June 5, 2023


Just Do Travel

Water park, wave pool coming to massive N.J. complex near Great Adventure

A plan calling for a third hotel, indoor water park and outdoor wave pool for surfers — totaling 88 acres — was approved by the Jackson Township Zoning Board two weeks ago, as part of the fourth phase of the Adventure Crossing development.

“It’s basically the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle that’s going to connect what’s been constructed for phase one where the ball fields are to the future phase three,” Graham Macfarlane, the project’s engineer, said at the April 20 meeting.

The entire project spans 282 acres. It calls for a 134-room, five-story Hilton Garden Inn, along with the 70,000-square-foot indoor water park and six-acre outdoor wave pool. The plan also proposes a cogeneration power plant. It is located close to Six Flags Great Adventure, which includes its own water park.

Both are located about an hour northeast of Philadelphia.

Residents who spoke during the meeting’s public comment portion expressed concerns about the cogeneration power plant and its potential environmental and health ramifications.

Joyce Jolliffee, a resident, said the township was headed toward being “a dump in five years.”

“Not only is (the development) poorly designed, but the environmental impacts are off the charts,” she said, addressing the board. “You guys have not cared a lick about what the people have said over and over and over for three years.”

Added resident Vince Scatuccio, “It doesn’t make sense to add a power plant and add pollution to Jackson,” noting he was concerned about the health of residents and visitors.

Vito Cardinale, the project’s developer, responded to concerns about the cogeneration power plant by saying the electric company JCP&L wasn’t capable of providing enough power “in the long run to make this project be efficient with what they had on the road.”

James Hurley, a zoning board member, said he would feel more comfortable if the motion to amend or approve the plan included a statement from the Department of Environmental Protection saying the cogeneration plant doesn’t present an environmental hazard to the nearby sports fields and proposed open-air water sections.

“We really haven’t had an environmental expert testify here, on behalf of the applicant with regard to that,” he said. Hurley’s proposal was added to the plan, as a contingent of the approval.

The motion passed 6-1. Board member and vice chairman Steve Costanzo voted against it.

The project was initially approved in 2018. The first phase includes a massive inflatable sports dome, plus multiple outdoor fields.

An amended site plan for the second phase — including a pair of warehouses totaling just over 1 million square feet — was approved in March 2021 by the Planning Board. The third phase includes nearly 500 apartments and 62,000-square-feet of retail space, according to the Asbury Park Press.

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Brianna Kudisch may be reached at [email protected].


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