Township and state officials gathered for the ceremonial groundbreaking of the Tudor Village community Friday afternoon.
The development, which will be nestled in the woods off Route 70 near the Bancroft Neurohealth site, will include 12 apartments, nine of which will be set aside for individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities.
Tudor Village is being built by Brick-based Homes Now Inc., a nonprofit company, and several partners. The project has received both state and federal grant funding.
Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who was on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony, said the Brick project is one of the first of its kind in the state and is in line with Gov. Chris Christie's call for the mentally disabled to be assimilated into the community rather than institutionalized.
Guadagno said when she took office, New Jersey had the second-highest number of institutionalized people of any state in the country.
"We knew ... that we were going to have to find a safe, secure state-of-the-art place to put people who should be assimilated into our society and not instutionalized," said Guadagno. "When I heard about Tudor Village and everything it was, I had to come."
"People said it couldn't be done, but it can be done if we all get together and single-mindedly understand that the goal is to find safe and secure homes for the most vulnerable in our society," she said.
Tudor Village will also include housing for low-income veterans, officials said.
Those with mental disabilities living at the facility will receive round-the-clock care by The Arc of Ocean County.
Most who spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony credited Carol Wolfe, President of Homes Now, for getting the project off the ground.
Last year, Homes Now entered into a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement with the township. Under the PILOT agreement, the facility will make an annual payment to the township despite being exempt from traditional property taxes. PILOT agreements are common in situations when a tax exempt organization or complex owns property. They usually pay close to what a market rate tax payment would be.
The site of the future complex has already been cleared and construction is set to begin soon.