LONG BRANCH: After years of discussions, planning and ownership changes, construction of the third phase of Pier Village has begun.
Kushner Companies and its partner Extell Development held a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 24 to signify the start of work on a new hotel at the site. The ceremony was attended by representatives from both companies and local officials including Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider.
Work on the missing piece of the city's new boardwalk between Morris Avenue and Melrose Terrace, which spans the length of the third phase, has also begun. The new and expanded public boardwalk will feature a carousel, a stage for community events, shade structures, public restrooms, and a children's play area with a mist park. Also included in the plans are additional public parking spaces and new stairways and ramps to provide beach access.
It was announced at the ceremony that the goal is to have the boardwalk construction complete by Memorial Day, 2018.
The rest of the site work includes the 72-room boutique hotel, new oceanfront condominiums, a 72-room boutique hotel, new dining and shopping options spread out over 42,300 square feet of retail space, a 370-space parking garage and public recreational amenities.
The developers hope to have that construction complete by Memorial Day, 2019.
The city, Kushner Companies and Extell Development agreed to a redevelopment and financing agreement for the project last summer. The agreement includes a $20 million redevelopment area bond (RAB) that will finance public infrastructure improvements such as the new boardwalk as well as a carousel, children's play area and off-site parking. The debt service on the RAB will be paid back to the city through annual, escalating payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) to match increasing city-wide taxes and hotel occupancy taxes.