By Christopher Sheldon
Eatontown Mayor Gerald Tarantolo said the demolition of the existing buildings at Howard Commons is now expected to begin this summer, after originally estimating that it would take place in the spring.
"We're moving in the right direction on Howard Commons and hopefully by the end of the summer, we can start to see demolition of the property and start moving forward on that project which will eventually provide to the borough of Eatontown a 20-acre park," Tarantolo said during the Jan. 22 Eatontown Council meeting.
The 486 vacant housing units and large general purpose building on the property will be demolished to make way for 275 two- and three-bedroom for-sale townhomes. Twenty percent of the homes will be reserved as affordable housing.
Tarantolo said he originally thought that once
the property was sold to developer HovWest, that demolition could occur before a site plan is approved. However, on Wednesday, he said that is not the case.
"The purchase will be a contract purchase, and what that means is, pending approval by the (Eatontown Planning Board) the sale of the property will be consummated once site plan approval is acquired," Tarantolo said.
HovWest will pay nearly $7.23 million for the property and plans to not only build housing, but also a retail development at the corner of Hope Road and Pinebrook Road and 20.4 acres of open space and public recreation amenities.
Tarantolo said he would like to meet with the Recreation Advisory Committee so they can "define the amenities" that will eventually go in the park.
The site plan will likely be presented to the Eatontown Planning Board in the next few months.