March 3, 2017
Former South Jersey Developer CBD Real Estate Investment LLC returns to New Jersey.
A former regional real estate developer with a large resume of past projects in Southern New Jersey is returning to the area to develop its first New Jersey housing project since 2002.
David Waronker, President of CBD Real Estate Investment LLC, announced today that his Celebration Florida-based development company entered an agreement of sale to purchase the Little Pond Golf Course located at 1110 Chew Landing Road in Gloucester Township. Here he plans to seek zoning and site plan approval to build “Pretty Pond Village” a new 204 unit luxury rental apartment community. If CBD obtains the appropriate approvals, the project should break ground by the first quarter of 2018.
Little Pond Village is proposed to have one, two and three bedroom apartments in two and three story buildings. The community will have a state of the art clubhouse including a health club, theater room, internet café, game room, party room and full kitchen. A community outdoor pool, dog park, walking trail and other active and passive recreation shall be provided on site. The site will be developed with green energy efficiency and high-speed internet. Rents are expected to be from $835 to $1675. There will be limited covered parking and closed garage spaces, and the development proposes 1.5 parking spaces per unit.
CBD Real Estate was known throughout New Jersey as a large tract developer of single and multifamily housing. CBD built 35 housing projects in Burlington, Gloucester, Ocean and Camden Counties. Those projects included the Village of Little Mill in Pine Hill, Wellington Court and North Wellington Court in Mount Laurel, Harpers Orchard in Glassboro, Peach Ridge in Edgewater Park and the River Club in Fieldsboro.
CBD was also well known throughout the state as a proponent for affordable housing. A fierce affordable housing advocate, Waronker, and CBD were proactive in helping bring many New Jersey towns into compliance with their state-mandated affordable housing obligations. CBD sued and won historical affordable “Mount Laurel II” housing cases in towns including East Greenwich, Harrison Township, Cinnaminson, Edgewater Park, and Mount Laurel. CBD is currently an intervenor in the affordable housing case involving Washington Boro in Warren County. That project, known as “Washington Station”, is a proposed 300 single family home project with 15% of the units designated for low and moderate income housing.
While many states such as Florida welcome and encourage development, New Jersey remains challenging to developers and builders despite being the most densely populated State in the Country. New Jersey along with California rank number one and two respectively as the most difficult states to obtain approvals.
CBD firsthand recognizes the challenges of developing in New Jersey but understands that with proper planning, sound engineering and architecture that continued growth is inevitable. “You need to not just have a well-planned project, but also the resources, professional staff, and stomach to navigate a New Jersey project through the exhaustive approval process,” says Waronker. Those approvals include local, county, State and Federal approvals from no less than 14 separate governing regulatory agencies. CBD estimates the cost to obtain approvals for a residential development in New Jersey to be $3000 per lot and take an average of two years from start to finish. “And that is before you even apply for a building permit”, says Waronker. He states the cost in Florida is less than $1000 per home site and the average project takes just eight months to receive all approvals.
David Waronker was a two-term President of the Builders League of South Jersey, and in 2000 was voted the States Prestigious Builder of the Year Award. Waronker was Chairman of many builder advocacy groups including the Regulatory Enforcement Committee, Development Action Committee, Political Action Committee and Sales and Marketing Council.
In 1998 CBD expanded to Central Florida and has been developing large residential single family, townhome and garden style rental communities from Fort Myers to Orlando. Today CBD is based in Celebration Florida but still retains an office in Delran New Jersey. CBD, its investors and its affiliates have real estate investments in 12 States.
While President of the BLSJ, it became clear to Waronker that by 2020 New Jersey would be the first “built out” state in the country. So in 1998, he ventured out of State, first starting development in Florida, then forming a national real estate bank which bought large tracts of building lots and land across the country, including significant projects in Texas, Maine, Arizona, Arkansas, Nevada, and Colorado.
In 2004 CBD moved its main office to Central Florida. “The diversity of the projects, as well as a continued commitment from many of our capital investors, allowed us to survive some very lean years during the deep recession,” said Waronker. “Our emphasis was always on developing land in Florida, but, I always kept my eye on any eventual opportunity to come back to New Jersey,” he said.
Little Pond Village will be the first of several new projects CBD plans for the Garden State. CBD is planning to develop five to six market rate rental projects in Burlington, Gloucester and Camden Counties. The demand for affordable rental housing is virtually insatiable, as most rental projects throughout the state are at capacity many with wait lists. CBD feels that the rental market is vastly underserved in New Jersey, and recent market studies were undertaken by CBD prove that statistic as accurate. “High rents in aged properties upset me as much as it must upset the tenants”, says Waronker. He continues, “The opportunity to develop and build new, exciting, modern state of the art energy efficient rental communities will be well received huge assets for our eventual tenants as well as the communities where they will be built.”