Phase 1 Waterfront Redevelopment Plan
The redevelopment of the blocks within the Phase 1 portion of the Downtown Waterfront Redevelopment Area with residential units above retail services within walking distance to the Toms River Bus Depot and the existing Downtown Core is appropriate for the community and essential to making Toms River’s downtown a true 24/7 center. It would serve as a catalyst for additional rehabilitative efforts within Downtown, including Block 658.01, which was added to the Downtown Waterfront Redevelopment Area to enable a direct pedestrian connection to the Downtown Core from Iron Street.
The Toms River Township 2017 Master Plan and the incorporated Downtown Master Plan support the concepts of sustainable design as a response to combating suburban sprawl and reducing the Township’s “carbon footprint”. Because of the significance of the Downtown Waterfront Redevelopment Area as part of the historic center of Toms River Township, this redevelopment plan leans on the LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED ND) rating system as a guide for design standards that will promote sustainable design of the Phase 1 area.
The Plan begins with what will be developed along the south side of Water Street between Highland Parkway and Main Street and extends up Irons Street where Washington Avenue is envisioned to extend as a retail lined pedestrian walkway to connect the current Downtown Core to a new redevelopment parcel consisting of the two parking lots on the west side of Irons Street. This approach fits perfectly within the objectives of the various Prerequisites and Credits of LEED ND and ensures that the redevelopment will produce valuable positive ratables for the Township, serve as a catalyst for economic investment in other properties in the area.
The Phase 1 Waterfront Redevelopment Plan was introduced by ordinance of the Township Council on November 27 and is expected to be reviewed by the Planning Board at their meeting of December 20th at 6PM. The public hearing on the Plan is expected to be held by Township Council on December 26 at 5PM.