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BELMAR, NJ-Gale Real Estate Services Co. is out as master redeveloper of this oceanfront town’s proposed $500-million Belmar Seaport Village. The borough council, at the request of Mayor Kenneth Pringle, has terminated its agreement with the Roseland-based Gale, which had picked up the master redeveloper assignment in early 2005.

Gale had begun site clearance a year ago, razing a former auto dealership site that was to have been a focal point of the redevelopment. As reported by GlobeSt.com, Gale won state and local approvals for a first phase of 38 condos, 9,500 sf of retail space and a parking structure in March and was set to start construction.

According to published reports, a sticking point between town officials and Gale has been the latter’s inability to complete a deal with the DiFeo family to get that first phase done, an impasse that has apparently led to the termination of the master redeveloper agreement. A spokesman for Gale declined to comment.

The company might still be involved in the project in some capacity. According to sources, Gale, which has already invested substantially in the project, is continuing to negotiate with the DiFeo family to at least build out the project’s mixed-use first phase.

And town officials say the overall project, involving several commercial tracts under private ownership in the Downtown area and along its waterfront, will move ahead. “Redevelopment will continue, as it has with respect to the individual property owners,” says Pringle, in a statement.

Specifically, three local property owners have hooked up with K. Hovnanian to develop a square block within the redevelopment area, and plans are afoot to relocate a local market and restaurant to expand a waterfront park. “We have started to receive calls from smaller developers interested in developing other properties,” Pringle says.

Overall, the original redevelopment plan had been to build out the proposed Belmar Seaport Village over the next decade. One possible snag is that a case involving a commercial property that has been designated as “blighted” is currently being argued before the Appellate Division of the State Superior Court. The site involved is a focal point of the town’s vision of creating a transit village within the redevelopment area.

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