BARNEGAT – The year 2020 will be a positive year for developing businesses in Barnegat, according to Mayor John Novak.
“The business outlook for Barnegat is great,” Novak said. Because of the new developments in the area, such as the 4-story adult rental complex Barnegat 67, more attention and more people are being drawn to the township.
This means more residents, which could mean an increase in businesses and ultimately more jobs, according to the mayor.
“We’ve seen Barnegat 67 bringing consumers from a wider demographic into the city,” announced a spokesperson from Extell Development, real estate developer of Barnegat 67.
According to Extell, “The shops, restaurants, and homes are drawing people from larger areas, which will have a lasting, positive economic impact…..the more businesses there are in the area, the more potential there is for economic growth.”
Currently, businesses including Planet Fitness, Dollar Tree, BSR Physical Therapy, Pan Asia, EMD Tax and Financials, CVS and Wawa are established underneath and near the rental units.
Jean Gurkas, president of senior citizen group The Silver Liners and resident of Barnegat for over 40 years, agrees that the new rental complex will improve establishments in the area.
“They’ve been developing all along there with the stores underneath,” she said, “it should help out the businesses because we don’t have that many.”
Gurkas said she is hopeful to see more storefronts develop and would like to see more options for grocery shopping.
“We have pizza parlors and things like that … but Acme, that’s our only store to shop (for groceries),” she said.
What is now convenient for businesses is the improved land use application process for Barnegat. Previously, the process had been intimidating and “time consuming,” Mayor Novak said, especially for small businesses.
He said his goal for the last several years has been to make Barnegat’s process more efficient, all while making the town increasingly business-friendly.
of Barnegat – the government of Barnegat – particularly with my involvement,
has become very pro-business,” Novak said.
While the land use application is still thorough, he said some obstacles have been eradicated. For example, the “change in use procedure” for businesses has been upgraded over the last year. Formerly, this process included making a presentation before the planning board, filling out lengthy paperwork and paying fees. According to Novak, the township has “eliminated some of those hurdles” and is now “open for business.”
As an attorney practicing in land use, he explained that he sees first-hand how frustrating it could be for new businesses to get up and running, which is why township officials worked hard to make Barnegat business friendly.