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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

NYT on a Lakewood Housing Development

I blogged a while ago about the attributes that make a home attractive to Orthodox homebuyers. The NY Times covers some of the same ground in an article in Sunday's Real Estate section, about a new housing development in Lakewood being marketed to Orthodox Jews:

The project, Pine River Village, is rising on a large, oblong plot originally owned by the college. The design of its houses, its layout and the amenities in its community buildings take Orthodox culture, beliefs and lifestyle into account, said Lloyd A. Rosenberg of DMR Architects, the firm hired by Somerset Development of Lakewood to take the idea forward.

Each kitchen will be kosher — that is, with two sets of appliances and sinks — and the community pool house will include a mikvah, for ritual baths taken by women, the architect said.

...He cited the work on Orthodox-friendly amenities like the kosher kitchen with two stoves, two sinks and two food preparation areas, and the barriers in the pool house that are meant to keep men and women from seeing one another. The dining rooms are designed to be larger than usual, the architects said, to accommodate family gatherings on the Sabbath and other holy days. The kitchens have breakfast nooks for smaller meals.

Each home was designed with space that could be used for religious study, Lloyd Rosenberg said. Larger homes will have spacious family rooms with built-in bookshelves and display nooks.

The two-story homes have master bedrooms on the first floor, with the option of installing an elevator. The master bedrooms are configured to comfortably accommodate two single beds, as is customary in Orthodox homes, Mr. Rosenberg said.

...The temple area is no more than a five-minute walk from any house in the community, he added.

Check it out.

50 Comments:

Blogger Pragmatician said...

They forgot the Pessach kitchen and room for a Sukkah :)
Vesides that it sounds like an amazing project.

5:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OM, when do you sleep?

8:24 AM  
Anonymous deeni said...

But this is bascially senior housing-- no kids, over 55 (although we probably need to redefine that because lots of people in their mid 50's have 10 and 15 yr olds). Are there restrictions on how many nights/shabbosim grandkids can stay? It sounds depressing to me-- a pretty old age home

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I presume this new development is not wired for cable tv or high speed internet access?

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about a dome around the entire complex so all outside influences can be kept to an absolute minimum?

No thanks, Orthomom, I'll pass. I would rather live in the real world with its good AND bad then a place where everyone is "just like me".

2:21 PM  
Blogger YMedad said...

"Temple"? They are building the Temple outside of Jerusalem? ;>)

3:54 PM  
Blogger SephardiLady said...

Those who buy single-family houses or town houses at Pine River, which will range from 2,567 to 3,784 square feet, must have at least one family member age 55 or older, and no children living in the home, according to New Jersey regulations for “active adult” housing.

Goodness, at this point in our lives we are need of more space. But, once we have no children living in our home . . do I really want to be cleaning two floors and 2,567 to 3,784 square feet?

I wonder if the restriction is no children living at home, but the HOA allows for regular overnight visitors? If that is the case, then I guess many people will desperately need the space even without kids at home.

That might also explain the demand for a mikvah on the premises too, since I don't imagine that wives of that age are regular users.

5:12 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...


No thanks, Orthomom, I'll pass. I would rather live in the real world with its good AND bad then a place where everyone is "just like me".



Hey, I'm not trying to convince anyone to move there. I report, you decide.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous goyguy said...

"Mr. Zucker said the housing at Pine River was open to all, Orthodox or not...

“The idea is not to exclude anyone,” Mr. Rosenberg said...

“Still,” said Lloyd Rosenberg (no relation to Ralph), “we know who is probably going to choose to live there..."

The problem is that this project is all ABOUT exclusion, since the development has "amenities" that would deter anyone who's not Orthodox from moving in. I'm sure the average retiree needs two sinks and dishwashers like they need a hole in the head.

This...

"developers of the new Trio complex are hoping to attract Koreans, who make up 35 percent of the population, and other Asians. Foyers are designed with space for leaving shoes beside the door, fake stone is forsaken for the real thing and the number four is eliminated from all addresses at Trio because of its phonetic similarity to the word death in several Asian languages."

...however, is about INCLUSION. A business decision to hopefully make prospective residents feel more comfortable, with some amenities for Koreans that don't mean a hill of beans to anyone else one way or the other. Other people aren't going to stay away because their apartment number isn't 4-B or that the stone floors are too nice.

12:26 AM  
Blogger SephardiLady said...

