How will this development impact traffic in the area?
Village 35’s offsite highway improvement Concept Plans – designed with and approved by the state Department of Transportation – will repair what has become a problematic intersection of two of Middletown’s key roadways, Route 35 and Kings Highway, resulting in vastly improved traffic flow along nearby roads.
The DOT-approved plans include a more efficient jughandle that will realign Kings Highway and provide safer access to Route 35, streamlining the flow of traffic throughout the immediate area. These schemes are compliant with the town’s Master Plan incorporating the construction of a new connector road from Kings Highway East to Kanes Lane, providing easier access to the town’s municipal service area.
The project’s design includes eight points of ingress and egress on the property, along with various off-site improvements that will enhance the nearby intersections and jughandles while dispersing traffic onto Route 35.
Will the development impact local taxes or services?
The initiative will add significantly to the local tax base, generating approximately $900,000 in yearly ratables. These taxes will support municipal services while creating a lasting – and likely growing – revenue source for Middletown for decades to come.
What is the timeline for approval and completion of the project?
Subject to municipal approval, Village 35 plans to begin construction in 2018 and deliver the project in 2019.
What is the public process for approving this project?
The Middletown planning board is currently in the process of reviewing for approval Village 35’s development plan, which fully conforms to the township’s Master Plan for the PD zone. The plans before the board are for less than the 380,000 SF approved during the General Development Plan hearings.
Will there be a residential component to the development?
Village 35 is solely developing The Shoppes at Middletown, which is the commercial component including retail, dining, common areas, and walkways.
Can the planning board restrict Village 35 from obtaining approvals for uses other than what has already been submitted?
Yes. Village 35 is solely seeking approvals for a Wegmans store, which has signed a lease to serve as the anchor tenant for the development. Village 35 is not requesting approval for any other uses.
Is it possible that Wegmans will back out after the project obtains approvals?
No. Village 35 signed a long-term, binding lease agreement with Wegmans, which will serve as the development’s anchor tenant. As one of the most financially stable and credit-worthy retailers in the industry, Wegmans, along with the balance of The Shoppes at Middletown project, will provide Middletown residents with a strong, fixed source of tax ratables and jobs.
There seems to be a lot of vacant retail space in Middletown and the surrounding area. Couldn’t Village 35 develop the project at a different location?
There is not an excess of vacant retail space in the area. In fact, vacancy is declining. According to research from New Jersey-based retail real estate brokerage firm The Goldstein Group, at the end of 2016, a little over 7 percent of the retail space in the Hazlet-through-Middletown corridor was vacant. So far in 2017, 150,000 square feet of that space has been leased, lowering the market’s vacancy rate to 3.9 percent. (In comparison, according to commercial real estate data provider REIS, the vacancy rate for retail space nationally is 8.4 percent.)
Who is National Realty & Development Corp.? Do they have any experience developing this type of project?
Village 35 is an entity of NRDC, a nationally renowned real estate owner/developer with deep roots in New Jersey and the surrounding region. The company has a 50-year track record of delivering thoughtfully planned, well-managed and financially successful real estate developments across the Northeast, including retail centers, office parks and residential projects in Monmouth County.
With The Shoppes of Middletown, NRDC is embarking on a dynamic development that is not only the first of its kind for Monmouth County, but also unlike any other shopping and entertainment destination currently in the company’s extensive portfolio of properties. Understanding that Middletown lacks a true town center where residents can shop, dine and gather with their neighbors, the company has set out to create a retail experience that is distinctive in its inspired design, sustainable elements and pedestrian features, while still benefitting from NRDC’s vast network of relationships with the country’s premier retailers.