Shore area entrepreneurs looking to try their hand in the business of summer fun will have two opportunities to take the plunge (one literally, perhaps) as Seaside Heights has set dates for which lease offers will be accepted at two borough properties.
One of the properties, a former Dunkin’ Donuts and coffee shop on the boardwalk, and another running the boat ramp and a number of water sports activities on the south bay beach at Sunset Park. Bid specifications and deadlines were announced last week, and can be found at the end of the story.
Lucky on the Boardwalk?
The “shack” on the boardwalk at Hamilton Avenue – one of its busiest locations – has become available again after a number of tenants have come and gone since Superstorm Sandy, after a Dunkin’ Donuts business moved out. The building, owned by the borough, is located in the middle of the boardwalk itself.
A few businesses in the food service category has occupied the space recently. The first was Bada Bean, a mobster-themed coffee shop that opened to rave reviews, but moved out after one season. Blue Cup Coffee then signed a five-year lease with the borough, serving coffee and breakfast foods, but recently declined an option to sign a five-year extension.
Previously, the borough required that the building continue to be leased to a food-based business, however the terms this time around are more broad.
“We don’t want to be as restrictive as we were last time, when it basically had to be coffee, so it’s going to be a little more general in nature this time,” Borough Administrator Christopher Vaz explained.
The building will be leased to the successful bidder for a minimum term of five years. It is open to anyone wishing to run a “food and beverage business, game or games of chance, or other retail business” as long as the retail business is permitted along the boardwalk.
The previous tenant paid $49,000 per year for four seasons after a discounted first season due to its opening date.
Just a side note: for fans of Blue Cup Coffee, the local business has indicated it will return next season to its new, larger location at 1800 Boardwalk, just north of the Sawmill near what has become something of a restaurant and food court area.
Those looking to cruise into the bayside boating business also have an opportunity to start something new this year in Seaside Heights.
The borough has set a deadline of Feb. 14 for applicants to make a lease offer on the north bayfront (Sunset Park) boat ramp and water sports concession. The concession includes operating the municipal boat ramp and may also include the rental of “non-motorized no-wake equipment” such as peddle/paddle boats, standup paddle boards, kayaks, and similar equipment.
Historically, with local and state DEP approval, the operator of the bayfront concession has also operated an inflatable water park in the bay itself, usually with tubes, slides and other equipment that floats in the salt water of Barnegat Bay, just off the beach.
The borough is offering prospective business owners a minimum term of three years with a two year option. The lease consists of the opportunity to run the business only; it does not include the purchase of physical infrastructure or ownership of the ramp.
The borough has set a deadline of Feb. 14 for applicants to make a lease offer. Specifications and bid forms may be obtained from the borough clerk’s office at 100 Grant Avenue, Building B, and will be placed online in the coming days. Sealed bids will be received, opened and read aloud in public at the George E. Tompkins Municipal Complex on Thursday, February 15, 2024, at 3:30 p.m. The borough will then have 60 days to consider the bids for acceptance or rejection.