Why does Marlboro assisted-living have to be three stories? Zoners want to know – Asbury Park Press

MALBORO – Plans for a three-story senior living facility next to St. Gabriel Roman Catholic Church along Main Street (Route 79) drew questions from the zoning board about affordable housing, height and traffic. 

The proposed assisted living facility is owned by Capitol Seniors Housing, a real estate private equity firm that builds senior housing. The developer is backed by two private equity firms, Bain Capital and The Carlyle Group.  

The proposed plan is located across from Walgreens near Marlboro High School. It proposes to raze two houses to build an 83-unit facility that could host up to 100 beds. According to Joe McElwee, senior vice president of development for the developer, the facility has more beds than rooms because it could host couples. 

The rooms are proposed to be divided into 60 assisted-living units and 23 memory-care units. The memory-care apartment units are proposed to be located in a secured area of the facility, according to Mark Kuberski, architect for the developer. 

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Kuberski said, the facility plans include a clubroom, bistro, lounge, dining room, library, salon, fitness/rehab area and a secured court yard. A private dining room for residents to eat with relatives is also proposed. 

Ten percent of the beds are proposed to be reserved for residents on Medicaid, according to McElwee. 

Board engineer and planner Laura Neumann said the beds reserved for Medicaid recipients will go toward the township’s future affordable housing obligations. 

McElwee stressed that the facility is not a nursing home. He said the developer intends for there to be only two shipments for food and two trips for trash per week. 

“This is a residence,” McElwee said, therefore there are no proposals for shipments of medical supplies. “(Residents) live there on an annual residency agreement. There’s no medical supplies and that type of thing.” 

McElwee said the first shift from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. is proposed to have 30 staff members on shift, the second shift from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. is proposed to have 22 staff members on shift and the third shift from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. is proposed to have four or five staff members on shift. 

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Board member Matthew Weilheimer asked why the facility is proposed to be three and not two stories and asked if there are other assisted living facilities in Marlboro that are three stories. 

McElwee said the Sunrise at Marlboro is a three-story assisted living facility. 

“We think the three-story is appropriate for a couple of reasons,” McElwee said. “Number one, architecturally. And number two, the smaller the footprint of the building, the shorter the hallway lengths are for the residents. So, it functions both for the, not just the safety, but the accessibility of the residents and the architectural appearance.” 

Board member Kevin Royce asked why the developer decided to plan for 60 parking spaces. 

Dan Sehnal, engineer for the developer, said half would be for staff members. He said fewer than 10% of residents will drive. And the rest of the parking spaces are proposed to be for guests of the residents. 

Board member Martin Powers asked if the board could delay final improvement until it sees county traffic data. 

Ron Cucchiaro, attorney for the board, said that was possible.

Powers said, “One of the things I’m really concerned about … is the traffic flow onto Route 79 and the making of the left turn into the property or a left turn out of the property, getting out of Main Street is a concern. And I’d really like the DOT to weigh in on whether that traffic pattern can even be implemented.” 

Traffic concerns were directed to the next meeting when the traffic engineer will provide an updated traffic report.  

The next meeting will also allow the public to weigh in on the application. 

The next meeting will be in person at the Marlboro Township municipal building at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 10. 

Olivia Liu is a reporter covering transportation, Red Bank and western Monmouth County. She can be reached at oliu@gannett.com.