BARNEGAT — The township Planning Board is preparing to vote on changes to a development project that will bring 183 new homes, new eateries and shops to Barnegat.
"The Lofts at Barnegat" will have 36 new townhouses, 147 luxury apartments, a clubhouse, and other resident amenities 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 subsidiary of Piscataway-based Edgewood Properties.
The project will be build between Route 9 and Old Main Shore Road, north of Georgetown Road.
The board previously granted approval for the project, but the developer is set to return 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. Dec. 13 at town hall, 900 West Bay Ave.
Demand for housing in southern Ocean County had erupted since the start of the pandemic. Median home sale prices in Barnegat 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 were the driving force behind new home building Barnegat. Today, young families and North Jersey and New York residents heading south for more space and safer neighborhoods are looking for homes in the region, Mayor Alfonso Cirulli said.
"The last 10 years we’ve had a lot of growth," the Barnegat mayor said.
Between 2010 and 2020, Barnegat's population grew 16%, an increase of 3,360 residents, to 24,296, according to Census data.
The population growth feels even more concentrated, because about 40% of the township is protected Pinelands area and no building is allowed, Cirulli said.
The mixture of new developments — commercial, retail and new homes for young workers and families — continues to help stabilize the township's tax base, he said.
In addition, the township'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 Edgewood Properties' website, the developer says there are private sector opportunities being missed in the township. Their website claims the residents of more than 1,000 homes in Barnegat's Settlers Landing and Lincoln Park neighborhoods — which are closest to The Lofts property — are "underserved for shopping and dining needs."
With The Lofts parcel already cleared for construction, Edgewood Properties appears poised to reverse that assertion.
Amanda Oglesby is an Ocean County native who covers Brick, Barnegat and Lacey townships as well as the environment. She has worked for the Press for more than a decade. Reach her at @OglesbyAPP, email@example.com or 732-557-5701.
This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: The Lofts at Barnegat, NJ to feature townhomes, retail shops