Lacey’s Cornerstone To Add Income-Based Apartments

Ongoing construction at Cornerstone, a Lacey development near the Garden State Parkway. (Photo by Chris Lundy)

LACEY – As homes are starting to be filled and more built, officials said a new development of 118 apartment units on Lacey Road will not greatly impact the area.

The Cornerstone at Lacey is technically on Gary Smith Way, but will be known more as the spot between the municipal building and the Garden State Parkway. It is being billed as a green, income-restricted community. There will be one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment homes. There will also be a clubhouse with computer work stations and a fitness center, a children’s tot lot, barbecue and picnic area, and half-court basketball.

“We are excited to bring high-end income-restricted apartments to our community,” said Ed Walters, Jr., president and founder of Barnegat-based Walters Group in a press release. “By diversifying the area’s housing infrastructure, we increase the inventory of quality rental housing for people from all walks of life, including young families, people on fixed incomes, and our community’s essential service workers.”

According to the builder, Sandy-impacted families will be given priority.

The first phase is underway. The second phase is expected to begin in mid-November.

As of mid-March, there were six units occupied, said Melissa DeMayo, director of property management for Walters Homes.

Ongoing construction at Cornerstone, a Lacey development near the Garden State Parkway. (Photo by Chris Lundy)

There will be 70 units in the first phase, consisting of 13 one-bedroom, 43 two-bedroom, and 14 three-bedroom homes. The second phase will have 8 one-bedroom, 28 two-bedroom, and 12 three-bedroom units.

The state urges mixed bedroom counts in developments for more variety, she said.

They have had no problem filling the waiting list, she said. Some of the list have come from Lacey. Others have come from other towns in Ocean and Monmouth counties.

The development is set off from Lacey Road a bit, but they likely won’t be making a left out of the development to go east on Lacey Road. Instead, they would be going through back roads behind the municipal building to the traffic signal at Manchester Avenue.

Committeeman Gary Quinn said the development company has paid for certain roadway improvements, including a lighted walking path leading from the development to Gille Park.

Whenever there is a new development, nearby residents express concern about the impact that the development would have, including additional children in the school system.

Lacey Superintendent Craig Wigley said the developers have been in communication with the district. “The management has been very easy to work with so far.”

He said the district keeps an eye on developments but this one is not going to see a huge drain on resources. The elementary students would likely go to Cedar Creek Elementary.

“We don’t anticipate much of an impact,” he said. There will be a percentage of residents there who are already enrolled in Lacey schools.

  There could be a maximum of 123 children in the 118-unit development. However, this figure of 123 assumes several things. It assumes one child in every two-bedroom unit, and two children in every three-bedroom unit. This also would be assuming that every unit is fully maximized. It also assumes that these would be children moving to Lacey, and not school-aged children who have been in Lacey schools all along. It also assumes that every child would be school aged, as opposed to toddlers and graduates. So, generally speaking, there could be far fewer new children joining the district.

The income restriction means that the renters will have to make less than 60 percent of the county’s median income, the company said. The highest rent, for a three-bedroom apartment, is $1,235, and includes water, sewer, and trash removal.

The units range from 835 square feet for a one-bedroom to 1,247 square feet for a three-bedroom. Ten units will be designed for special needs households.