Former Shoes For U Site OK’d for New Construction

Sep 27, 2017

Norman Field is doing what any executor does: carrying out the terms of a final will and testament. However, his actions by some standards may seem odd at first: They include renovating a longtime retail space in the Ship Bottom business district and overseeing the new construction of a second-floor apartment.

It was this project, at the former site of Shoes For U, that the Ship Bottom Land Use Board conditionally approved at its monthly meeting last week. The condition: If the existing structure, for whatever the reason, is unable to handle the addition of a second story, the applicant must come back before the board.

“Eventually, it will be a charitable foundation,” Field testified on Sept. 20 of carrying out the final wishes of Lawrence J. Corneck. In the meantime, he is seeking a tenant for the retail space. If he doesn’t find a tenant, Field said, he would open his own gift shop.

Plans call for renovating the current retail space and adding a second-floor, two-bedroom apartment in the same footprint as the existing building. The apartment, which is slightly smaller than the entire lower floor, also calls for a 16-foot deck that wouldfront Long Beach Boulevard, according to testimony heard by the land use board.

Overall, the plans reduce the amount of property taken up by the structure. It’s currently around 55 percent of the land. The borough allows for a maximum of 35 percent for new construction. The plans call for 52 percent of the property to be used, which reduces the number of head-on parking spaces from seven to four in a parking lot at the back of the building.

“The property around it is fully developed,” Frank Maleto, the Long Valley-based architect, said. “There was no land to purchase.”

In addition to the second-floor apartment, the only significant change to the structure would be enclosing the current shed in the back and creating a stairwell at the back of the building, Maleto said. The room underneath is slated for storage and would be fire-rated, he testified.

Retail renovation plans also call for the addition of a second restroom, this one ADA accessible.

“It’s an aesthetic improvement, to say the least,” James Brzozowski, engineer for the project, said. “It’s a nice location, and there is some good exposure with people milling around the area.”

To the south of the site is Dollar General, to the west is Joey’s Pizza, to the north is a condo complex, and to the east is residential housing leading up to the beach.

Gina G. Scala

ggscala@thesandpaper.net

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