HIGHLANDS - Nearly three years after it was destroyed in Superstorm Sandy, the owners of the Sandy Hook Bay Marina broke ground once again to rebuild.

Marina owner James Bollerman says plans are in place for a bigger, better and stronger marina. 

"Hurricane Sandy came along and we were hit by an 18-foot wave," says Bollerman. "It decimated and obliterated everything upland, including the marina shop building."

The 11-acre waterfront property will soon feature 130 boat slips, a restaurant and a lighthouse building. Bollerman says that the new marina will be able to withstand storms as strong as Sandy.

The project is being called the largest privately invested reconstruction after Superstorm Sandy, and the hope is that it will open doors for businesses throughout the borough that are still recovering from the storm.

"We want to make sure people know we are open for business, and this project has been in works from nearly a decade," says Carla Cefalo-Braswell, the president of the Highlands Business Partnership.

The project is expected to cost $8.5 million. The marina should open by next spring. There are also plans for about 50 new townhouses on the site.