Remember the proposed Super Wal-Mart for Toms River and Manchester? It was a project that was first announced nearly a decade ago. 

Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ

Right now, shrouded in mystery is the best way to describe the fate of the plan that would put an almost 200,000 square foot store on Route 37.

The project had been riddled with problems.  First, it was a pine snake on the properly and environmentalists outraged about the destruction of its habitat. Once that worked out, there was an issue obtaining the permits from the state. That was eventually rectified. Then a lawsuit from the owners of the Manchester Shop-Rite posed a threat.  That part may still be in litigation. The owners were attempting to block it to protect their own business, accusing the town of violating an agreement.

The project has now hit another snag where not even town officials know the status of what's going on.  Manchester Mayor Michael Fressola is frustrated with the whole thing.  He tells us "I am surprised this project was not spearheaded quicker especially after all the initial delays. I don't think the lawsuit has anything to do with the holdup."

Fressola believes the economy is to blame.  He is confident the store will be built at some point but can't say for sure.

Area where a storm drain will be built for new Walmart on Route 37. (Jason Allentoff, Townsquare Media NJ)

He adds "the problem is whenever I go to the senior villages, everyone's first question still remains what's happening with the Wal-Mart. I always have to answer I don't know. I wish we could have shovels in the ground tomorrow but that's not happening."

 

 

Toms River Mayor Tom Kelaher is also unclear of the status of things.

Townsquare Media attempted to reach the attorney on the project several times yesterday. All calls went unreturned.