The developer of the Superdome, a massive indoor sports complex in North Jersey, will bring a similar facility to the southern half of the state, it was announced Tuesday.
The company, legally known as HMZ Brick, is led by Peter Tasca – a retired physical education teacher – and financed by a group of investors. Tasca, who is planning to move to Point Pleasant full time from North Jersey to run his newest business, said the property will be built in the rear of a retail space on the former Foodtown site (see separate story) and include 79,000 square feet of space.
“This is the third recreation center that I’m building,” Tasca told a room of skeptical residents Tuesday night at a township council meeting during which he was appointed to develop half the plot off Route 70. “When I passed by the property, I looked at it and asked one of my buddies who lives down here what was up with it.”
His friend told him to avoid pursuing what was, at the time, a messy battle between the township and its previous redeveloper, Jack Morris. but Tasca got in touch with officials and told them about his plan for the site. In a deal to settle a lawsuit with Morris, Tasca, backed by investors, will purchase the site for $2.5 million and develop it.
The athletic center will include fields for numerous sports, including lacrosse, soccer, football and softball, as well as a ballet studio, meeting space and physical therapy areas. Tasca said he wants to hear from township residents on what they want the building to include. Given its location near the Shore, Tasca said there could be interest to build an indoor surfing facility where surfers could enjoy riding a wave in climate-controlled comfort.
The physical building must still meet planning board approval, but will be a 79,000 square foot prefabricated building constructed in Canada and shipped to Brick.
Tasca said the Brick facility will have its own prices, equipment and activities depending on demand.
“I am absolutely confident that we’ll have the volume in this neighborhood that the people can afford,” he said.
Mayor John Ducey said the business would accommodate activities for all age groups, from young children to seniors. There will be leagues for various age groups in numerous sports hosted at the site.
“An indoor recreation center has been on this community’s wish list for a long time,” said Ducey. “There have been close calls and broken promises on that front … This agreement puts the town on course to finally have a recreation center.”
The North Jersey facility, called the Superdome in Waldwick, Bergen County, is 160,000 square feet built on a 23 acre site. Tasca said the Brick site will take up about 6 acres in area, but the facility itself will be “state of the art.”
“When Martin Brodeur hurt his arm, he was practicing at our facility,” said Tasca. “This is the last leg of my career here. It’s where I’m going to retire, and it will be the last one I do.”