After years of talks between the developer and the city, the third phase of is on the verge of becoming a reality.
Applied Development, the developer of Pier Village, presented the revamped project to the Long Branch Council on Tuesday night, including pictures and details of the final phase of the oceanfront residential and retail property.
Applied Development originally showed the plans to the council in 2010, but after recommendations from the city, the group altered the design. The Long Branch Planning Board approved it the same year, but will need to approve the revised plan for the project to move forward.
Applied Development architect Tom Bauer said the third phase of Pier Village will be located south of the existing area.
That space, which is bordered by Melrose Terrace and Morris Avenue, is currently a partially-paved parking area that is used primarily in the summer for overflow parking from Pier Village.
The third phase of Pier Village, if approved, would include an expanded boardwalk, a new hotel, parking, an acre of public space, and retail and residential space.
The public space would include a small stage, a small play area for children, canopy-style umbrellas and a carousel.
Bauer said the existing bathhouse at the end of Morris Avenue would be demolished and be replaced by two structures that would house restrooms and concessions and another where beach badges will be sold.
The project will be broken into two phases, Bauer explained.
He said the first phase will include the expansion of the boardwalk, and construction of the hotel, along with most of the residential and retail space. It will also include reconfiguring Ocean Avenue so that it will have one northbound lane and one southbound lane that will wrap around the public space. Morris Avenue would also see some changes, including a circle that would help ease traffic onto the street from Ocean Avenue.
The second phase will include the remainder of the residential and retail space along with the construction of a large, underground parking garage that will be accessible from Morris Avenue.
Bauer said the new structures will look similar to those used in the first and second phases of Pier Village, and will contain boardwalk areas throughout the space. He said every housing unit will have some type of outdoor space as well.
He said he believes the project will be a "tremendous draw" for the area.
Councilman John Pallone asked about the timing of the project.
Bauer said if the council and planning board gives Applied Development the OK to move forward with the project, that construction of the first phase could begin in January, 2013. The second phase of the project would begin 15-18 months later, around Labor Day in 2014.
The planning board is expected to review the site plan next month and the council will review the plans in more detail and hold a public presentation at the May 8 council meeting.
Check back later today to see plans of the third phase of Pier Village.