SHREWSBURY: SHADOWBROOK PLAN ON DECK

shadowbrook-estateThe opulent Shadowbrook facility, which is not visible from any public street, is surrounded by homes and accessed via a single, long driveway, below. (Photo above from the Shadowbrook website; below by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

shadowbrook 092615A plan to more than double the size of the Shadowbrook catering facility in Shrewsbury has neighbors concerned about added traffic, spillover parking and noise.

A drone’s-eye view of the Shadowbrook property. (Video by Propellerheads Photography.)

The business, which is not visible from any public street, sits on 17 acres surround on all sides by residences, and is accessed by a long, 25-foot wide driveway at Obre Place.

The Zweben family, owners for 43 years, sold Shadowbrook earlier this year to KGSC Realty. The real estate alone went for $9.1 million, according to deeds filed with Monmouth County.

James and Caryl Kourgelis of Saddle River own 50 percent of KGSC, and partners George Kourgelis, Mike Kourgelis, Christos Gourmos, Mark Spinelli and Carl Carfello each own 10 percent, according to a disclosure document filed with the borough. The group also owns and operates the Venetian catering complex in Garfield and Seasons catering in Washington Township.

KGSC’s proposal would more than double the size of the facility, to 45,000 square feet, from 19,000, including the addition of a 25,000-square foot wing on the western side of the existing structure, according to documents filed with the borough planning office.

It would also provide parking for just 329 vehicles, though an operation that size should have at least 894, according to a review by the borough engineer, David Cranmer. There’s also no provision for buses and other large vehicles typically used in weddings, he wrote.

The project needs a host of variances to move ahead, including those for the parking shortfall, impervious lot coverage and building height. KGSC wants to go up to 44 feet in a zone that permits just 30, according to Cranmer.

The proposal has neighbors alarmed about the potential for increased traffic and parking on surrounding streets, as well as “noise nuisance from up to three simultaneous events,” according to a flier circulated by Dina Smyth, whose Spruce Drive property abuts Shadowbrook’s western edge.

Neither Smyth nor James Kourgelis could be reached for coment Tuesday morning.

The Shadowbrook expansion plan is the sole item on the agenda of a special meeting of the borough zoning board scheduled for Wednesday, 7 p.m., at borough hall, 419 Sycamore Avenue.

Shadowbrook originated in 1909 as a country estate for a Manhattan surgeon, Ernest Fahnestock, and became a restaurant under Fred Thorngreen in 1943. Sidney Zweben and his sons Robert and Sandy acquired the business in 1971 and operated it as a combination a la carte restaurant and catering hall before phasing out the restaurant operations in favor of group events about a decade ago, according to an article in Industry magazine.