Saying East Brunswick Mayor Dave Stahl sold out East Brunswick residents to developers, Peter Barnes today blasted Stahl's handling of the Golden Triangle Project in East Brunswick, calling it an example of the failed leadership approach he is attempting to take to the State House.
The project, a 32-acre parcel of land off Route 18 between Tices Lane and the Old Bridge Turnpike in East Brunswick, was initially set to be a high-end retail and senior living community, estimated to bring the township up to $35 million in revenues. But under Stahl, the township forfeited $13 million, plus additional tax breaks, to developers and accepted a big-box retailer to anchor the complex. Additionally, 400 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments have been added to the development rather than the original plan for a senior living community.
“Dave Stahl sold out the people and small businesses of East Brunswick, plain and simple,” said Assemblyman Peter Barnes, candidate for state Senate. “East Brunswick residents were promised an upscale residential and retail site, but Dave Stahl saddled them with more apartments and a big-box store. Dave Stahl put the interests of big developers before those of the people he was elected to represent. If this is how he acts to his neighbors, I can't imagine what he'll try to do in Trenton.”
Barnes also stated his concern that the development will bring in more traffic and heavy trucks into an already congested transportation corridor. An engineer hired by the developer said the project would increase truck traffic to the site by more than 20, including large tractor-trailers.
"Dave Stahl's Golden Triangle will destroy the quality of life for local residents, who will now have to live it increased noise and traffic," added Barnes. “The last thing our community needs is to see Route 18 become the latest New Jersey traffic punchline. Residents and emergency services don't want and don't need to compete with two dozen new trucks on our roads.”
Since the original plan of a senior housing community was changed to 400 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments during Stahl’s mismanagement of the project, Barnes raised concerns regarding an influx of students in the East Brunswick school district.
"This boondoggle has not only cost property taxpayers now, but it will cost them even more down the road," said Barnes. "Dave Stahl took a project that would have had little to no impact on East Brunswick’s schools and turned it into a ticking time bomb. If taxes must be raised for new school construction to deal with these additional students, local taxpayers will yet again be on the hook for Dave Stahl's East Brunswick Xanadu.”