The separate swimming could scare people off. But, I don't see how a beautiful, sizable kitchen will scare people off. If anything, these kitchens are fashionable.

I used to work with a non-Jewish family that lived in an upscale new housing complex (the nearest frum community was 20 miles away). They had 3 sinks (2 doubles and one small sink) and double ovens. I'm sure a second dishwasher would not have phased them. Granted they were not retirees, but still.

The only thing I can see that excludes is the separate swimming facilities (unless there is another facility for mixed swimming).

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does a retiree community need a mikva?

2:17 PM  
Blogger Rivka said...

I, too, have to wonder what the point is of such huge houses, with big "family rooms," when only seniors will be living there. How can the project leaders say on one hand that they are open to Orthodox families moving in, but on the other prohibit children? Doesn't the word "family" kinda inherently imply kids?

4:26 PM  
Anonymous goyguy said...

SephardiLady said...

"The separate swimming could scare people off. But, I don't see how a beautiful, sizable kitchen will scare people off. If anything, these kitchens are fashionable."

Well, you have a point about the sinks... I do have 2 in MY kitchen, now that you mention it. Oops. The pool/mikvah thing is something else. And the whole general way it's being promoted. I think we all get the idea, here. This has "exclusive/exclusion/others need not apply" written all over it. If some evangelical Christian deleloper was putting up a development in NJ with a "baptisimal font conveniently located in the clubhouse so when you are ready to start your personal relationship with our Savior you can dive right in..." the ACLU would be all over them like white on rice before you could say "Praise the Lord."

7:54 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

This has "exclusive/exclusion/others need not apply" written all over it. If some evangelical Christian deleloper was putting up a development in NJ with a "baptisimal font conveniently located in the clubhouse so when you are ready to start your personal relationship with our Savior you can dive right in..." the ACLU would be all over them like white on rice before you could say "Praise the Lord."

I think you are wrong on this. I couldn't care less if "some evangelical Christian developer" built a development with a baptismal font. I wouldn't view it as exclusive at all. I just wouldn't make it on my short list for neighborhoods to house-hunt in - as it doesn't meet my specific needs. Unless, of course, the baptismal font happened to be a kosher mikvah...

9:12 PM  
Blogger Goy Guy said...

momof4 said...


"I think you are wrong on this. I couldn't care less if "some evangelical Christian developer" built a development with a baptismal font. I wouldn't view it as exclusive at all. I just wouldn't make it on my short list for neighborhoods to house-hunt in - as it doesn't meet my specific needs. Unless, of course, the baptismal font happened to be a kosher mikvah..."

I agree with you that if you don't like the place, don't live there. But certainly for someone to say

“The idea is not to exclude anyone,” Mr. Rosenberg said...

on the one hand, while we also hear

“Still,” said Lloyd Rosenberg (no relation to Ralph), “we know who is probably going to choose to live there..."

is sending a mixed message.

And will the people not using the mikvah be paying for the upkeep in their maintenance fees, or just the people that use it? That certainly wouldn't be fair to the users, since their obligation will vary with the number of residents who use it. Will it be open to "guests"?

And since you brought it up, what if some Christian folks move in and want to use the mikvah for a baptisimal font. On Shabbos ;-)

Remember, “The idea is not to exclude anyone,”

How about when the hot looking gentile babe in 3-B starts strolling through the streets to the pool every day in her thong bikini with some fake little cover-up thingy over it?

Are they going to have a dress code, too?

Or if one of the "other" residents has a few "guests" over and offers them lodging and meals while they are visiting patients at a local hospital on Sundays and Holy days. Maybe a little "prayer meeting" on Sunday mornings for the sick folks before heading to the hospital. Belting out a few Gospel tunes with the windows wide open on a nice Spring day. Maybe during Passover. Don't forget the "Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000"

I bet in the end the pool/mikvah thing is a liability. If it's in Lakewood most of the residents would probably be Orthodox anyway, with or without the seperate pools and mikvah. Nice big houses with kosher type kitchens. Perfect.

If even one house is sold to anyone not Orthodox there will be problems because of the pool/mikvah, count on it. And I doubt the builders will be turning down any qualified buyers in the present real estate market. An Orthodox buyer who sees these problems coming might just say "Maybe I'll just buy a house on a nice Jewish block near the shul, and avoid all the trouble."

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with goy guy. It ABSOLUTELY has exclusion written all over it. But let's be honest here, isn't that another amenity (just like the two dishwasher kitchen) to the demographic they are marketing this development to?

