The Seaside Heights planning board has set a date to hold a hearing that would determine whether a number of properties that currently house three motels should be formally declared an area in need of redevelopment.
The fate of the existing motels center around a proposal to build a 180-room hotel and banquet facility that would replace them at Ocean Terrace and Lincoln Avenue. The motels that would be part of the redevelopment site are the Surfside, Glendale and Dry Dock Motels. A developer from the Boston area, as yet unnamed publicly, has expressed interest in building a new, higher-end facility at the location.
The board will take up the case at its Oct. 30 meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. in the council chambers above the borough’s firehouse.
Formally declaring an area in need of redevelopment allows the borough council to determine the specifications of what is built on the properties that are part of that area. It also allows the borough to choose a redeveloper in a public bidding process, judge proposals and compel developers to prove they have the financial wherewithal to complete the project. It also allows deadlines and benchmarks to be set for progress. Such a declaration can also be a first step toward condemning a property, however Seaside Heights has designated the hearing as a “non-condemnation” declaration in this case.
“Any redevelopment area determination made for non-condemnation purposes shall not authorize the Borough of Seaside Heights to exercise the power of eminent domain to acquire any of the properties in the delineated area,” according to a public notice on the meeting.
Initially, the new hotel – which has yet to be formally proposed – was reportedly going to replace only the Surfside Motel, but a resolution adopted by the council ordering the hearing included all three motels.
The presentation on the case for declaring the three motels a redevelopment area will be presented by an engineering and consulting firm hired by the borough. If the board decides the properties meet the state’s statutory criteria for such a declaration, their decision would represent a recommendation to the council, which would make the ultimate determination to adopt the designation. A bidding and vetting process would begin after the council action.