A parking lot on the Boulevard in Seaside Heights is proposed to become the borough’s next mixed use development project.
The borough’s planning board held a work session meeting Monday where the owner of the property at 710 Boulevard – currently used as a private parking lot across Blaine Avenue from Hemingway’s – proposed seven buildings, including a group of single-family homes and a mixed-use apartment and commercial bloc that will front the Boulevard.
Attorney Matthew Heagen, representing the developer, said his client is seeking approval to subdivide the 13,400 square foot vacant parking lot into seven separate lots. If approved, the plan calls for the construction of six single-family homes and a multi-use property along the Boulevard that will contain two, 2-bedroom apartments and 1,472 square feet of retail space on the ground level.
There were no indications on which businesses would occupy the commercial space, however representatives said they intend on following applicable zoning codes.
The homes would measure about 1,500 square feet each, said Matthew Wilder, an engineer on the project.
“This is very similar to what we did on the Aquarius [Motel] property, and those sold out very quickly,” he said, emphasizing the demand for housing and mixed-use development in Seaside Heights. “Instead of all of these properties competing against each other, we wanted to give people a variety.”
The proposed homes would cost about $100,000 less than those built at their former Aquarius property, on Kearney Avenue in the western portion of town, he said.
Members of the board brought up some concerns over parking and the fact that some of the units may face a neighboring liquor store, but overall, representatives for the property owner said the goal of the mixed use aspect of the project is to ensure it fits in with the character of the overall redevelopment plan of the Boulevard district. The property in question is not part of any formally-designated redevelopment area, however Wilder said that, being familiar with how the area is being planned, the proposal would blend well.
The project will be formally proposed at the next regular meeting of the board, scheduled for Nov. 27 at 6 p.m. in the council chambers above the firehouse. The property owner will likely be requesting variance relief for a front yard setback, and for density and lot area, primarily due to the shape of the site. A parking variance may be required, however Wilder said he and his team may be able to fit another off-street parking space onto the property.
“We asked for two driveway exits but the county denied us and allowed us one,” he said.