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On Monday night, the Lakewood Industrial Commission (LIC) presented plans to the Lakewood Zoning Board for "The Hub" - two new buildings to be constructed at Lakewood Airport.

The LIC was represented by Attorney Adam Pfeffer Esq., Engineer Brian Flannery, Traffic Expert Scott Kennel, and Architect Shimon Greenbaum.

The buildings will consist of the following:

• A one-story Airport Terminal building with a footprint of 30,158 square feet, and a “Transitional Aircraft Apron”

• A six-story, 105.5 feet high building with approximately 463,500 square feet of office and retail space

An anticipated 1,200 - 1,400 employees will work in these buildings.

A total of 1617 parking spaces (including credits for 111 proposed EV spaces) will be provided. Board members questioned if there will be sufficient parking. Mr. Kennel confidently assured the Board that "he's got everything under control."

The mass project is being undertaken through a public - private partnership with Simcha Ingber. Essentially, the partnership permits Mr. Ingber to construct his 6-story building in exchange for building the terminal building for the Township. Additionally, the rental revenue from the building will be shared between Mr. Ingber and the Township.

Board member Moish Lankry asked if this will provide ratables for the Township or if it will be completely tax exempt. Mr. Flannery started to explain, "there will be tax abatements at the beginning, but eventually..." Board Chairman Abe Halberstam shut him down, saying, "we are not going to discuss taxes here."

The property is situated in an ABC/M-1 Zone. Commercial-airport terminals are a permitted use in both Zones.

A D(6) Use Variance with respect to building height was required to permit a building height of 105.5 feet whereas a maximum building height of 65 feet is permitted. Mr. Flannery testified to the Board that the height variance was warranted simply because "this is the best location in Lakewood for a building of this height."

The application also sought the following design waivers:

a. Driveway width greater than thirty feet (30’) wide.

b. Providing a Shade Tree and Utility Easement along all of the project’s road frontages.

c. Providing curb and sidewalk along all of the project’s road frontages.

d. Providing shade trees along all of the project's road frontages.

This project is still a long way off from becoming "physical." Due to the size of the project and its location along Cedarbridge Avenue, this project will require review and approval by Ocean County Engineering (road/circulation/stormwater management) as well as NJDEP Land Use (CAFRA) approval.

Traffic expert Scott Kennel testified to the Board that the driveways will provide new access to the airport directly from Airport Road. Additionally, Ocean County officials have conceptually approved the modification of the traffic signal at Airport Road/GSP parkway ramp to make it a 4-way signal. In addition, a left turn lane will be installed from Cedar Bridge Avenue into the airport, a right turn lane will be installed from Cedar Bridge Avenue onto Airport Road, and a left turn lane will be installed from Airport Road into the new airport driveway.

LIC Executive Director Steve Reinman testified that the idea, which has been in planning stages for multiple years, is an "opportunity to create something that doesn't exist in this area." He stated that the project will include a convention center, which will be commercially available for public use, as well as a restaurant.

He added that these new uses will provide a massive boost to airport traffic.

At a recent Lakewood Board of Fire Commissioners meeting, BOFC Vice Chairman Larry Loigman expressed concerns regarding the proposed height of this project. Yet, Fire Chief Jonathan Yahr did not agree to send any formal letter to the Zoning Board regarding these concerns. Of interest is that the general counsel to the Board of Fire Commissioners is Ian Goldman who is Adam Pfeffer's partner.

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Chaim Kleinman said...

Steve Reinman tried to get the Township Committee to approve 150 foot high rise buildings on Route 70.

The Committee did not agree and cut it down to 75 feet.

Now, Steve Reinman bypassed the Committee and went to the Zoning Board to get their approval for this 105 feet high building.

Of course, he assured the clueless Board that the Township will also need to sign off on this project, so they figured that nothing will happen without their approval anyways.

ab said...

A tall building right near the runway. Wonder what could go wrong.

Anonymous said...

Over 1,000 additional cars traversing the cedarbridge/airport road area. That my friends is the definition of poor planning, increased accidents and gridlock.

Young Follower said...