Home Government Brick Mayor’s Fee Waiver Program to Help Fill Empty Storefronts Formally Introduced

Brick Mayor’s Fee Waiver Program to Help Fill Empty Storefronts Formally Introduced

A sign advertises commercial leasing at the Laurel Square shopping center.
A sign advertises commercial leasing at the Laurel Square shopping center.

An ordinance to enact Brick Mayor John Ducey’s proposal to waive fees for small businesses that open in unoccupied commercial space in the township – as opposed to constructing a new building – was unanimously introduced by the township council this week.

Ducey announced the program in June but said state officials, upon hearing about the proposal, wanted to review it since it was the first of its kind in New Jersey.

The state “gave us their blessing,” Ducey said, paving the way for the ordinance which was introduced Tuesday.


The ordinance waives all fees for construction, alteration and improvements to commercial space under 5,000 square feet that has been vacant for a year or longer. The square footage requirement ensures that the program is aimed at local businesses versus large corporations that can afford to pay the fees, Ducey said.

“We’re finally getting into it, we want to be aggressive about it,” said Ducey. “The more and more economic dollars stay here in Brick, the better off we all are.”

Ducey said the township cannot prevent businesses from constructing a building on land they legally own and plan to develop, but the incentive may convince a small business to open in Brick rather than elsewhere.

The fee waiver would last through 2016, at point it would have to be renewed by the township council. Before the waiver goes into effect, the ordinance authorizing it is subject to a public hearing and second vote, which will come at the Sept. 22 council meeting.

Additionally, the council unanimously introduced an ordinance that will waive construction permitting fees for handicap access improvements at “all places of assembly for common religious, civic or social purposes.”

Fees for accessibility projects are already waived for residential and public buildings. The ordinance comes after a township teenager asked the council to waive fees for an access ramp he was building at a church for his Eagle Scout project. The township waived the fees in that case and is now seeking to make the waiver permanent.

  • Chief Wahoo

    So we admitting the best thing for small businesses is for government to remove itself …..must day I agree with Ducey on that.
    Only problem is. The golden goose has been killed. No mom and pop small business stands a chance at staying in business and making a profit. Much easier to become a public taker and get paid by the taxpayers. Health benefits. Pensions. Double dipping even better. Can’t be fired. Salary increases. It’s the greatest job in the universe. ……. until it isn’t.

  • Frank Rizzo

    These strip malls are outdated and need to be foreclosed upon and torn down. There will be many more Foodtown sites to come in the next few years as retail evolves into the online type of event and stores like K-Mart just disappear.

    • Dead_Andy_Breitbart

      Then what? An empty lot for overgrown brush? Who is going to build another building that nobody will rent due to higher rental fees of a new building? In case you haven’t noticed, contrary to popular belief, the economy isn’t getting any better.

  • Dead_Andy_Breitbart

    The fee is tiny compared to the rent the landlords are charging for these retail stores. This isn’t going to do anything.