Sunday, November 13, 2005

Hilton in Lakewood

Bringing more development and traffic to the already crowded town:


...a proposed hotel and restaurant complex on Route 70 near the township's border with Brick and just east of the Garden State Parkway is a good idea to the 20-year-old who works at a bakery across the highway.
The development, which will cost at least $15 million, includes a 110-room Hilton Garden Inn, a Ruby Tuesday and a LongHorn Steakhouse, said Carey Tajfel, vice president of Hotels Unlimited, the East Windsor company developing the project.
Construction could start next spring, with all work to be completed in about a year. The hotel should open in 2007.
The restaurants would only take about four months to build and should open next year...
...the Township Committee, which is weighing whether to grant tax breaks to the developer. Tajfel is hopeful to have a ruling on whether he will get the tax abatement by the end of the month.
Committeeman Robert W. Singer said the township has historically been reticent to give abatements to businessmen seeking to build on Route 70 because the thoroughfare is prime real estate with parkway access.
But that may help explain why Route 70 in neighboring Brick has become a retail mecca of box stores and chain restaurants and Lakewood's stretch of the road has only a few brand-name attractions."I wish I could say we don't have to use tax abatements," Singer said at a recent committee meeting. "Unfortunately, it seems the only way."Plus, Tajfel included the likely approval of the tax abatements in his sales pitches to the chain restaurants."It's definitely very important," Tajfel said. "Every bit of financial incentive . . . will help."
Especially for one of the first major consumer attractions to be built in Lakewood in a few years.Tajfel's development would include:A Hilton Garden hotel. Tajfel's family operates a chain of hotels in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida, including the Holiday Inn on Route 37 in Dover Township.A Ruby Tuesday and a LongHorn Steakhouse. Both are national chain restaurants that have several locations in Monmouth County. The Lakewood sites would be each company's first foray into Ocean County, according to a list of restaurant locations on the companies' respective Web sites.A potential third store, such as a coffee shop. Tajfel said there are no signed leases for the shop, but both chain restaurants have signed leases.The new complex is actually an updated version of an old plan to turn the site into a hotel and conference center. That plan was approved in 2002, but Tajfel received Planning Board approval this summer to scale the hotel back from 200 rooms to 110 rooms and add the restaurant sites...
Lakewood officials, though, say the development on Route 70 would be an economic boon to the township. That is why they are weighing the tax abatement, Mayor Charles Cunliffe said."I can't wait to see those buildings," he added.
Not surprisingly, the developer agreed with the mayor that the Hilton complex could be a catalyst to bring more development to Route 70 in Lakewood."We think that if this project is developed and built it will have an impact on bringing more development to the area," Tajfel said. "I think it will have a positive impact on business in general ..

At least a kosher hotel/restaurant!
posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 2:06 PM


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