Mega builder resurrects plans to put up 4,000 homes in Pinelands

In a controversial proposal with origins dating back more than 30 years, one of New Jersey’s biggest names in home building is seeking to develop 4,000 housing units on the site of a defunct sand pit in the Pinelands.

Hovson’s, an H. Hovnanian Industries company based in Tinton Falls, is reviving a plan to develop part of the Heritage Minerals site in Manchester Township, a 7,000-acre property the developer bought in 1984 just after the sand quarry ceased operation.

The project would cluster a mix of 4,000 apartments, townhouses and single-family homes, plus 40,000 square feet of commercial space, on a 930-acre portion of the Heritage site, said John Pagenkopf, vice president of development for H. Hovnanian, the company founded by Hirair Hovnanian, whose family name is synonymous with large-scale residential projects.

Pagenkopf emphasized that the site would be developed over a period of up to two decades, with individual phases constructed by builders his company will hire to realize a redevelopment plan that still must be worked out with Manchester Township.

The site is located in an area of Ocean County Routes 37 and 70, within the Pinelands National Reserve and under the jurisdiction of the Coastal Area Facility Review Act. As such, the project requires a CAFRA permit from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, which scheduled a public hearing at Manchester High School.


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