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LAKEWOOD, NJ-The New Jersey Department of Transportation has awarded a $4 million infrastructure grant to Cedarbridge Development Corp. for its 1.5 million-sf Cedarbridge Corporate Campus on 240 acres in this Ocean County community. The money, which is coming from the DOT’s Discretionary Aid Program and its Economic Development Fund, will flow through Lakewood Twp. to the developer, as is required by the state for such grants.

Specifically, the money will be used to upgrade a major access road bisecting the site and other road improvements, as well as for utility upgrades and street landscaping. “We’ve been working closely with Lakewood to support these improvements,” according to DOT commissioner James Weinstein.

Since getting the nod as redeveloper of choice for the site in June 2000, Cedarbridge has invested $1.1 million to complete the masterplanning for the infrastructure, design engineering, assemblage of the site and a variety of pre-marketing activities including approvals. The development team that has been put together includes Picus Associates of Princeton as project manager; the Hillier Group, also of Princeton, as planner/architect; Cushman & Wakefield of NJ as exclusive leasing agent; and D.W. Smith Associates, Lakewood, as project engineer.

The developer projects up to 14 office buildings at build-out, which is expected to be several years down the road. Actual construction is expected to begin next summer, and assessed property value at full build-out could reach the $300 million mark, according to estimates.

“The campus has the potential to generate 7,000 to 10,000 jobs,” according to project manager Phil Ludeke of Picus Associates. “The increased daytime population is also expected to provide the stimulus for more retail spending within the local economy in Ocean County. It will also provide Lakewood with several million dollars of new annual property tax revenues.”

The project is being designed, according to Ludeke, for a variety of uses, including R&D, computer service centers, pharmaceutical labs and research, telecom companies and other high-tech uses, as well as corporate HQ and back office space. Amenities will include restaurants, banking and retail support services.

The project is also located within an urban enterprise zone and a foreign-trade zone. “It will be able to offer a number of state and local tax and other benefits,” points out Cushman & Wakefield senior director Joseph Sarno, who’s based in the company’s Iselin, NJ office.

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