MANALAPAN – Site work is underway at Route 33 and Millhurst Road in Manalapan where developer Vito Cardinale is constructing the Manalapan Crossing residential and commercial project.
An update on the project was provided by attorney Salvatore Alfieri during the Aug. 12 meeting of the Manalapan Planning Board. Alfieri represents Cardinale and Associates LLC.
At the request of the developer, board members unanimously granted Cardinale and Associates a one-year extension of time beyond the initial two-year time period the applicant had to initiate work on the project.
Final approval for Manalapan Crossing was granted by the board in November 2019. Alfieri said the initial two-year time period provided by the approval would have expired in November.
In brief comments to the board, Alfieri said the first phase of Manalapan Crossing will consist of the construction of 70 active adult homes.
Alfieri reported that Cardinale and Associates has acquired off-site properties that were required to make planned road improvements near Manalapan Crossing.
The attorney said several property owners declined to sell property that is needed to make the road improvements and because of their refusal to sell, Monmouth County will begin eminent domain (condemnation) proceedings to acquire the needed parcels.
“We hope to start work on the traffic improvements in September or October and within the next several months there should be significant activity on-site,” Alfieri said.
The board’s attorney, Ron Cucchiaro, said in order to be granted the requested extension of time, Cardinale and Associates only needed to show it was making a good faith effort to obtain approvals from outside agencies.
He said Alfieri’s report to the board indicated the developer was meeting the standard needed to be granted an extension of time.
Cucchiaro said if the board members denied the applicant’s request for an extension of time, that action would not revoke the approval of the Manalapan Crossing project.
The board members had no questions for Alfieri. A motion to grant the extension of time was made and unanimously approved.
Upon its completion, Manalapan Crossing is expected to include a 280-home 55-and-over community, retail space, medical office space, a bank, a convenience store with a gas station, and 58 non-age restricted one-bedroom apartments designated as affordable housing and/or housing for individuals who have special needs, according to the final approval that was granted by the board in November 2019.
As part of the project, Cardinale and Associates will construct a traffic signal on Route 33, about 1,600 feet west of Millhurst Road. The new traffic signal will allow motorists who are heading east on Route 33 to turn left into Manalapan Crossing and motorists who are exiting Manalapan Crossing to turn left onto Route 33 east.
Other road improvements that are expected to be made are the following: at Route 33 and Millhurst Road, additional lanes will be created; at Route 33 and Sweetmans Lane, additional lanes will be created; the jughandle that leads from Route 33 west to Millhurst Road will be shifted to accommodate additional vehicles; and a traffic signal will be constructed at Millhurst Road and Whitlock Court which will become an access point for Manalapan Crossing.