Hard-Hat Tour Promises Interior Glimpse of Circle Condo Complex

Sep 26, 2018
Photo by: Ryan Morrill

There’s no arguing Ship Bottom’s skyline has changed since two major construction projects at the gateway to the Island began earlier this year. It’s noticeable from the Causeway, continuing until the Arlington Beach Club Condo site at the circle.

This weekend, Beach House Realty is hosting a two-day hard-hat tour of the condo complex located between Eighth and Ninth streets. The tour is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29 and 30, at the site. Hard hats will be available for attendees. It’s mandatory to wear the hats since the site is still under construction.

The project consists of two three-story buildings with 12 condo units each, joined by a courtyard and a pool area. It will be bordered by Long Beach Boulevard to the east and Central Avenue to the west. The Causeway Circle will be reconfigured as a square once the state Department of Transportation completes its $350 million bridge project, slated tentatively for the summer of 2020, though the end date is predicated on weather and other outside factors.

The DOT’s proposed improvements in Ship Bottom include converting a section of Long Beach Boulevard, the main thoroughfare on the Island, into a two-way road at the site of The Arlington Beach Club, according to state officials.

For more than two decades, the site of the former Exxon gas station at the entry to Long Beach Island sat vacant, used sporadically for the parking of large construction vehicles and borough police watching traffic as motorists traveled on and off the Island. In September 2016, the Ship Bottom Land Use Board approved the project.

“There were two things that could have been built at the circle,” said Nicholas Garofolo, project developer,  “a building or a transformational marquis property that would really make a statement. We chose the latter, even at a significantly higher-cost design and amenities.”

The decision, he said, also included significant setbacks off Eighth and Ninth streets as well as Central Avenue and Long Beach Boulevard. The one-acre site is flanked by those highly traveled roadways. Garofolo said the choice was simple because they wanted a buffer with trees and other greenery, which was lacking at the location.

“From the interest we are seeing in our project, Ship Bottom is undoubtedly getting a lot of attention these days,” he said. “With its easy access on and off the Island and just a quick stroll to restaurants and nightlife, there’s no doubt that great things will continue to happen in Ship Bottom.”

Some of those things are already in play. At the entrance to the Island, construction continues at the site of the former State Room. Also located between Eighth and Ninth streets, Hotel LBI is slated to be the largest commercial structure on the barrier island. The future 105-room hotel, with a height of 45 feet, will be the tallest building in Ship Bottom. Construction on the project began earlier this year and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2020.

Garofolo anticipates the two projects, as well as expected improvements to the Drifting Sands Motel oceanside, will deliver a major economic boon to the borough and to local businesses. He said each project has the potential to generate new customers for local businesses.

— Gina G. Scala


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