Former owner of abandoned Downtown Lakehurst hardware store once sought sale to build Yeshiva

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1 min read
Abandoned hardware store in Lakewood where the owner is seeking to sell to an Orthodox Jewish yeshiva.
Abandoned hardware store in Lakewood where the owner is seeking to sell to an Orthodox Jewish yeshiva.

Lakehurst, NJ – The abandoned former Lakehurst Hardware store in downtown Lakehurst went out of business and has been sitting vacant since. The owner of that business Marty Flemming, a councilman in Jackson Township and owner of Countyline hardware in the same town, for a while was pushing a new idea for his shuttered warehouse before the business was sold to a caterer.

A yeshiva.

Flemming was pushing the idea of turning the old business at 10 Union Street into an Orthodox Jewish Yeshiva. Buyers weren’t breaking down the walls to buy an old hardware store, so Flemming was peddling his idea to local rabbis and Orthodox Jewish community leaders in Ocean County. Today, several developers and several people approached by Flemming notified Shore News Network and confirmed those solicitations.

The location has since been sold to a caterer, according to the family, but early in the process, Flemming was marketing it as a potential yeshiva.

Flemming was asking for a Jewish buyer to purchase his former hardware store in hopes that a developer wanting to build an Orthodox Jewish school in the heart of Lakehurst would take an interest.

In Jackson, as councilman, Flemming has been under fire where he serves on the planning board as he is currently overseeing two Orthodox Jewish private school projects on Leesville Road in Jackson.

Flemming, who is running for mayor in Jackson, was contacted through his campaign website regarding his recent solicitations to several developers and rabbis to gauge interest in the purchase of the location to be turned into a private Jewish school.

Sources close to the negotiations confirmed Flemming’s solicitations under the condition of anonymity. Several years ago, Flemming also made inquiries to local realtors about selling family-owned properties on Murdoch Place “to Jews” because they are “willing to pay top dollar”. In that solicitation, Flemming wanted to have the multiple properties sold as in a bundle.

Flemming recently hosted Mordechai Eichorn, the developer of the controversial Jackson Trails development on South Hope Chapel Road near the Manchester-Jackson border at Eichorn’s nearby golf course at a campaign fundraiser. Jackson Trails is about two miles from the proposed Yeshiva site owned by Flemming in Downtown Lakehurst.

The property last sold for $1.125 million, according to Coldwell Banker Real Estate. The former hardware store is a 14,000-square-foot building with a large warehouse and “plenty of room to either grow, divide, or rent” according to the for-sale listing of the property.

The story has been updated to reflect the property was sold to a caterer after being marketed as a Yeshiva by its prior owner, in error, identified as the current owner.