6:49 AM  
Blogger SephardiLady said...

I think the area where there could be trouble will be with children. Chances are the Jewish owners, while they may not technically have children living with them, will have their kids and grandkids over all the time. . . . and those who bought to be in a kid-free community won't be too happy when the kids invade for Shabbat and Yom Tov.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who on earth can afford one of these places???

(call me naive)

9:50 AM  
Anonymous MRN said...

Sephardi lady -- yes, this development is just vacatino village without the name

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Lakewood Ihr Hakodesh said...

Of course this development will end up virtually entirely Orthodox, but for reasons that have nothing to do with the multiple sinks, or the Mikveh. Its simply a matter of that Orthodox Jews prefer to live among other Orthodox Jews, and are thus willing to pay a substantial premium to do so. In Lakewood, once an area turns black (hat), the price of real estate goes up substantially. A non-orthodox Jew, who has no particular reason to want to live in an orthodox area, has no logical reason to pay that premium. They might as well buy somewhere else where their money will go farther. Its no different from any other ethnic pocket, whether Polish people in Greenpoint, Brooklyn or Koreans in Palisades Park, Bergen County. Once it is inevitable that the place will be all Orthodox, it’s a good thing to accommodate them.

On another note, I suspect that it is difficult to enforce the rules that require that no children live there and the rules will be flaunted. In Lakewood the attitude is, “what the goyim decide really isn’t binding on us and our world.”

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What the goyim decide really isn't binding on us and our world"

What a beautiful sentiment. That really is so telling on how your religious beliefs and lifestyle do absolutely NOTHING to achieve a bigoted-free all inclusive society.

I mean really. What God ( I'm sorry, G-d) are you worshipping? You truly are no different and no better than those whacked out right wing Christians.

If every group in this country lived life the way you guys do this would be some scary country!

6:42 PM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

'I doubt the builders will be turning down any qualified buyers in the present real estate market'

To do so would be illegal.

The same laws that allow us to have Orthodox Jewish communities in formerly WASP enclaves like Scarsdale allow non-Jews to live in Lakewood. And to walk down the street in a bikini. (In New York State, a woman can legally walk down the street with no top at all.)



'Orthodox Jews prefer to live among other Orthodox Jews, and are thus willing to pay a substantial premium to do so.'

Not in my neighborhood. Most of my neighbors are Irish Catholics.

12:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It kinda bugs me that the kitchens are termed kosher for how they are built. A kitchen is kosher because it is kept kosher. "Each kitchen will be kosher -- that is, with two sets of appliances and sinks." One doe snot equal the other there. Better to say for what use something is being designed, as is done in teh rest of the article.

Um, yeah, and synagogue rather than temple, eh?

While double sinks and ovens might be common in in other types of kitchens, I don't see non-Jews needing double stovetops or dishwashers.

I don't think residents could do anything if they didn't like the non-coed pool. If, however, they were pressure dto take down non-Jewish religious symbols hanging outside of their houses, they'd have a case.

5:39 AM  
Blogger SephardiLady said...

I don't see non-Jews needing double stovetops or dishwashers.

Actually two separate dishwashers that sit in the place of one regular dishwasher, so that a family can run a "china crystal" cylce simultaneously with a "pots and pan" cycle is becoming quite popular and people are paying a huge premium for a such a dishwasher (something like $1100 + installation).

If these dishwashers are becoming popular, I see no reason why having two larger dishwashers, would not interest some non-Jews.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oy vey?!

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All of this talk about exclusion is ridiculous. So then 99% of all houses built in America are exclusionist against Orthodox Jews? No....it's just that 99% of Americans are not Orthodox Jews. No one is playing that card are they? What is the alternative? One in every 100 houses built in America be made to subscribe to Orthodox practice? No, you build Orthodox housing where Orthodox Jews live, plain and simple. We all know Lakewood is overwhelmingly a Jewish community (estimates of about 65-75%). You people are incredibly-ignorant and apparently do not think before you talk. Chew on this you bigots: I am Protestant but I think it would be sweet to have two sinks and two dishwashers: it would make my mother happy and I wouldn't have to do the dishes so frequently. By the way, these houses look beautiful and certainly respect a Northeastern - Mid Atlantic traditional look unlike all of our "unorthodox" cookie cutter, single-dishwasher houses.

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