Asbury Park, Keansburg, Highlands and Sea Isle City move closer to getting a combined five-million-dollars to repair their Superstorm-damaged business centers.

Shawn Michaels, Townsquare Media

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) has chosen their streetscape proposals from the first round of applications for its Neighborhood and Community Revitalization Program (NCR).

According to the EDA, selected communities will receive grants ranging from $125,000 to $1.5 million per project for "Main Street" revitalization improvement projects that include, streetscapes, lighting, sidewalks, facade enhancements and code-related and other physical upgrades to commercial areas to support the recovery of economic activity in commercial corridors in impacted towns.

"New Jersey's downtown districts help to create cohesiveness and viability in our communities," explained EDA Chief Executive Officer Michele A. Brown. "Supporting these main street areas, particularly in Sandy-impacted communities, is critical as small businesses continue to rebuild and recover," Brown said.

All four plans now undergo state environmental review.

The EDA- approved projects include:

  • Highlands - replacement of old and cracked sidewalks and curbs, installation of pedestrian-scale street lights, bike racks, benches and trash receptacles.
  • Asbury Park - replacement of old conventional highway style poles and light fixtures with new energy efficient LED lights along its entire boardwalk. In addition to replacing existing lighting, the city will extend lighting on the boardwalk and Conventional Hall.
  • Keansburg - A revamp of Main Street and Carr Avenue to reconstruct roadways, build sidewalks and make the downtown safer for pedestrians, with repairs and improvements to the drainage systems greatly improving the economic vitality of the area.
  • Sea Isle City - Development of the Beach-to-Bay Corridor, in particular development of a streetscape that will enhance the downtown business district.

Communities for Round Two of the NCR have yet to be announced. A total of $10 million dollar in grants will be distributed as part of this program.