New hotel gets past roadblocks

Staff Writer

Despite being approved by the Old Bridge Planning Board, the applicant proposing a new hotel on Spring Valley Road had choice words for the board about the delays the application had encountered.

“I started this project in 2012. The township lost over $250,000 of revenue in terms of taxes and in terms of other revenues that the township could have gotten because of a competitor’s greed,” said Pat Viswanathan.

“Delay, delay, delay, that is all they want to do.”

Three years after the application for a 100-room hotel was filed by SAS Properties LLC., Viswanathan, got the nod from the planning board Oct 6.

Attorney Ronald Gasiorowski , Red Bank, represents township resident Stephen Hernandez, who opposed the application.

According to Jonathan Heilbrunn, Viswanathan’s attorney, the delay was due to multiple technical issues raised by Gasiorowski.

At the Oct. 6 hearing, Gasiorowski questioned several aspects of the project, such as a dead-end fire lane as well as the storm basin drainage.

Gasiorowski responded to Viswanathan’s criticism, citing what he said were inaccuracies in the application that had delayed the planning board process.

“Perhaps if you did it the right way the first time, the board would not send it back,” he said.

Heilbrunn said in an interview that even though the project was given the go-ahead by the township, he expects more delays.

“I expect that the attorney for the objector will file an appeal,” he said.

Gasiorowski did not return a call seeking comment.

Proposed by SAS Properties, plans call for a 100-bedroom, four-story hotel with an entrance on Spring Valley Road and signage on Route 18.

The 59,000 square-foot hotel will be constructed on 4.51 acres of undeveloped land fronting Spring Valley Road and Route 18 in an Economic Development Opportunity zone (EDO-3). According to township records, the property is assessed at $250,000. Development plans call for the large area of wetlands on the property to remain undisturbed A total of 115 parking spaces will be provided, more than the 105 required by code, including five ADA compliant spaces

According to a traffic impact study, there would be relatively low peak-hour traffic volumes for Old Amboy and Spring Valley Roads and the hotel driveway.

According to the applicant, he has not yet decided what chain the hotel will be, although he does have some options in mind.

“It could be in the range of Marriot or Hilton. Something in that category,” said Viswanathan.