Mark from 42Freeway heads back to Bellmawr's massive Direct Connect project, to review what has changed in the last few months. And yes, there are new things to talk about. This update is really a 7 min YouTube video (bottom of article) but we'll highlight here in writing and photos the things in the video.
Route 41 (Hurffville Rd) in Deptford could soon become a hotel corridor for the 42 region if the proposed TWO new hotels are built at the entrance to the 42 Freeway.
And you are reading it at 42Freeway.com FIRST!
In February 2015 a preliminary major site plan (PDF) was presented to the Deptford planning board regarding the planned construction of two hotels, specifically Hampton Inn and Marriot Courtyard.
The hotels are planned to be developed at the intersection of Rt 41 and Deptford Center Road.. which is also a newer entrance to Rt 42 south. The property currently houses several businesses and warehouses, including the bright blue Nu Wave Marine Supply, which is closest to the road. You may know this intersection more as where Friendly’s and the Freeway Diner are…. but to be clear, the hotel development is planned for where the warehouses and Nuwave Marine are located, at the right side entrance to Rt 42.
The featured image at the top of the article indicates with a red line the corner where the hotels are proposed. I did not highlight the entire property boundary at this time as I am not 100% clear.
We are working on getting a copy of the submitted plans.
Township Planning minutes indicate that the hotels will be built in two separate phases, with Hampton being developed first. Both properties will offer swimming pools and related services. The entire lot will be developed and landscaped with the development of the first hotel.
A typical flow for a project like this is, after the hotel developer identifies a property for development that they do not currently own, they first negotiate with the building owners a preliminary deal “if we get planning approval for the project do you agree to sell”. Then the developers appear before Planning and Zoning to get town preliminary approval, and then the property purchase takes place. Sources indicate to me that this project is proceeding quickly.
The first hotel planned is the Hampton Inn, and unique to it is a “small bar”. This is only briefly mentioned in the planning board discussions. Liquor licenses are hard to come by in New Jersey as they are based on town population and considering Deptford has so many national eateries, this could be big news. New Jersey has a law that allows new hotels of 100 rooms or more to be authorized a liquor license, which is how the Pizzeria Unos property was developed. I mention this for comparison sake and at this time it is not clear what the “small bar” will be, or if it will be because of a 100 room liquor license. Its an interesting aspect to follow considering the value of a liquor license, and the difficulties in obtaining one in New Jersey.
Deptford’s Hotel Corridor
If developed, these two properties will be in close proximity to the Fairfield Inn and Residence Inn which are also on Rt 41 but on the other side of the overpass which crosses the 42 Freeway (next to Pizzeria Unos).
If you’ve tried to book a room at the existing hotels, you are already aware that they seem very popular and getting a room can be difficult. Area residents and businesses are willing to pay a higher price to get a quality. This success is probably a factor for the desire to add two more hotels… and I can only speculate that the continued growth of projects along Route 42 (such as the Gloucester Outlet Mall), also has contributed to the desire to build.
Traffic can be a bear along this stretch of Rt 41, and one wonders how the new hotels will impact this… but you have to admit the current buildings on the proposed lot are not too appealing for such a high profile location.
Planning minutes indicate much discussion regarding traffic, the traffic light timing, and approach lanes.
Homeowner’s who are adjacent to the proposed development where represented at the planning meeting, asking questions about impact on their properties. It seems the developer is willing to work with their potential new neighbors.
Future Growth on 41?
Let’s not forget that very close to this same intersection is a large undeveloped property which used to be the Haddonwood Tennis Club. Twenty years ago the Haddonwood location was planned to become a Walmart, and a landmark case was won by area residents to force Walmart to build elsewhere. (I’ve also seen old plans for a Supermarket at the Haddonwood location). Considering there are several parcel available for development along Rt 41… well simply, if the two hotels are developed does this trigger additional growth down Hurffville Road?
Wherever this leads… you know 42Freeway will have the most up to date information!