Plans for a 5.5 million-square-foot warehouse distribution center on Quakerbridge Road, on the border between West Windsor and Lawrence townships, were unveiled before the West Windsor Township Planning Board at its May 11 meeting.
Bridge Point WW LLC is seeking preliminary and final major site plan approval and subdivision approval for the 645-acre parcel, which is the former American Cyanamid property in West Windsor. It began operations in the 1950s and ceased in 2004.
Bridge Point WW LLC also is seeking preliminary major site plan approval now for the second phase of the development, and would have to return to the West Windsor Township Planning Board for final approval.
The 645-acre parcel is bordered by Route 1, Quakerbridge Road, and the Northeast Corridor railroad tracks. Its frontage on Quakerbridge Road spans both sides of Clarksville Road. It is across Quakerbridge Road from the Quaker Bridge Mall.
The warehouse distribution center would be developed in two phases. Plans for the first phase call for subdividing 539 acres from the overall parcel, and the construction of several warehouses.
Three warehouses, totaling 3 million square feet, would be built in the first phase. Combined, there would be 461 loading docks and 507 trailer parking spaces. Parking is proposed for 1,127 vehicles. Some of the parking spaces would be “banked” and possibly built later.
The second phase of the development consists of four warehouses totaling 2.5 million square feet. There would be a combined 449 loading docks and 564 trailer parking spaces. Parking is proposed for 1,074 vehicles, some of which would be banked and possibly built later.
A new road would be built through the property, beginning on Quakerbridge Road opposite Avalon Way in Lawrence Township, and ending on Route 1 near the vacated jughandle opposite the Nassau Park Pavilion shopping center in West Windsor.
Avalon Way is one of two entrances to The Mercer at Lawrence Station rental apartment and townhome development.
Land along Quakerbridge Road and Route 1 would be developed in a third phase of the project by another applicant at a future date. Bridge Point WW LLC is not seeking approval for that phase of the development.
John Porcek, executive vice president of development for parent company Bridge Development, told the West Windsor Township Planning Board that the company buys land, builds warehouses and leases the space to tenants. In this instance, it is leasing the land from property owner Atlantic Realty.
“Why West Windsor? We feel this is an extremely great location, with a robust road network,” Porcek said, noting the proximity of interstate highways.
Bridge Development builds warehouses on speculation, without having tenants lined up in advance, he said. Having a warehouse already in place work best for the company, because a prospective tenant can see what the warehouse looks like, he said.
Project engineer Bryan Waisnor told the Planning Board that the new road to be built through the property would provide access to the warehouses. Traffic lights are already in place on Quakerbridge Road at Clarksville Road, and on Quakerbridge Road at Avalon Way.
A shared pedestrian/bicycle path would be constructed on both sides of Clarksville Road, Waisnor said.
The warehouses would be shielded from view by landscaped berms that would range from 10 feet to 17 feet in height, he said. The berms would be installed on both sides of Clarksville Road.
On Quakerbridge Road, an 8-foot-tall wooden fence would be installed to shield the warehouses from view. The eventual development of up to 150,000 square feet of retail space on Quakerbridge Road and Route 1 would also hide them from view, he said.
After three hours of testimony, the applicant ran out of time to complete the public hearing on the application. It was agreed to continue the public hearing to the West Windsor Township Planning Board’s May 18 meeting.
Testimony from the applicant’s traffic engineer, architect and planner will be presented at the Planning Board’s May 18 meeting. The 7 p.m. in-person meeting will be held at the West Windsor Senior Center on Clarksville Road.