WARETOWN – The construction of the Tradewinds at Waretown development is underway and is expected to be completed by the beginning of 2019.
It is a 17.5-acre parcel at the intersection of Route 9 and Birdsall Street. The land is known as Block 131, Lot 4.
The concept plan shows two L-shaped retail areas with apartments above them, four 3.5-story apartment buildings, a community center and a pool.
There will be 144 total apartment units. Of this, 115 will be market rate units and 29 will be affordable housing.
The 115 market rate units will be in the four 30-unit residential buildings. Of these, 15 are one-bedroom and 100 are two-bedroom.
Five affordable housing units would also be included in one of these buildings. They are four two-bedroom units and a single-bedroom unit in the apartment building.
The L-shaped buildings will have 28,000 square feet of mixed commercial, such as day care and retail, flanking the site’s entrance road. The remaining 24 affordable units are on the second floor of the two mixed-use buildings. These are broken down into the following: six three-bedroom, 14 two-bedroom, and four one-bedroom units.
There would be 256 parking spaces for the residential and 112 for the commercial.
Other regulations in the planning document point out aesthetic choices to make it more attractive, and to make it more useful to pedestrians. For instance, the development should fit with a “maritime theme.” The streetscape portion has details about the kind of bench, bike rack, and even garbage and recycling receptacles desired.
Business administrator Diane Ambrosio said Platinum Developers of Lakewood purchased the property and is in the process of developing it. At one time, it was scheduled to be a condominium development. Platinum wanted to change it to apartments. The governing body didn’t want that, preferring permanent residents over apartments. Platinum sued and won, and now it is going to be entirely apartments.
The date of completion is expected to be 18 months after groundbreaking this summer, depending on the severity of the winter weather, she said.
The affordable housing that is going into the development will help toward Waretown’s requirements. Every town in New Jersey is required to provide, through developers, a portion of units that would be considered affordable. Waretown’s current obligation is being decided in the courts, she said.
The developer has no set plan for what commercial tenants will be going in there yet, she said.
Commercial properties have been difficult to fill in Ocean County, with empty storefronts in some existing strip malls already. With people doing a lot of their shopping online, local businesses are having difficulty keeping their doors open.
“We do have some of that in the strip malls now,” she said. This added population of homeowners should help build a customer base for whatever does go in there.
The construction was a bit of a rude awakening for Mark Manning, who has been renting a house for two months at the corner of Route 9 and Birdsall Street.
“It was all woods, and then one day it was trucks,” he said of the construction vehicles working there now.
“I couldn’t even see my neighbor’s house, then all the trees came down,” he said.