David P. Willis // Asbury Park Press
Workers already have started to clear and prepare land for the project undertaken by Jackson-based Cardinale Enterprises and its president, Vito Cardinale.
Earlier this week, the township Zoning Board approved spaces for eight restaurants and a fuel and convenience store along Route 537.
It also backed future phases of the $500 million plan, which includes entertainment and sports facilities, hotels, restaurants, retail space and a brain research center focusing on multiple sclerosis.
Adventure Crossing USA will be the “economic driver” to fund the research center on the property. Scientists and researchers will study multiple sclerosis and other neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, Cardinale said. There also will be apartments for people with special needs.
Cardinale was the driving force behind the Linda E. Cardinale Multiple Sclerosis Center at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold Township in honor of his wife, who died five years ago after a battle with multiple sclerosis.
The approval by Jackson’s zoning board allows the developer to move forward with its overall plans and attract tenants, but Cardinale will have to return to the board for specific design approvals.
It is a “monumental step,” said Giorgio Vasilis, vice president of commercial real estate at Woodbridge-based Sitar Realty Co., the leasing agent. “We now look forward to signing some major tenants up and getting them open for the public.”
Cardinale plans to turn Adventure Crossing into a youth sports and entertainment destination at the Jersey Shore, one that will attract youth sports teams, and other sports participants, from around the Northeast for an extended stay.
Work on the project’s first phase is expected to take two to three years to complete.
Among the highlights:a 120,000-square-foot indoor sports dome called Adventure Sports & Entertainment; two hotels, a 134-room Hilton Garden Inn and a 140-room SpringHill Suites by Marriott; eight outdoor sports fields; and a 100,000-square-foot indoor recreational building with a trampoline park, indoor go-kart racing, and an area for video game competitions.
Now Adventure Crossing can move forward with construction of a strip of eight restaurants and a fuel and convenience store that will front Route 537. Leases have not been finalized, but here’s what’s coming. Plans call for:
- Four 2,500-square-foot restaurants with drive-thru lanes.
- Two 4,000-square-foot restaurants with drive-thru lanes.
- An 8,000-square-foot restaurant.
- And a 10,000-square-foot restaurant.
- A gas and convenience store.
Future phases include plans for a third hotel, a golf facility, an expo center, a retail sports building, a facility with four to six hockey rinks, an outdoor stadium for sports events, such as football, cricket and lacrosse, and concerts.