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Monmouth Mall Redesign Hearing Pushed Back

EATONTOWN: Borough residents will have to wait an extra month to see the formal presentation of the redevelopment plan for the Monmouth Mall.

The application will now come before the Eatontown Planning Board on April 2 at 7 p.m. The hearing was originally scheduled for today, March 5, but the developers have made some changes to the plan and wanted to give the public some extra time to review them.

Borough Engineer Ed Herrman of T&M said the mall owners, Kushner Companies and their development partner Rouse Properties, submitted the plans just before the new year and that their application was deemed complete. Kushner Cos. became the sole owner of the mall after purchasing Vornado Realty Trust's 50 percent interest in the summer of 2015 and later teamed with Rouse Development.

The new plan includes the creation of an indoor culinary marketplace, Culinary Heights, which will feature upscale restaurants, themed eateries, wine bars and tea boutiques, a public facing town square, a streetscape with prominent retail and dining options and unique landscaping and architectural deigns. The plan also includes 700 apartments; a feature that has angered several residents.

A new ordinance, which created a new mixed use regional center zone where the Monmouth Mall currently sits, was approved by the Eatontown Council on Sept. 14, 2016. A group of Eatontown residents who oppose the ordinance to rezone the Monmouth Mall filed a lawsuit against the borough in an effort to overturn in October, 2016 and the trial was held last summer. However, the judge has not yet rendered a decision.

Borough Attorney Gene Anthony has advised the council not to take any action, including changing the zoning, until after the matter is settled in court and to allow the application to move forward to the planning board.

Read more from: Eatontown

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