Middletown residents fight against proposed shopping center

Posted: Updated:
MIDDLETOWN -

A controversial development project in Monmouth County is one step closer to becoming a reality.

The Middletown Planning Board Thursday approved a project to build “The Shoppes at Middletown.” But there are some town residents who are opposed to the construction.

“It’s going to be a lot of extra traffic … there’s going to be some dangerous situations - and we are really not in favor of it,” says resident David Hauff.

News 12 New Jersey has previously reported about the yearslong fight over the proposed retail center off of Route 35 near the iconic Circus Liquors store.

Developers describe the project as a 340,000-square-foot town center, which will be anchored by Wegmans and a dine-in movie theater. Plans also call for a 350-unit townhouse community on the large patch of property which sits between Route 35 and a quiet residential community.

“The Route 35 Corridor is already full,” says Hauff. “And they are actually going to build 4-story houses and it’s a two-story neighborhood.”

Other residents say that they are concerned about the environmental impact on the community. They fear that too many trees will be cut down and that the neighborhood will lose some of its charm.

“We aren’t opposed to growth. We know something will go there someday,” Hauff says. “We’re hoping to see the character of Middletown get preserved.”

The township and developers have promised improved traffic patterns.

Circus Liquors has reportedly already signed a lease for the new project. Developer National Realty and Development Corp says that about 30 stores will eventually open at the location.

Toll Brothers is expected to build the townhomes and some affordable housing units.

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