One of several ambitious redevelopment projects in Seaside Heights was granted a final go-ahead Monday night, with the borough’s planning board approving plans to build a modern, multi-story mixed-use complex where a nightclub once stood, along with a community of 11 single-family homes fronting a side street.
The board unanimously approved the proposal to redevelop the property which was once home to the Merge nightclub, located at 308 Boulevard, as well as an adjacent empty lot – currently being used as a gravel parking lot – on which the single-family homes will be constructed.
The mixed-use property, which will be known as “300 Boulevard,” consists of two buildings that will each be built on 3,500 square-foot lots fronting the Boulevard between Hamilton and Franklin avenues. The 11 single-family homes will be constructed on Hamilton Avenue just off the Boulevard.
The mixed-use portion of the project will contain 23,250 square feet of retail or office space on the ground-level facing the Boulevard, along with townhouses above that will feature multiple balconies, including private rooftop decks, real estate broker Mike Loundy has previously told Shorebeat. The residential units will consist of three floors above the retail portion, and will comply with the borough’s 80-foot building height limit on the Boulevard.
At Monday night’s hearing, Brian Murphy, the project’s engineer and planner, told board members the 11 single-family homes will each be built on 2,000 square-foot lots (20-by-100 feet each) on what is now 51-59 Hamilton Avenue. The property has long been utilized only as a largely unimproved parking lot.
The entire development is located within a designated redevelopment zone, which requires approval of a redevelopment plan by the borough council. The council has already given its endorsement, making Monday night’s hearing the final step before construction can begin.
“We had to provide a redevelopment plan to the council, and we went through a few iterations of that with them,” said Murphy. “It is the exact plan that was presented to the council.”
Under an agreement reached with the borough council, the residential lots can only be developed after the mixed-use properties on the Boulevard are completed. According to the redevelopment plan, construction must commence on one of the two mixed-use buildings in order to begin construction on the first six residential lots. A certificate of occupancy must be obtained for the first mixed-use building and construction on the second mixed-use building must begin prior to the start of construction on the remaining five single-family residential lots.
The entire property is approximately 27,400 square feet in area. It has about 200 feet of frontage along Boulevard, 190 feet of frontage along Hamilton Avenue, and 90 feet of frontage along Franklin Avenue.
“There is a build-out schedule that is built into the resolution” approved by the council, Murphy said.
The project drew praise from officials.
“I really do like the commercial space,” said Board Chairman Frank Gorman. “You did a good job with that.”
Loundy has said he expects both the commercial and residential units to be available in 2023.