A large multifaceted project featuring a brewery, restaurant, banquet facility and more is being considered for development in Glassboro on Aura Road (at Ellis Mill Road). This would be Exit 48 of Route 55
Some aspects of the description provided by the borough indicate that this could be a larger facility possibly also supporting weddings, as it includes a large water feature and banquet spaces.
To be clear, this is very early in the process.
The land for this project runs along Aura Road (at Ellis Mill Road) and is also bordered by Route 55. The elongated properties total about 15 acres, and are directly across the street from the Richwood Crossing residential development.
Twelve years ago this extended area was still very much open farmland, but over the last 10 years significant residential development has been taking place around the Route 55 Exit 48, with the completion of townhomes, apartments, and condominiums.
I visited the area today and residential buildings there is a considerable amount of new homes in this area, and construction activity is still taking place including directly across the street from where the proposed brewery and restaurant facility are to be located.
With significant residential development completed at the Route 55 exit, and more still to come… it’s not surprising that commercial development would also be attracted to the area.
Recently a storage facility was also approved for the area, but south of Ellis Mill Road.
Aura Road Brewery/Restaurant – Redevelopment
The borough has determined that this project should be treated as a redevelopment plan, which is a special segment of New Jersey land development laws which hopes to bolster development in “areas in need of redevelopment” by providing towns with additional powers around the development process, such as the ability to define specific zoning rules for the properties in question.
For the Aura Road properties, the goal at this point is to formulate a redevelopment plan which balances the project goals of the developer, with the needs of the Borough. That plan will then be used to determine the final development implementation, which would be submitted for additional approvals at a later date.
On November 28, 2023 a resolution was adopted by Glassboro stating that Beer Land LLC has been designated the conditional redeveloper of the property for a period of 180 days, in an effort to agree upon a Redevelopment Agreement for the rehabilitation and redevelopment of the property.
During this time that the Borough and the conditional redeveloper will commence exclusive negotiations towards the formulation of the redevelopment agreement.
The outcome of this process would not be an immediate “you can build” decision. The project developer (and the redevelopment plan) would likely then head to a Planning Board hearing for approval… although at that time it’s likely that the project and redevelopment plan are in “perfect synch” with each other.
The copy of the resolution that I downloaded from the Glassboro website shows it was adopted on November 28th 2023.
That being said several residents expressed concerns about this project in a Glassboro oriented Facebook group and are planning on attending the Council meeting on Tuesday December 12th to further discuss this resolution and project plans, with members of the Council.
Over this past Summer, Beer Land LLC acquired a full Glassboro plenary liquor license, which was previously an inactive license in town.
Aura Road Brewery/Restaurant – Beer Land LLC
According to the commentary in the resolution, the developer has presented its early rehabilitation and redevelopment concepts for the properties to the borough, but at this time I do not have in my possession any of the renderings or site plans that may have been shown.
That being said the Glassboro resolution does a fair job of giving a high level description of the project.,
Consisting of a 20,000 square foot brewery restaurant, a 12,000 square foot banquet facility, and approximately 60,000 square foot water feature, and approximately 2000 square foot Amphitheatre, and a 10,000 square foot facility reserved for future use… along with approximately 450 parking spaces, associated traffic circulation, and driveway access.Aura Road Brewery/Restaurant – Glassboro Resolution
At 20,000 square feet, the brewery/restaurant would be a large space… and to put that in context if you’ve ever been to the newer Tonewood brewing facility in Barrington… well that entire facility of the large brewery area, retail and tasting room.. is about 20,000 sq ft
The Glassboro description goes on to say there will be a separate 12,000 square foot banquet facility.
Something that’s getting a lot of questions on the Facebook town group is the 60,000 square foot water feature… And what could it possibly be? Some wondered if it was going to be a water park due to it’s size, and then others said there’s no way… it’s probably just an elaborate lake and fountain for wedding ceremonies and photograph. But admittedly 60,000 square feet is a pretty good size water feature!
A 2,000 square foot Amphitheatre is listed and quite possibly that would be for outdoor weddings?
And then it closes with another 10,000 square foot facility simply reserved for future use.
But again I don’t have any other details at this time. I to hope to be able to get the plans that were reviewed with the Township but I wanted to get this online ahead of the December 12th council meeting in case residents were inspired to go and ask questions
Links and Location
Aura Road Brewery/Restaurant Facility
Aura Road at Ellis Mill Road