The infamous “Karma” nightclub, often the subject of derision amongst detractors from the MTV “Jersey Shore” era, is one step closer to being relegated to the history books.
The building that housed the former nightclub on the Boulevard between Hamilton and Webster avenues had been pitched as a mixed-use complex designed to “activate” the commercial corridor while providing spacious condominiums on its upper floors. The plans, since an informal presentation to the borough council earlier this year, followed by the property being declared an area in need of redevelopment, have been prepared and the planning board will consider approval for the site at its Oct. 2 meeting.
Some details on the development of the ultra-modern complex emerged as part of a work session meeting held by planning board members last week, when professionals representing the developers of the site testified as to their plans for the property.
“We’re trying to activate the Boulevard here and give it a storefront,” said architect Jason Hanrahan, who designed a building that will offer up to three storefronts on the street level and four stories of residential units above. The building will also feature a rooftop viewing area for residents, though there are no plans to add barbecues or other utilities to the roof.
The building, Hanrahan said, will consist of a ground floor space with three commercial units, each measuring approximately 900 square feet in area.
“The square footage isn’t set in stone – maybe someone wants to take all three spaces, or two of them – but combined that’s the square footage,” he said.
The building’s 36 condominium units will also be generous when it comes to space, at about 1,400 square feet each. Matthew Wilder, the engineer on the project, said 26 of the units will be three bedrooms while the remainder will be two-bedroom units. Seaside Heights’ parking ordinance requires “one-and-a-half” spaces per unit, a regulation with which the complex will comply with 56 total spaces. More details on parking will be shared at the official hearing next month.
Wilder said the original plans depicted in renderings will be slightly modified to add a “chamfer” at the request of the county. The chamfer – a cut-away at the edge of a building to form a slope – at the intersection of Hamilton and the Boulevard, as the Karma building has now, helped gain county approval since the building is being constructed along a county road.
The first floor of residential space will feature a pool area, gym and sauna for residents on the west side of the structure.
“This allows us, instead of putting units in this back corner, to give the tenants some amenities and not have sp much density that we’re exceeding any standards,” Hanrahan explained.
Each dwelling unit, in and of itself, will have “at least” 250 square feet of outdoor space, including some units that will have up to 500 square feet of balcony space.
Wilder said the building was designed with both trash and recycling chutes for easy access for residents, and the building will utilize private pickups that can be adjusted seasonally if the number of residents increases or declines depending on the time of year.
There will also be sufficient pavers, plantings, modern lighting features and new concrete surrounding the building. It will be constructed with two alcoves that will allow a breeze to pass through and double as an aesthetic benefit to both existing neighbors and passersby.
Demolition of the Karma site can begin after approval.
The formal hearing on the proposal is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 2 at 6 p.m. in the council chambers above the firehouse on Sherman Avenue.