Plans are advancing for a new center for child care and Success Therapy, headed by Mrs. Sara Ziskind.

The Ziskind's just secured a $10 million mortgage for the construction of the new center which is to be located at 220 Newport Avenue, off Cross Street, across the street from Nachlas Bais Yaakov's future campus site, FAA News has learned.

The Site Plan for this large child care center was presented to Lakewood Township's Planning Board back on March 1, 2022.

The original plan was for a center with a capacity of 350 children. The architectural plans also depicted an oversized "unfinished basement," with no specific use identified.

The Ziskind's were represented by Attorney Miriam Weinstein Esq., Engineer Brian Flannery, and Abe Auerbach of Regency Developments.

Prior to the final public hearing, some neighbors retained Attorney Joseph Michelini Esq. of the O’Malley, Surman & Michelini firm to represent their opposition to the application, especially due to concerns that there would be a banquet hall in the basement. Mr. Michelini successfully negotiated an agreement with the Ziskind's that there will not be any rentable banquet hall in the basement.

The public hearing was still very contentious with numerous neighbors presenting pedestrian, traffic safety and congestion concerns, especially as many parents would be driving down the narrow road for pick-up and drop-offs.

Board Member Moshe Raitzik echoed many of the same traffic flow concerns expressed by the neighbors. In response, Mr. Auerbach confidently assured the Board that "while this is out of our hands" there were "3 more schools coming to 'this area' and we are actively pursuing 'several ways' to get an additional entranceway to Newport Avenue."

Board Chairman Moshe Neiman told the neighbors that although the Board was going to approve this child care center, "when the next school coming to this block wants to get approved, I'm not saying it will get approved, we may say that we need to first wait until the road has an additional entranceway."

Chairman Neiman also noted that schools will "work harder" to get an additional entranceway to Newport Avenue, saying "the message will get out there - because Mr. Auerbach is here now - that if you want to build a school here, let's work on opening Newport Avenue out to Jackson Township or Franklin Blvd."

In the meantime, because there was not yet any additional entranceway to Newport Avenue, the Board conditioned the approval that they can only build capacity now for up to 179 children. Prior to expanding any further, the developers of the school will need to return to the Planning Board for an additional approval.

Additionally, the Board conditioned that they widen the entire stretch of Newport Avenue to 32 feet, and that they extend drainage, city water and sewer to their site.

Several neighbors requested that the developers for the child care center also be required to install a sidewalk along the entire road.

Board Attorney John Jackson told the Board that it would not be unreasonable for the Board to require sidewalks on the rest of Newport Avenue as the Board can require off‐site improvements when they are necessitated by the application.

In response, Chairman Neiman said that it's enough that we got a wide street and water and sewer out of this child care center and therefore we won't also require them to install a sidewalk along the entire road, however "we may require the next school approval on the block to install a sidewalk along the entire road.

The Board also stipulated that the plans are to be revised to show an indoor (in the basement) and an outdoor playground.

The Ziskind's property was originally 5.43 acres. They subdivided this single lot into a 3.43 acres lot for the future child care and therapy center, as well as two lots of 1 acres each to sell to a third party.

In February 2023, the Ziskind's sold the two 1 acre lots to Yeshiva Heichal Hatalmud for $2,100,000, public records obtained by FAA News indicate.

The Ziskind's have just now secured a $10 million construction loan, including a $500,000 revolving credit line, FAA News has learned.

The mortgage was granted by Manasquan Bank.

Construction is still a way off as the project awaits approval from the Township's Engineering Department as well as the Ocean County Planning Board.

Are you wondering if the Planning Board ever received the additional road that they were promised?

That was the question asked here on FAA News.

The answer... drumroll... is, no - despite that two additional schools have since then been approved for this same block.

As previously reported here on FAA News, Yeshiva Gedola of South Jersey received Site Plan approval for their new campus including a dormitory.

When board members inquired about Mr. Auerbach's "assurance" of an additional access road to get to Newport Avenue, Attorney Adam Pfeffer Esq. responded simply "I was not the attorney on that other application."

Additionally, as previously reported here on FAA News, more recently, Nachlas Bais Yaakov also received Site Plan approval for a campus on this block.

As more recently reported here on FAA News, Kerem Bais Yaakov has entered into a contract to purchase Nachlas Bais Yaakov's existing campus.

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