A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Friday, November 23, 2012

History: Marc Woods Development, Matawan (1960)

Howard Siegel built a major development in the Borough of Matawan. These so-called "Siegel homes" became the Marc Woods development, which is bounded by Ravine Drive, Aberdeen Road and Matawan Avenue. Below are links to an assortment of early news articles documenting some of the main events in the approval process in 1960 and 1961. The tracts used for the development are identified by name but I didn't find anything solid on those families. Presumably the lands were local farms.

The Matawan Borough Planning Board received Siegel's plan for 167 homes on the 117-acre Siano tract on 15 Aug 1960, according to the 18 Aug 1960 edition of The Matawan Journal. Karl Heuser, the borough's engineer, suggested that the property might better be used for a third lake, but the developer was unwilling to provide the land for municipal use considering his investment in land.

The 1 Sep 1960 edition of The Matawan Journal said Marc Woods would include 172 houses on 117 acres of land called the Siano tract, plus another 70-80 homes on 52 acres adjacent to the Siano property, just to the west, called the Esposito-Kravitz tract. The latter tract, also referred to as the Esposito-Kravitz-Smith tract, had recently come available because the school district's option to buy it had been abandoned after a local $2.5 million bond issue to build a new school failed.

The 27 Oct 1960 edition of The Matawan Journal (pp 1, 14) reported that the first 75 homes of the new Marc Woods development would not be connected to the sewer lines because the State had determined the borough sewer system was so overtaxed that it was polluting Matawan Creek.

The borough was planning a million dollar improvement to the sewer system that would increase both capacity and reach. The new system would expand to include all but the Freneau section of the borough. In the meantime, however, the Council could not approve such a major use.

The 27 October edition of the paper happened to record the 22 October dedication and first use of the new borough hall in the former Farmers and Merchants National Bank building on Main Street in Matawan.

The 6 Mar 1961 edition of The Red Bank Register said the new development would be attached to the borough sewer system and would include both tracts mentioned above. Units were expected to be available by September 1961 and sell for $15,000 to $17,000.


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