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LONG BRANCH, NJ-Now that this oceanfront city and neighboring Asbury Park, about 10 miles to the south, apparently have their redevelopment plans in high gear, the once-and-future resort destinations are taking turns making headlines. Last week it was Asbury Park that announced a trio of developers for the first phase of its oceanfront makeover (see earlier story).

Now it’s Long Branch’s turn–a dozen redevelopers-in-waiting have been winnowed down to three, and they’ve just released their proposals for a 17-acre tract called Beachfront South. Altogether, this Monmouth County city has six redevelopment zones, four of them on the oceanfront. Work is just underway on the adjoining Pier Village and Beachfront North tracts, both of which Hoboken, NJ-based Applied Development is handling.

The three finalists for Beachfront South are some big names–Kushner Cos. of Florham Park, NJ, Denholtz Associates of Rahway, NJ and K. Hovnanian of Red Bank, NJ. Kushner and Hovnanian, of course, are two of the three names involved with the first phase just up the coast in Asbury Park.

The emphasis for Beachfront South will be residential, and for that, Kushner proposes to build 379 units, 313 of them condos and the rest townhouses. They would be arrayed in five buildings of up to eight stories.

“We believe in redevelopment, and we will prove it if we’re given the change,” Kushner partner Jeff Freireich said at the presentation of the three proposals. “It will by luxurious,” he added, pointing to such amenities as a fitness center, extensive landscaping, public and private gardens and concierge service.

K. Hovnanian’s proposal is for a total of 357 units, divided about evenly between condos and townhouses, in five buildings of between four and six floors. It would have similar amenities, and like all three proposals would include covered parking. Hovnanian’s project would also feature a Victorian theme, hearkening back to the 19th century era when Long Branch was arguably the East Coast’s premier resort destination and the summer home to at least seven US presidents. The city’s Seven Presidents Park is a reminder of that.

Denholtz Associates’ proposal, finally, would encompass 284 condo units in a half-dozen eight-story buildings. A focal point would be two long, sweeping pools along the tract’s oceanfront.

According to Howard Woolley, Jr., Long Branch’s city administrator, city officials expect to pick the winner from among the three by the end of next month. If all goes well, a final development deal could be in place by the end of May.

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