(Read more on the multifamily market.)

LONG BRANCH, NJ-Work has formally begun for the second phase of Pier Village, Applied Development Co.’s oceanfront mixed-use redevelopment here. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2008, and officials of the Hoboken, NJ-based Applied Development say that leasing will start in March.

The new phase will add a total of 240 residences, including 216 rental apartments and a 24-unit condo, to the mix. Also on tap are a hotel component tied to the residential condos, and about 3,800 sf of retail space.

And while the residential market continues on the soft side, that’s mostly on the for-sale side, not the rental side, which dominates Pier Village’s mix. “The rental market has strength,” says Applied VP Greg Russo. “We’ve been seeing a real boost in the rental market.”

Phase one of Pier Village began construction in 2002 and was completed a year later, bringing more than 300 apartments and 100,000 sf of retail, mostly high end, and restaurants to this city’s oceanfront. Planning for phase two began in 2003 and the process was marked by eminent domain questions. Phase two, however, is getting under way largely without the use of eminent domain, however.

And a phase three is already in the planning stages, with Applied remaining as the designated developer by the city. Company and city officials say they are currently negotiating a final deal for that phase, which is projected to include another 275 residences, including 200 apartments and 75 condos. Also part of the plan are a 100-room hotel, another 20,000 sf of retail space and a new oceanfront park.

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