Barnegate – The Borough Planning Council is preparing to vote on changes to a development that would bring 183 new homes and new restaurants and shops to Barnegate.
The Lofts at Barnegat will feature 36 new homes, 147 luxury apartments, a clubhouse and other amenities for residents once complete. The project will also include more than 30,000 square feet of new retail space and 8,000 square feet of restaurant space, according to plans by M&T at Barnegat, a Piscataway-based subsidiary of Edgewood Properties.
The project will be built between Route 9 and the old main beach road north of Georgetown Street.
The council previously granted approval for the project, but the developer is ready to go back to add three more apartments to the plan and make changes to the proposed retail space. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. on December 13 at City Hall, 900 West Bay Ave.
Housing demand has exploded in Southern Ocean County since the start of the pandemic. Median home sale prices in Barnegat have increased from $273,000 in November 2019 to more than $338,000 by October 2022, down from a peak of $450,000 last summer, according to Realtor.com.
For years, seniors have been the driving force behind Barnegat’s new home construction. Mayor Alfonso Cirulli said young families and residents of North Jersey and New York are heading south in search of more space and safer neighborhoods looking for homes in the area.
“Over the last 10 years, we’ve seen huge growth,” said Barnegat’s mayor.
Between 2010 and 2020, Barnegat’s population grew by 16%, an increase of 3,360 residents, to 24,296, according to census data.
Cirulli said population growth appears to be more concentrated, because about 40% of the town is protected by Pinelands and no building is allowed.
He said the mix of new developments – commercial, retail and new homes for young workers and families – continues to help stabilize the town’s tax base.
In addition, the town’s recreational options and investments in public services — municipal officials are preparing to replace the water tower and build a new fire station — make Barnegat a good place to live, Cirulli said.
On the Edgewood Properties website, the developer says there are private sector opportunities being missed in the town. Their website claims that residents of more than 1,000 homes in the Barnegat and Lincoln Park neighborhoods of Settlers Landing – closest to the Lofts property – “don’t have their shopping and dining needs covered”.
With The Lofts already fired for construction, Edgewood Properties appears poised to reverse that assertion.
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Amanda Oglesby is a native of Ocean County covering the towns of Brick, Barnegat, and Lacey as well as the environment. I have worked in journalism for over a decade. You can reach her at OglesbyAPP, [email protected], or 732-557-5701.