Ocean County Mall Land Cleared For 12K Retail Space

Crews cleared land next to the Ocean County Mall to make way for a 12,000-square foot retail store. (Photo by Chris Lundy)

TOMS RIVER – Bulldozers took to clearing land on the Bay Avenue side of Ocean County Mall, for a 12,000-square foot retail storefront.

The plans, unanimously approved in September before the Toms River Planning Board, did not mention what specific retail stores were being courted for the site, and planning board officials said no firm suggestions were made by the applicant during its hearing.

Multiple calls placed to the developer, MC Messina and its attorney Harvey York went unanswered as of February 2. An LLC called Block 578 Bay Avenue owns the parcel, which is 2.43 acres at 642 Bay Ave. and is zoned for retail.

(Photo by Chris Lundy)

The site is just east of the existing entrance and traffic light for the mall on the Bay Avenue. In the plans approved from September, two entrances to the store would exist: customers could use the mall’s road that circles the property as an entrance, or use a second entrance directly from Bay Avenue.

The store will be one story, have 49 parking spaces in its lot, and infiltration basins for stormwater runoff.

Previously the site was vacant, wooded area, and the plans leave none of the existing trees to make room for the building, its parking lot, lighting and utilities, according to the resolution approved by the planning board.

As part of the approval, the applicant agreed to install sidewalks along its portion of Bay Avenue.

The site plan required 53 parking spaces, but 49 were approved, based on the business’ proximity to the larger mall’s parking lot.