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Brick to Extend Plan to Fill Empty Storefronts

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

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

Mayor John Ducey initiative to fill empty storefronts around Brick Township will be extended through the end of 2018 under an ordinance introduced Tuesday night.

The program, which was first implemented in 2015, is designed to encourage prospective business owners to come to Brick and fill existing vacant commercial space by waiving various building department fees.

Dubbed the “Storefront Revitalization Program,” the township waives permit and inspection fees if a business chooses to move into a location that has been vacant for more than a year and is 5,000 square feet or less in area.

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The program has been utilized by many businesses, with the latest coming just days ago, when a counseling practice moved into a long-vacant storefront in the Yorktowne Plaza shopping center.

“Most of the small vacancies around town have been filled,” said Ducey. “We’re waiting on some of the larger ones, but the smaller ones have been filled, partly due to this ordinance.”

“We get government out of the picture, in terms of money,” said Ducey, which could make a difference in persuading a business to move to Brick instead of a neighboring town where fees are attached to a business opening. “We still do the inspections and plan reviews, but we waive the fees.”