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Bais Shaindel's building at 685 River Avenue was sold last year to Congregation Lutzk for $25 million. Since that time, Bais Shaindel has been constructing a new school campus with a wedding hall on a lot they previously purchased at 500 Lewin Avenue for $3,750,000, as well as in Toras Ahron's existing rear yard.

Bais Shaindel has just now closed on an additional $2,240,000 purchase of the adjacent 3.5 acres lot at 400 Lewin Avenue, FAA News has learned.

On June 15, 2021, Bais Shaindel presented to the Lakewood Planning Board their Site Plan for a two-story, 61,000 sq footprint school building with a finished basement on one lot for Bais Shaindel, and another two-story, 33,000 sq footprint building for an elementary school and a 12,000 sq foot banquet hall on the lot across the road (in Toras Ahron's existing rear yard).

The Bais Shaindel school building is proposed to hold up to 1,200 students, who will be served by 20 school buses.

The parking lot was proposed to contain 362 off-street parking spaces, and a bus loading/unloading area.

Prior to the start of the hearing, the Prospect Street Homeowners Association submitted a letter to the Board asking them to adjourn the meeting so they can have an opportunity to retain an attorney, "not to oppose the school or wedding hall, but rather to ensure that the developers of the school were not cutting any corners."

After this letter was sent, the developers of the school called the neighbors and begged them to withdraw their objection and to allow for the meeting to be held that night as Bais Shaindel was already sold and they need to get the new building ready for the upcoming September. Curiously, per public records obtained by FAA News, Bais Shaindel was not sold until January 2022, and construction was anyways not complete by September 2021.

Either way, the Planning Board granted Preliminary and Final Major Site Plan approval subject to a number of conditions including installation of curb and sidewalk along the Lewin Avenue frontage, and an internal walkway around the perimeter of the parking area to provide safer pedestrian accomodations.

As the school's traffic study indicated that traffic flow at the Prospect Street and Lewin Avenue intersection would have a failing grade unless a traffic signal would be installed, the Board also conditioned their approval on the stipulation that the developers of the school will request from Ocean County to install a traffic signal on Prospect and Lewin, and if the county agrees to install the light, then the developers of the school will pay their fair share for the light.

The Board additionally conditioned their approval that the developers of the school will provide a cross access easement between the 2 lots, and to install "No Through Traffic" on Lewin Avenue in front of the Excel Business Park to discourage students and parents from cutting through the adjacent privately owned industrial business parking lot, and to relocate the existing trailer being used by Sparks early intervention further on its site to make way for the new buildings.

Finally, the Board expressly conditioned their approval that there will be only one rentable catering hal in the building behind Toras Ahron and no catering hall in the Beis Shaindel building.

In April 2022, Bais Shaindel returned to the Board under correspondence (with notice to the neighbors) for "an amendment to add an additional approximate 8,000 square feet to the building footprint and to increase the 362 parking spaces to 449 parking spaces." The legal notice stipulated that "all other previously approved requests will remain the same."

Attorney Adam Pfeffer and Engineer Glen Lines did not mention that the "additional square feet" happens to be for an additional banquet hall, however their amended architectural plans do appear to include a new banquet hall in Bais Shaindel's building. (Curiously, the developers of the school did not expressly ask the Board to revise their original Resolution of Approval to remove the stipulation of "no banquet hall in Bais Shaindel."

Above: June 2021 Site Plan

Below: April 2022 Amended Plan

Above: June 2021 architectural plans with no banquet hall

Below: April 2022 "amended footprint" including a banquet hall 

Bais Shaindel is still going through the Resolution Compliance phase, and is yet to request a traffic signal from Ocean County as conditioned in their approval. In the meantime the Township's Engineering Department has permitted construction permits to be granted at the school's own risk.

Bais Shaindel commenced site clearing work in August 2021.

No Site Plan for the newly purchased 3.5 acres lot at 400 Lewin Avenue has yet been submitted to the Township. The property has a previous Planning Board approval for a warehouse building.

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