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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."
Sean Conneamhe February 14, 2014 at 06:21 AM
"Some say the ghosts of the Lenape people are haunting the area of their ancient village of Metedeconk and preventing the continuation of the desecration of their spiritual family circle ceremonial site..."
Robert February 14, 2014 at 06:34 AM
How about we just build another store as the property was used for years with no problems. Instead we sit holding the bag for all that money with many wanting to spend more money to develop into something the township will be paying for. What a mess this is...
WMS826 February 14, 2014 at 07:11 AM
Wegmans....the new costco should have been there instead of the abortion parking lot they are in now. Chic fil a instead of the abortion spot they are in now. Anything but more rentals and more school kids. Let's not forget about the rentals behind shop rite too. Mayor Ducey...step in here and do the right thing as you have so far to date.
50plusyearsinBrick February 14, 2014 at 08:28 AM
Wegmans mans or trader joes!! This area could support a food store of that quality. Perhaps have the area next to forge pond developed ( by the company coming in) as passive recreation area....
Mike M February 14, 2014 at 08:46 AM
I am pretty sure that Wegmans was approached and they declined; area demograhics and traffic issues weren't ideal. Trader Joes would probably say the same thing. Passive recreation area is something that is part of a proposal that has been put together by Friends of Forge Pond NJ and will be part of the conversation when we meet on March 19th at the library at 7:30PM.
Glenn February 14, 2014 at 09:00 AM
We need a bigger Home Depot, oh, that's how this whole mess started. Thanks Susan S., founder of Save Forge Pond, or whatever her group was called. And while I'm at it, let's not forget Willie D, Between these 2, the town has spent over $12,000,000 and lost two great rateables for the town forever.
50plusyearsinBrick February 14, 2014 at 09:10 AM
Personally, I don't want a Home Depot there. I'd rather see a top food store ( and Mike M...I'm sure you are correct...these were approached and said no) ...how about a Cracker Barrel? It would harken back to the old original Cracker Barrel that was on the circle...z( you need to be an old bricktonian to remember)...
J.JONES February 14, 2014 at 09:29 AM
NO MORE RETAILS STORES WE HAVE TOO MANY EMPTY STORES IN TOWN ALREADY ITS A MESS ..HOW ABOUT A COMMUNITY CENTER FOR ALL AGES TO ENJOY GET THE KIDS OFF THE STREETS START FIGHTING THE DRUG PROBLEMS IN TOWN ...
Mike M February 14, 2014 at 09:52 AM
The idea of putting a community center on the property is another one of the three components of the proposal that has been put together by Friends of Forge Pond NJ.. It can be done at no net expense to us (taxpayers) if the rest of the 3 phase proposal is implemented.
50plusyearsinBrick February 14, 2014 at 09:54 AM
Brick needs help.....good idea but how would it be funded? Plus it's not in a community are per se, so teens would need to be driven there....we do have PALS building for them and there are the school buildings that could be utilized more after school for this purpose. The town needs ratables....
#BiteMe February 14, 2014 at 10:16 AM
The towns with the most commercial ratables, also have the highest taxes, the highest debt, and the highest crime rates. Keep chasing the ratables. All you are doing is making the crooked politicians, lawyers, engineers and developers rich, while losing your open space.
#BiteMe February 14, 2014 at 10:21 AM
More ratables also means more traffic gridlock and road rage, along with more pollution and litter. Look at the towns with the least commercial ratables. They are doing quite well financially and they are very desirable to live in. Truly residential bedroom communities are the best places to live. The only people who need more and more commercial development are the crooked politicians and their crony friends and families.
#BiteMe February 14, 2014 at 10:25 AM
Whatever is built there, make sure that the Hasidics like it, because in 10 to 20 years, half the population of Brick Township will be Hasidic.
50plusyearsinBrick February 14, 2014 at 10:26 AM
Pat....I think we can have both on that land.....enough room for passive recreation and a ratable. Actually, I'd love to see jersey paddler move there:) .... Green space would be nice though....and if town can afford a community center, I'm all for it. As for the multitude of empty buildings ( drive down mantoloking rd or route 88)it is a shame more businesses aren't encouraged to re-use existing buildings rather than cut down trees and add to the blight.
shorecorruption February 14, 2014 at 11:08 AM
If you put in condos and apartments you will end up with sec 8 and filled with hasidics. Build a indoor water park you pay to use.
Mike M February 14, 2014 at 11:32 AM
An aquatic center would generate income through usage by school systems, swim teams, physical therapy, and through memberships sold to the public. It wouldn't necessarily have to be built and operated by the town. Land could either be sold or leased to an entity such as a non-profit organization that would build and operate it.
Bricktown Lew February 14, 2014 at 01:11 PM
I can just see it now: February 14, 2034 Brick Patch headline: Still no progress in the old Foodtown lot debate...
WMS826 February 14, 2014 at 04:48 PM
How about we plant trees or use it for parking like in summer fest nights...
Bricktown Lew February 14, 2014 at 05:19 PM
WMS826, that idea would be great. We have no official town center or square. Trees, park, bike paths, access to fishing and/or boating, a community center, a place for Summer Fest, and a place to get away from the Benny invasion during the summer. However, what would be a great idea, what would be great for the people of Brick is not what politicians want. They want money and something to put money in their pockets, I guess.
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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