STAFFORD TWP., NJ-Silvi Group Cos., based in Fairless Hills, PA, has long been cranking out sand at its Sahara Sand Mine, located here and in neighboring Eagleswood Township, to feed the company’s cement factories in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. That could change, however–the 57-year-old company is in talks with officials of the two communities to redevelop the 1,000-acre tract as a major golf resort, including a hotel and convention center.

According to a published report, Silvi could enter into a development agreement at least with Eagleswood Township as early as the end of June for the portion of the project that would occupy the 600 acres that lie in that township. And an application could arrive on the desks of Stafford Township officials by the end of the year, according to the report. Silvi Group officials could not be reached for comment.

Under general plans outlined to local officials of the two adjacent Ocean County communities, located about halfway between Toms River and Atlantic City, the site would be transformed into what the owners are calling the Eagles Lake Golf Resort. Silvi officials say they have lined up golf architect Pete Dye to design the layout of the course. Besides the golf course, which would be situated on the 400 acres on the Stafford Township side of the tract, the owners would like to build as many as 100 homes surrounding the links.

The Eagleswood Township side of the tract, which totals some 600 acres, includes a 50-acre lake that would be expanded to more than 400 acres. A portion of the remaining acreage would hold the hotel and convention center, a restaurant, a bathing beach and related recreational space, and possibly a marina. Company officials have told the two communities that they plan to build the whole thing out in five-year increments over a 20-year period.

Because of the prior and current use of the site as a mining operation, the proposal, if it moves forward, would require substantial environmental oversight. Eagleswood Township officials, who are apparently closer to a deal than their compatriots in Stafford Township, say that the Silvi Group has already agreed to pay for an environmental study of the Eagleswood portion of the tract. Rezoning and mining license issues also remain to be ironed out, according to local officials.

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