fields and soccer fields and we hope to have those up and running by September or October. … So yes, we are moving (forward).”
Cardinale said Hilton and Marriott will have hotels at the Adventure Crossing site and will share a 100,000-square-foot convention center. He said the goal is to bring conventions to the location.
“We certainly believe that in New Jersey, with all of the other things we have at this location, that we are a destination, Cardinale said.
He said family members who are traveling with the teams that will be competing at the Adventure Crossing sports facilities will have options.
“Look what we have to offer. We have Six Flags (Great Adventure), we have the Jackson outlets, we are 30 minutes from Philadelphia. We have some of the most beautiful beaches down Interstate 195. This will be a destination.
“Families will come here for many reasons because they have access to all these things, or when they do find out that the profits and a lot of the proceeds will go to MS research,” Cardinale said. “We are also looking to put in an arena with seating so they could have concerts.”
The project is expected to include housing for individuals who have special needs, or for disabled veterans, and possibly for individuals who have MS.
Alfieri said state regulations will be a consideration regarding who occupies the housing. The attorney said the township would receive double credits for the housing units toward any future affordable housing obligation officials may have to meet.
The Adventure Crossing application was carried to the zoning board’s April 21 meeting.