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Group Promoting Foodtown Site Redevelopment Plan to Host Meeting

Group has proposed mixed-use development of the site

The Route 70 Foodtown site. (Patch File Photo)
The Route 70 Foodtown site. (Patch File Photo)
Friends of Forge Pond, the grassroots group that is trying to put forth a plan to redevelop the former Route 70 Foodtown site, announced this week that it would host a meeting at the Brick Branch of the Ocean County Library next month.

The future of the former Foodtown site is currently in limbo as the township's redevelopment plan calls for a full-service hotel to be built there, but the chosen redeveloper says such a business is not viable and has proposed 192 condominiums and 75 rental units, plus retail space.

Since the redeveloper, M&M Realty Partners, made the proposal last year, the township council has not acted to change the redevelopment agreement or cut ties with M&M. The site has been used as a state Department of Environmental Protection debris management site since Superstorm Sandy struck.

"Winter may be on our minds, but Friends of Forge Pond will provide a concise presentation of 'Smart Growth Initiatives,' with a focus on the former Foodtown Site in Brick Township," the group announced this week.

The presentation will be made March 19 at the Brick library branch, from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Last week, John Zingis, one of the founders of Friends of Forge Pond, told Patch that he has not heard back from township officials on the plan proposed by his group for a mixed-use development including a smaller hotel and a community center, and overall redevelopment of the site seems "dead in the water."

Business Administrator Scott Pezarras said recent that the Friends proposal has not been reviewed by either the township council or the township's administration, though they will be "having discussions on that in the near future."
50plusyearsinBrick February 14, 2014 at 06:05 PM
Lewis....we do have Windward Beach which has trees, park, picnic area,playground, beach, fishing access. If Brick can afford to make Foodtown site another area like windward, I am very supportive. I DO NOT want condos or rentals as I agree they will end up being troublesome... I have read all the replies and having thought about this, I like your ideas Lew. I may have been wrong thinking about ratables...we have so little open space left inBrick and being that it's right on Forge Pond, it's really a lovely area..kayak, canoe walk. Once we sell it off to a developer it's gone forever.
Bricktown Lew February 14, 2014 at 07:18 PM
50plus, I'm relatively new to the area moving down here in '08, so I still don't know every single thing around here. However, I think I know Windward Beach. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that was a place I visited that smelled bad and the water seemed very dirty. Also, if I remember correctly, wasn't that the spot where oil debris washed up on shore? I'm not positive, but I think that was the place.If that sounds about right to you then I know where you're talking about. Anyway, Last thing I would want would be more developments where there could be trouble. Granted, it would be nice to get taxes in, but we have so many commercial places empty. It would be nice to have those places utilized before building more commercial developments. I agree, once that site is sold off...its gone!
John Zingis February 15, 2014 at 07:32 AM
Friends of Forge Pond always welcome comments, research and open / transparent discussion on the future of this site. We would welcome the resident to come to the March 19th Brick Library presentation, listen and participate in the continued discussions. Ont thing that we did was poll many resident at our local supermarkets and there was an overwhelming call for some open space to be set aside for the public. We think this is one component of smart growth meeting the objectives of a balance between economic, community and environmental benefits. The other aspect of smart growth is the early participation of stakeholders with their ideas. With all the above we believe we could make this site a complete community benefit that will become the "diamond site" in the center of OUR community. Please join us on Facebook and/or the website at www.friendsofforgepondnj.org
Mike M February 15, 2014 at 08:19 AM
All good points John. Judging by the ideas that have been posted here it looks like there are many good ideas floating out there. The meeting on 3/19th will be very useful in showing the new Council and Mayor that we, as residents and stakeholders in this community, want to be involved in the redevelopment planning. Its a great opportunity to give feedback. I think we all agree that the proposal that M&M and Jack Morris has put on the table calling for condos, apartments and more retail space is unacceptable. Lets provide the Council with a strong, viable, financially responsible plan that will benefit the entire community.

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