The prominent real estate developer who owns the Laurelton Mobile Home Park in Brick is nearly ready to bring his plans for the community to the township’s Board of Adjustment, Shorebeat has learned.
The mobile home park on Route 88, just north of Jack Martin Boulevard, was purchased in 2005 by JSM at Martin Blvd., LLC, owned by developer Jack Morris, who is well-known in Brick as the developer of the Costco shopping center on Route 70 and the once-redeveloper of the former Foodtown property. Morris, who is in litigation with the township over the Foodtown lot, will likely bring an application before the Board of Adjustment to redevelop some of the mobile home park as commercial property, officials said. Morris’ company bought the property for $3.85 million. Another one of his companies, Edgewater Properties, acts as landlord for residents who lease plots of land at the site on which their manufactured homes sit.
Talk of redeveloping the site has circulated since the change of ownership in 2005. The following year, Morris spoke before the township council, envisioning 21,600 square feet of retail space along the state highway.
“The new plans may be different from what they initially submitted,” said Mike Fowler, the township planner, adding that the company may be two to three months away from a submitting a final proposal for the site. But the initial proposal calls for commercial development along Route 88 with the mobile home park continuing to exist behind the new buildings. Fowler said the project will likely consist of “small commercial stores,” with the possibility of such businesses as a bank, gas station or daycare center being built.
The company will need to obtain a use variance as well as full site plan approval before the property can be developed.
Fowler said current residents of the mobile home park will be accommodated, as over time some residents have moved out, leaving extra room on the property.
“Over time, people have left, so they’re not going to reduce the number of units,” said Fowler. “The people still living there will have a place to reside, but there will be less of them because people have sold their trailers and have left the property.”
The purchase of the mobile home park by Morris has been the source of numerous controversies since 2005. Residents, at one point, were served eviction notices after they withheld rent from Morris, who they accused of allowing the community to deteriorate. In 2006, it was determined that concrete tainted with traces of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from the former Ford Motor Company manufacturing plant in Edison was used at the site, prompting the state Department of Environmental Protection to order its removal.