Stafford Park Housing Development Ready for Homeowners

Jul 25, 2018
Photo by: David Biggy Surrounded by representatives of the Walters Group, D.R. Horton and the Southern Ocean Chamber of Commerce, (front row, from left) Stafford Township Council members Dave Taylor and Sharon McKenna help Mayor John Spodofora cut the ribbon signifying the official opening of the Stafford Park housing development on July 19.

Twenty years ago, the section of Stafford Township in which Stafford Park now resides was home to hundreds of thousands of cubic yards’ worth of trash and who knows what else. Now, it’s a thriving location full of commerce and community.

On July 19, Stafford Mayor John Spodofora was joined by township council members Sharon McKenna, Alan Smith and David Taylor, as well as representatives from the Walters Group, D.R. Horton and the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, to celebrate the grand opening of the final touch on Stafford Park – its newest residential neighborhood.

“When the discussions for this project started back in the 1990s and then went to bid in 2003, the township’s intention was to not have to absorb the massive cost of eliminating and capping the landfill,” said Spodofora, who teamed with McKenna to ceremoniously cut the ribbon, signifying the new development’s opening. “The Walters Group stepped up and took on the project, and has gone above and beyond to meet a growing demand in our town. This whole project has been of great benefit to the town, and today it’s become an even greater benefit.”

Already with low-to-moderate-income housing in place, senior housing currently being built, and still more retail space available to businesses, the latest development – and the final phase of the massive project just to the south of Route 72 and west of the Garden State Parkway – is slated for 350 single-family homes ranging from 1,900 to 3,500 square feet connected by nine streets.

“This is going to be a shining star in terms of a new neighborhood,” said D.R. Horton sales representative Virginia Damato. “The first 10 homes are already sold, but there are so many more to come, and this community is really going to be a great place to live and enjoy life. This neighborhood is going to be a place where kids will be able to play on the streets and trick-or-treat for Halloween, and where residents can walk around and enjoy the peace and quiet back here. But at the same time, it’s convenient to so much.”

With prices starting in the $375,000 range, the new homes will have a wide array of features, including full basements, large closet spaces, kitchen islands, attached two-car garages, covered entry porches and energy-efficient heating and air conditioning systems.

And with Costco, Target, Olive Garden, PetSmart, Best Buy (and more) literally minutes down the road, along with easy access to the Parkway, the new Stafford Park residential community should bring a new and exciting vibe to the area, said Southern Ocean Chamber of Commerce CEO Lori Pepenella.

“This is economic development at the scale needed around here,” she said. “This development provides new offerings, will attract new people from outside the area and encourage those who already live here to stay here. People can have confidence in moving here and building businesses here, and this development will give residents a great place to live and thrive and create community. This adds to our story, and it’s all positive.”

Ed Walters, president of the Walters Group, said he and his ownership partners are “extremely pleased with how everything in Stafford Park has turned out.”

“To cap the landfill was a big project, but we saw the potential here and we wanted to make it special,” Walters said. “We’re really proud of how this whole community has developed. And what more can you ask for in a community? This community is so close to shopping and the Parkway, but surrounded by 15,000 acres of state forest that’s never going to be developed, so the benefits are huge.”

While the homes are being built and sold to new residents, the existing water tower nearby will be relocated to the southern end of the community, and an active recreation park will be put in its place. D.R. Horton is expected to finish building all the residential homes of the community sometime in 2022.

“This community fulfills a need for our town and is going to be a great place for families to live,” Spodofora said. “It’s a win-win situation for everybody involved.”

— David Biggy

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