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Developer of Millstone warehouses seeks added construction hours

MILLSTONE – The developer of a 1.2-million-square-foot industrial complex on Route 33 is seeking an extension of the project’s construction hours from Millstone Township officials.

Greg Strickland of Crow Holdings Industrial appeared before the Township Committee on Aug. 18 to request that daily construction at the Millstone 8 Logistics Center be permitted take place from 2 a.m. to 8 p.m. The request, if granted, would extend construction from 12 hours daily to 18 hours daily.

Municipal officials did not make a decision on the request during the meeting. Instead, the committee members authorized Township Administrator Kevin Abernethy to determine if the construction hours will be extended.

The Millstone 8 Logistics Center, which began construction in July, is being built on a 140-acre lot at 505 Route 33, on the eastbound side of the state highway. The lot is the site of the former Showplace Farms horse training and rehabilitation facility, which closed in 2015.

Crow Holdings Industrial is the lead developer of the complex and the Carlyle Group and 2020 Acquisitions are partners.

The complex will have two warehouses. One warehouse will be 1 million square feet in size and the second warehouse will be 220,000 square feet in size.

During the Township Committee meeting, Strickland said the extension of construction time is being sought because of the project’s concrete pours.

“The buildings are extremely large. It sounds like a large extension (of time), but this has mostly to do with the set-up for the pours, the logistics and the amount of area we are setting up for pour work,” he said.

A press release that was issued when work began estimated that construction would be completed by the second quarter of 2022, but Strickland said without the additional hours, construction would extend another three to five months. If the 18 daily hours are granted, he said, the project would require 21 days of pours.

Strickland reasoned the township would benefit from the complex being completed at an earlier date because it would allow the township to receive tax revenue from the project quicker.

“I know the township would like this project to be done as quickly as possible and start creating tax revenue. We would like to get our tenants in and working,” he said.

Members of the governing body voiced concern that additional construction hours could have a negative impact on residents.

“I don’t have a good sense of how the sound (of construction trucks) will travel from the route they are taking to where the residents are,” Mayor Gary Dorfman said. “The nighttime is typically more quiet, so there are less other distracting sounds. The (construction) sound will stand out more based upon the hours of operation you are seeking than they would during a normal day.”

Strickland said he hoped the extension of time would have a minimal impact on residents. He said the nearest residence to the project is 2,000 feet away and the project used 500 feet of buffer.

“(The extension of work hours) is like ripping off a bandage,” Strickland said. “It’s a little bit less comfortable for a shorter period of time, rather than extending this out for out for what could be a four-month period.”

Committeeman Chris Morris voiced concern about the potential impact of sound coming from the site, which he said would not be known until work took place during the extended hours.

“I think the sound (of construction) is going to be the biggest concern,” he said. “I live thousands of feet away from Route 33 and I hear traffic without any question, even with an ample amount of forest and woods.”

However, Morris acknowledged that shortening the construction schedule by four months would benefit residents.

Strickland said Crow Holdings Industrial would re-evaluate the situation if the additional construction hours are granted and if it turns out the extra time is having a negative impact on residents.

“We want to be good neighbors in Millstone,” he said.

Following Strickland’s remarks, the Township Committee members approved a motion to give Abernethy the authority to approve or deny the requested extension of construction hours for the project.

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