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Last week I posted on a unique project to be presented to the Washington Twp Planning Board on Oct 20, and at the time I only had the details from the Public Notice which were far from clear.  Well 42Freeway fans come through again, and I have the actual project site plans!   

See Video at the bottom of this post!  In the video at the end of this post I go on-site at Delsea and County House to explain my interpretation, with site plan overlays.  The core video is about 6 mins, then I spend another 4 with rambling commentary.

Note: I call it Belle Vista Village as that is what is in the designer block I have from the site plan scans, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it weren’t really called Bella Vista Village…  but I’ll roll with what I see!

Belle Vista Village

The proposed project sits at the traffic light intersection of Delsea Drive (Rt 47) and County House Rd.   This is the first traffic light past “5 Points” and is currently a wooded lot.

The project will be boomerang shaped to align with the two sides fronting the busy roads.

It is a mixed use village, where the core (multiple) buildings are 1400 sq ft rectangular footprint buildings (20×70) with retail on the first floor, and residences above!

It seems they are looking to create the small-town village feel like you would experience in Pitman or Collingswood!

In the center are of the project is a planned large restaurant!

Restaurant

Slight off the center of the project so it better aligns with Delsea Drive, is a large 7,300 sq ft restaurant with outdoor seating!  The drawings show a max seating capacity of 160 seats max on the inside, and 48 seats on the dual outside patio.

If it stays as one large restaurant, it would seem that something of this side would offer alcohol, but it’s not readily apparent to this blogger if there are any licenses available.  I looked, and with Luna Rossa taking one over, and the Woodmont developer supposedly opening Jenaro’s Italian restaurant, I don’t immediately notice any available licenses.

The restaurant building would have parking on three sides.

Housing

The building would have 2nd and 3rd floors, supporting a total of 12 condo units, designated as COAH (Affordable housing)

Retail

The retail units are predominantly set up as 20x70ft units (first floor), with housing located in floors above them.   It appears that two of the 29 units are slightly smaller.

The layout of each unit is staggered from the one next to it, which should add some character to the design.  Unfortunately at this time we do not have any exterior renderings to show how this this look visually, but we expect that to be presented at the meeting.

With the restaurant as the centerpiece of the boomerang shaped layout, there are two groupings of buildings on other side.

On the County House Rd side there are two groupings of 6 units, and on the Delsea Dr side there are two groupings also; 6 units and 7 units

At the end of the project, on the County House Rd side, is a bonus 4 unit segment where the two smaller units are located

Housing

The housing above these units vary with 2 story townhomes or 2nd & 3rd floor condos.  It seems size is the key factor, with the townhouse being larger and using two floors of space.

Green Space

Along the back of the project the developers have allocated greenspace, with some walking paths and a gazebo.

There is still significant woods remaining in the larger corner property, with plenty of buffer to the large homes closer to Egg Harbor Rd.

Planning Board Meeting
October 20, 2020 @ 7:00 PM
Municipal Building
523 Egg Harbor Road
Turnersville, New Jersey.

Closing Comments

It’s an interesting project that came out of left field for me.. ha.  I knew nothing of this until the public notices hit.

So I talk about this in the video.. every “new project post” has it’s share of detractors

  • Why not reuse the existing buildings?
  • Why tear down the trees?  What about the deer?
  • Another mattress/dollar/drug store?!  Why can’t this Premier Community get something good?
  • What about the traffic?
  • There is nothing in Township to bring people here?
  • And of course the “Pro” side… Great! new buildings! More tax dollars coming in!  Will drive additional development!  (as others complain “my taxes are too high!”)

I get that different people are looking for different things, and I expect the Facebook comments on this project to be lively!

But one thing I lean towards is.. that is a busy intersection and roadway… which hasn’t really translated into a “premier” look for the businesses.   There are a lot of great success stories along Delsea Drive to Pitman, but overall it “could use some love”.

And many complain about the lack of premier things in Township.  Does this qualify as a premier “let’s go check it out” destination for area residents, which will then translate into additional new premier developments?

Consider in your comments that just a short distance up the road there are a few projects taking place to drive folks into the area, of which this new project I’m sure wants to take advantage of!

  • Super Wawa at 5 pts
  • Dollar General on Delsea
  • Deptford Warehouses to use 5 pts as core traffic route.   The Five Points intersection is already seeing traffic improvements with realigning of Blackwood-Barnsboro Rd, and there are more to come with the warehouse project.
  • Additional the woods along 47 to Rt 55 are back up for sale again… but any development there would be a long way off.

 

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I wonder how this affects the 3.2 acres of designated wetlands that are apart of this 200 DELSEA DR INC owned property?

  2. Mark, love your website. I work at the postal service district office in Bellmawr and your updates always keep us intrigued. Washington Township has always been a “bedroom community.” A place that you went home to after you finished work or your mall shopping. Keep up the great work! Jim

  3. I can’t imagine the demand for 20+ commercial spaces, given the empty spaces in existing buildings nearby. Perhaps some medical, other small office uses. As to the residential, hope the people enjoy traffic. The commercial faces the roads, wonder if the residential access is from the rear of the buildings?

  4. I would love it if this development was indeed like a “mini village” that is walkable with green space offering access to different cafes, shops, and outdoor amenities (farmers market perhaps). I think that could have the potential to attract people to the area. In my block alone we have seen a shift of younger individuals buying homes in the area. However, also do agree that something would need to be done to alleviate the traffic situation.

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