Monmouth Mall expansion plan dropped by developer
A proposal to bring apartments and a hotel to the Monmouth Mall has been scrapped by the developer in the face of opposition from the surrounding area.
Minutes before the Eatontown Borough Council was to vote on a zoning change that would have allowed 800 apartments to be built on the mall property, Kushner Director of Development Jenny Bennett told the packed meeting, “We thought we were making great headway as far as working with the municipality in improving the mall. Given the response tonight, we realize that those changes are not welcome and we are planning to leave the mall as is," the Asbury Park Press reported.
Residents raised questions about the impact the plan would have on traffic, water and the school system in a question-and-answer post on the Borough website.
According to an economic study impact study posted on the borough website, the plan would have transformed the mall into an "experience retail, office destination and town center" with a new residential neighborhood and office complex. The study estimates the project would have brought $130 million to the area economy and created nearly 2,000 new retail and office jobs.
Kushner CEO Jared Kushner told the Asbury Park Press in February the plan would have revitalized the mall with an outdoor plaza and made it a 24/7 "live, work and play" destination center. Kushner is married to Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka.
The mall first opened in 1960 and last expanded in 1996 to its current size of 1.5 million square feet and 150 stores. Kushner bought out partner Vornado Realty Trust's interest in the mall in 2015 and announced its plan to make the mall "the top retail destination in New Jersey."