Proposed ferry, hotel, and amphitheater: First proposal sheds light on new Belmar landscape

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The first proposal for a radical plan to change the landscape of downtown Belmar has been released, and while on paper it certainly is eye-catching – it’s still several years away from potentially becoming a reality.

The large area encompassing 7th Avenue and Main Street, all the way to the Shark River, is being eyed by several landowners as the modernized future. The plans designed by the Dobco Group first came to light at last week's borough council meeting.

Parts of the proposal include 900 parking spots, a 108-room hotel, conference center, amphitheater, and even a proposed ferry terminal for commuters to Manhattan.

Joe Rizzuto opened his doughnut shop on Main Street three years ago and says he loves what he sees.

"I like it,” says Rizzuto. “I think any plans that will bring more business to this side of Main Street and to Belmar itself is a big plus.

Officials say that the idea for the project began with the borough asking for a proposal for a relocated municipal complex. Belmar Administrator Ed Kirschenbaum says that the plan would have to be scaled down, but it does give an idea of what's on the mind of some of these developers.

“We sent out a request for proposals early last year,” says Kirschenbaum. “The beginning of what the proposals are out there, what concepts that developers have and we want to get it out to the public about what we're looking at, so everybody has a voice and they can state their concerns. So, it's a very fairly process of what we're trying to do.”

Kirschenbaum says it’s only the extremely early stages of anything new coming to the northern sections of Belmar, and even if something were to be agreed upon -- it would still be three to five years away from completion.


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