New Faces, New Businesses In 2022

The Royal Farms is one of the new businesses in town. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  BRICK – A year ago today, students were still acclimating to full days in the classroom after more than a year of at-home or hybrid learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students returned to their classrooms in September 2021, and the school administration reported that the public health crisis had affected their social and emotional well-being and that disciplinary problems had increased.

  It wasn’t until March that Governor Phil Murphy lifted the statewide mask mandate for schools, letting each school district make their own rules about wearing the face masks.

  March also marked the first Planning Board hearing for a proposed 59-home development on land owned by Visitation Roman Catholic Church and the Diocese of Trenton.

  Crowds of neighboring residents who oppose the plan have been attending some five meetings so far, which had to be moved to the Civic Plaza to accommodate everyone.

  National developer DR Horton wants to build the homes on the Breton Woods property, located east of Laurel Avenue and backs up to the Osbornville Elementary School.

  Mayor John G. Ducey has stated that the township would like to partner with Ocean County National Lands Trust and another private foundation to keep the land in its natural state, but so far the diocese is still planning to sell the land to the developer.

  New businesses continue to open in Brick, but in June, workers could be seen taking down the Corrado’s sign after it was revealed that the food retailer owed some $1.1 million in back rent to landlord Brixmor at the Laurel Square shopping center.

   In July 2019, Corrado’s Market announced they would be opening the space previously occupied by Pathmark Supermarket, which had been empty since 2015. They also planned to purchase a liquor license for $575,000 to be used at an adjacent site.

  The store was supposed to open in Summer of 2020, but citing supply chain issues, the opening was pushed back to October 2020, then March 2021 and finally July 4 2022.

  This year it was announced that Ashley Furniture would be sharing the space with Livoti’s Old World Market, an Italian specialty store who has four other locations in Monmouth County. They would also be purchasing the liquor license that Corrado’s planned to purchase.

  The mayor said that Livoti’s hopes to open by March 2024.

  There was a new face on the township council in 2022 when Derrick Ambrosino replaced Art Halloran, who resigned from his post after experiencing some life changes. Halloran served as a council member since 2015. Ambrosio will fill Halloran’s unexpired term that runs until December 2023.

  In November, two new Board of Education members were elected when incumbents Melita Gagliardi and Daisy Haffner said they would not seek reelection.

(Photo by Micromedia Publications)

  Frances DiBenedictis and Madeline Iannarone will take their seats at the dais after they are sworn in for 2023. Also, board member Missy Parker resigned over the summer due to her family’s relocation to Georgia, and the board voted for Allison Kennedy to fill Parker’s unexpired term, which goes until the end of 2023.

  It was announced this year that several buildings within the school district would undergo projects to install new or upgraded heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Ten of the 12 schools in the district do not have air conditioning.

  And finally, December 8 marked the long-awaited grand opening of Royal Farms, four years after the application for the gas station and convenience store was approved. The facility was built and has sat empty since the end of 2021.

  On the same day, a new Aldi’s supermarket opened at the site of the former Foodtown property on Route 70. The new Aldi’s, which is about twice the size of its previous location on Van Zile Road, will share its location with two other retail buildings, with a 75,000 square-foot superdome project to be built at the rear of the property.

  The 11-acre parcel has been vacant since it was purchased by the township in 2003 for $6.1 million. The site has been split in half and the two developers spent $2.5 million ($5 million in total) for the property.