Seaside Heights officials have identified 13 properties that will be sent to the borough’s planning board for a review as to whether they should be declared areas in need of redevelopment.
The properties in question are all listed for sale privately, though a formal designation of a redevelopment area theoretically gives the borough power to condemn the properties and resell them after compensating owners. While Seaside Heights has taken such action in the past – especially in the cases of troubled or blighted properties – Borough Administrator Christopher Vaz said the aim of declaring these parcels as areas in need of redevelopment is to help them sell privately so they can be redeveloped.
The properties include the former Karma nightclub and surrounding lots, the former White Pearl Hotel (which was briefly a Home Depot annex after Superstorm Sandy), the Cloud 9 Inn, the Offshore Motel, and a handful of other lots in the adjacent areas.
“We’ve already started on two other redevelopment projects,” said Vaz. “There’s a little bit of time now to assess new properties, and the council thought this should help spur redevelopment for those particular properties.”
To formally declare a property in need of redevelopment, the borough’s planning board must determine the property fits the criteria under state law. Then, the measure comes to the borough council for a vote. Once a property is declared a redevelopment area, the redevelopment agency – in this case, the borough council – directly determines what can be built there. This leaves open a wider array of options for interested buyers who may envision a unique, tourist-oriented project that does not fit into traditional zoning, or a mixed-use complex that contains multiple types of development.
“Having a property designated as a redevelopment area could potentially help the seller,” said Vaz. “They would be able to come directly to the town council for approval without having to worry about variances and that kind of thing.”
A redevelopment area also enables the borough to offer commercial tax abatements, while confirming – by law – that the buyer of a property has solid financing and will follow through on their plans.
The properties to be investigated include:
- Block 22, Lot 1
- Block 2.01, Lots 51, 55 and 56
- Block 13, Lots 1 & 15
- Block 13, Lot 12
- Block 13, Lots 21, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 31