Brick officials say a restaurant and bar planned for the Traders Cove Marina site will not be built by this summer, as initially planned.
“We’re still waiting for Green Acres approval,” Mayor John Ducey said this week.
Because the marina was purchased, partially, with state Green Acres funding and is considered open space, the agency must approve changes to the site. While Green Acres already provided documentation to the township indicating the restaurant would be allowed, it has yet to finally approve its construction. Ducey said the agency requested the outdoor bar and restaurant be downsized from its initial plan, and an electric box used to power other events at the park, such as concerts and presentations, be moved.
Ducey said the cost of moving the electrical box is estimated to be about $250,000, which will be paid by Chefs International, the company that will lease the township land at the park and build the facility.
“I don’t think we’re going to be out there this summer, unfortunately, with the approval process,” said Ducey.
When the project was first approved by the township in May 2016, officials said the facility would be open this spring.
“By spring of 2018 we’ll be out there,” Ducey said. “Hopefully, it might be the fall of this year, but I don’t think so.”
The proposed restaurant would include multiple bars, outdoor seating around fire pits, lounge chairs and hammocks, and a sand area where customers could sit with their toes in the sand. Another phase of the project – which still may be included in the initial construction – would be rooftop decks with sweeping views of Barnegat Bay. Native plants will surround the site.
Chefs International agreed to pay $75,000 annually for 24 years to lease the land. The company – not the township – would construct and own the building. The project faced opposition from some environmental groups, most notable Save Barnegat Bay, over concerns of losing public space at the park, among other reasons.