Developers look to boro; Browns Point gets green light

Developers have expressed interest in redeveloping Aeromarine lately. Photo: Matthew McGrathDevelopers have expressed interest in redeveloping Aeromarine lately. Photo: Matthew McGrath

KEYPORT — Borough officials met Thursday with an unnamed developer interested in the Aeromarine factory in the the Lockport neighborhood days after the Brown’s Point redevelopment zone got the go-ahead.

The meeting was announced at a session of the Borough Council in late July, and it comes at a time when potential developers are sniffing around the vacant Ye Cottage Inn lot on West Front Street, and while the borough’s top appointee has met with representatives from K. Hovnanian, the Red Bank-based developer of McMansions and townhouse complexes, to discuss “redevelopment opportunities” at Aeromarine and elsewhere.

K. Hovnanian “has successfully built in Keyport in the past, borough Administrator Stephen Gallo said in an email. “They are presently looking at a number of sites, including Aeromarine.”

Click here to see the Aeromarine redevelopment plan.

Click here to see the Aeromarine redevelopment plan that includes a solar farm.

Woodmont Properties and K. Hovnanian were the developers of the towering townhouses at First and Broad streets. Several homes in that row have sold recently for more than $400,000, according to Zillow.com.

Gallo did not identify the developer involved with the Thursday meeting. Nor did he name the developer interested in the Ye Cottage Inn lot. That unnamed developer is in talks with the landowner to acquire the property, he said.

These private meetings with developers occurred while the Borough Council and the Planning Board were greenlighting a redevelopment zone near Brown’s Point Marina. The final go-ahead to draw-up a plan was unanimously approved Tuesday night.

There is no official plan for what will be built at the marina, and officials insist that no plan will be in place until they they ask planning firms to submit proposals for the property.

The redevelopment zone encompasses several properties on Washington and West First streets. It will include the group home, Endeavor House, and several other residential properties, according to a report in the Independent.

The presumed redeveloper will be marina owner Clayton Perlman. His attorney told the council in December that Perlman is trying to “aggregate” the properties he does not own, the Independent reported.

Borough officials are have been acting at the behest of Perlman. The initial approval to start the redevelopment process was made in December after the marina owner asked for the designation, the Independent reported.

The redevelopment zone was given approval based on the fact that debris left over from Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge remained on the property nearly three years later.

There is an effort underway at the marina to remove that trash, now.

Officials will not seek to seize properties within the zone, Gallo said. That means the Long Branch-style redevelopment of Pier Village, which forced long-time city residents near Ocean Avenue from their homes is off the table in this case.

The redevelopment designation gives borough officials the ability to supercede current zoning laws, and it gives the redeveloper access to tools such as grants and tax abatements.

As for the Aeromarine, two plans already exist. The first calls for dense residential development on the former landfill area east of the Aeromarine factory. The second calls for a solar power farm to be built on the dump with dense residential nearby.

“There are several developers who have expressed an interest in the Aeromarine site,” Gallo said. “Should any one of them acquire the site, it is anticipated that a new, updated redevelopment plan would be prepared.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story said the Brown’s Point Marina redevelopment zone included property on West Front Street. West First Street is the correct location.