Plans to redevelop downtown Toms River are moving closer to going from vision to reality after years of drawing up the blueprints to make adjustments to the ever growing township and to make this area a year-round spot for residents and guests.

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In 2018, one part of the redevelopment project got a boost when Toms River was awarded a $5,660,000.00 grant, from the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development Transportation Grants program.

The money was awarded to help with the design of creating a loop between the Garden State Parkway and waterfront businesses by elevating and reconstructing Herflicker Boulevard as a one-way complete street, converting Water Street into a one-way complete street and making improvements and upgrades on connecting roads.

It was at this point, plans were created to attempt to relocate the post office and add in a parking deck and stores as well.

A lot needs to happen to have this and any plans mapped out done, but once things get rolling along, it'll be a year round spot for all.

"Ortley Beach will always be a draw for the summer tourism season but we are hoping to develop downtown as a year round tourist destination and that's apart of our master plan," Toms River Assistant Planner Erika Stahl previously told Townsquare Media News. "Downtown is changing."

Indeed it is.

At a Toms River Township Council meeting earlier this month, August 10, Toms River Township Planner Dave Roberts ran through a power point presentation of where the plans are currently at and what things could look like down the road.

Phase 1 includes a big boost to the downtown area by adding in residential units with retail stores at the bottom that'll be a hop, skip, jump and a short walk from the bus station.

You can read the full scoop of Phase 1 of the Toms River Redevelopment Plan here which includes all the details you should review before Thursday night.

Your input is valued, needed and sought out by township leaders with the next opportunity this coming Thursday from 5:00-7:00 pm in the L. Manuel Hirshblond Room, which is on the 2nd floor of Toms River Town Hall on Washington Street.

At this meeting, members of the township council will be on hand along with the Capodagli Development team to go over the proposed plan and answer any questions from residents and business owners alike.

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