The Middletown Township Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved zoning changes for Oxford Valley Mall. This vote will allow owner Simon Property Group to move forward with land development plans for a 600-unit residential apartment complex.
Simon Property Group, with developer CornerstoneTracy, presented plans for new apartments near the old Boscovs at August’s meeting. Scott Richardson, vice president of development, began the hearing with attorney Denise Yarnoff.
Richardson testified this was part of an “evolution of the business as we know it.” As retailers close throughout the country and some malls are completely abandoned, he called this zoning project an opportunity.
“What we are doing right now is turning what used to be a shopping mall into what we’re calling a retail campus.”
This “campus” involves mixed-use property. Along with retailers, homes and offices would occupy spaces on the same development.
The plans for two residential buildings currently target a higher end market. They include a dog park, pools, and other supplementary features. These units would also be for families with children, making some question issues with density.
As for generated revenues, estimates place raised income for the township at $95,000 and $1 million for the school district.
Langhorne resident Fred Weiner raised concerns with several other residents about services and traffic. One representative confirmed an official traffic study had not been completed.
Supervisor Amy Strouse raised concerns about an influx of children to local schools.
“My three little kids go to the same school that these children would be zoned for,” Strouse said. “I’ve heard a lot of concern from the fellow parent community that if it’s 600 and you get 600 kids, that really changes the dynamic of our community.”
Yarnoff responded claiming a study showed about 65 new children would attend the school district based on the numbers. However, she said previous studies consistently overestimated these totals, and real world totals were much smaller.
Formal land development plans were not submitted as of Monday night.