There are plenty of landmarks to drive past at the Jersey Shore.  Unfortunately, we also have our share of blemishes.  For far too long, the aging Beachwood Mall in Berkeley Township was a dump.  Watching a bulldozer take it down, in 2015 was a sight for sore eyes.  But it’s been 6 years since that demolition took place.  The empty lot doesn’t look much better.

Photo by Sven Mieke on Unsplash

Back in 2019, there was some light.  After a township council meeting on January 21, 2019, township engineer James M. Oris seemed confident through the actions of the redevelopment company M & M Realty and Lennar Corporation, copacetic retailers would be established to set up shop in the new planned space.  Oris also hinted back in 2019, the first stage of the footprint would begin later that year.

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Finally, we learn of the game plan proposed by M & M Realty and Lennar Corporation.  Their new design shows two 7,500 square foot retail building spaces.  A 3,150 square foot space for a fast-food chain and a 5,100 square foot area for a convenience store/gas station option.  My guess is another new Wawa.

Sue Moll, Townsquare Media / Wawa Rt. 88 in Brick

Here’s the part that may or may not be welcoming news to residents.  The remaining space will be occupied by a 102,449 square foot distribution warehouse.  “Oh, the traffic”!  Perhaps, but think about the jobs this creates.  Let’s not forget about the tax revenue.  Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr. seems on board...

"We're definitely excited" about plans for the 40 acres. "It's a really good plan."

More planning needs to take place before this site is redeveloped.  The proper applications for the plans need to be submitted.  So far, an official request has not been made.

M&M at Berkeley representative Ronald Aulenbach, director of engineering, planning, and development at Edgewood Properties said...

"It's very conceptual at this point told a township redevelopment committee during a May presentation.”

For now, the site that housed what was once considered the "Saddest Strip Mall in New Jersey" will remain an empty lot.

Beachwood Shopping Mall, Berkeley Township, Townsquare Media

At least now, when you drive by, visions of what could be will replace the embarrassment of what was.