Jackson planners approve project with office, retail, warehouse space

JACKSON – The Jackson Planning Board has approved an application submitted by MAZ Properties LLC that is expected to result in the construction of retail, office and warehouse space.

The application was heard at the board’s June 3 meeting.

MAZ Properties proposed the construction of two 11,200-square-foot, two-story office buildings, a one-story building with 30,000 square feet of retail space and a one-story warehouse totaling 81,299 square feet on a 9.5-acre property on County Line Road.

The majority of the warehouse and retail space will be in a U-shaped building, with the office buildings in front, and a rain garden and an outdoor plaza in the center of the site.

Attorney Ray Shea, planner and engineer Graham MacFarlane, architect James Monteforte, traffic engineer John Rea, and Justin Korinis, a principal of the Saber Real Estate Group, represented the applicant before the board.

“In total, we are proposing 133,699 square feet of commercial space; 81,299 square feet comprised of warehouse space and 52,400 square feet comprised of office and retail space. There are 11 loading platforms for deliveries to the warehouse spaces,” MacFarlane said.

He said the office buildings are likely to contain medical offices.

“The leasing of the warehouse space can only be by a business, or by anybody involved with the office space or retail space on-site. We are not looking to make this a public warehouse of any kind,” MacFarlane said.

The applicant’s representatives said they believe the project would create between 200 and 300 new jobs.

Korinis said a significant portion of his work has been as a consultant and that over the last few years he has been working at Bell Works, a business center in Holmdel.

“I handle all of the retail at Bell Works. The concept there and at other projects I do around the country is about creating a place for communities, for people to gather, spend time and enjoy themselves,” he said. “This is a difficult retail market at best.”

“I am sure you (board members) are very aware of things happening in the world with the closures of a number of stores. My opinion is that the future of retail, and I think we are seeing this already, is about creating destinations for people. That involves mixed use projects, that involves bringing people out for different reasons, that involves bringing different types of people to neighborhoods, creating neighborhoods,” Korinis said.

The applicant’s representatives said the goal of the application was to create a destination for people and a project that is economically viable.

Rea said traffic studies that were conducted as part of the application examined the peak morning and afternoon hours on weekdays, and the mid-day peak hour on Saturday.

“There are a pair of reverse jughandles on County Line Road just to the east of our property and there is a signalized intersection at Jackson Mills and County Line roads to the west. We did traffic counts during all three peak hours … We looked at the combined traffic volumes that are currently using those intersections,” Rea said.

Traffic volumes were projected through 2028 and Rea said the intersections would continue operating at their same level of service until 2028.

Following the conclusion of testimony by the applicant’s representatives, board members voted unanimously to approve the MAZ Properties LLC application.