Planners Recognize Pier Village As 'Great Place in New Jersey'

Long Branch residential and commercial hub receives honor from American Planning Association


Pier Village on Long Branch’s beach front has been named a Great Place in New Jersey by the American Planning Association-New Jersey Chapter (APA-NJ).

“From the ashes of a major fire that destroyed Long Branch Pier in 1987, Pier Village has risen into a vibrant walkable community that complements the storied New Jersey shorefront with housing, storefronts and dining experiences,” said APA-NJ President Charles Latini, Jr., AICP. “Pier Village is a remarkable achievement that reflects a heavy dose of perseverance on the parts of the City and the project developer Ironstate Development.”

“Opened in 2005, Pier Village has played a key part in making Long Branch one of the top beaches along the New Jersey shore,” said Brandon Kinney of Ironstate Development. “It offers an extraordinary and exciting atmosphere to residents, vacationers, and other visitors.”

“Pier Village opens itself to the rest of Long Branch,” added Linda E. Wills, AICP, APA-NJ Great Places Committee Chair and one of this year’s Great Places in New Jersey judges. “Festival Plaza, located in the center of Pier Village, hosts arts & crafts fairs, outdoor movies, and other events open to the greater community. The newly renovated Boardwalk is an inviting destination for beach goers looking to walk, run, or ride a bike.”

Great Places offer better choices for where and how people work and live. They are enjoyable, safe and desirable, places where people want to live, work and visit every day. New Jersey’s great streets, neighborhoods and public spaces are defined by many criteria, including architectural features, accessibility, functionality and community activity.

The American Planning Association-New Jersey Chapter is a not-for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities

joe September 26, 2012 at 03:29 PM
They forgot to mention that it is pretentious, overpriced and full of New Yorkers in the summer. Most locals can't stand this area of the beach.
joe September 26, 2012 at 03:31 PM
The newly renovated Boardwalk is an inviting destination for beach goers looking to walk, run, or ride a bike.” Ride a bike on the boardwalk? Not allowed. Accessible beaches? Not really.
Cranky HR Guy September 27, 2012 at 10:30 AM
Would Joe prefer that we had kept the burned out crack-houses, rat-infested "water slide" and go-go bar that used to occupy that area?
joe September 27, 2012 at 12:52 PM
No cranky, Joe would prefer that they kept the area similar to the rest of the boardwalk and beach south of the pier. Not condos and overpriced businesses and restricted access to beaches. Long Branch should have kept their history also, by keeping the older homes and not building ugly monster condos.
Cranky HR Guy September 27, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Joe, you have a valid point, but it's not reflective of the facts in play here in LB. I have lived here my whole life and watched this mess unfold. I COMPLETELY agree that this is not an ideal outcome, but if not for this project we would probably still have that area as a black hole in the heart of the oceanfront. The idea of trying to gentrify that area would NEVER have worked... no one would have invested if it were such a project
joe September 27, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Cranky, not really sure that's true. Investors would have been interested if the planners came up with a development plan that was less upscale.
jim leyritz September 28, 2012 at 09:38 AM
Joe, your statement "investors would have been interested if the planners came up with a development plan that was less upscale" does not make sense. How would you know this? It seems logical to think that the investors "invested" in something that would give them a return on their investment. Less upscale? Please explain what YOU find so upscale about it.
Cranky HR Guy September 28, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Joe, it just appears that you really do not know the facts relating to this. I knew the area you refer to. It was an absolute war zone. The only way a development project could be viable under those conditions is the way they went - bulldoze the blight away and maximize the residential opportunities in the new space. It's not an ideal outcome but compared to what was there, it is notable success
joe September 28, 2012 at 01:24 PM
I knew the area as well as cranky and leyritz. A plan would have worked without the cookie cutter condos and high priced businesses. It worked in other shore towns. It would have been just as viable in Long Branch.
jim leyritz September 29, 2012 at 10:53 AM
I fail to see what you mean by "high priced" Are you referring to the median home prices of the cookie cutter condos you speak of? I would venture a guess that they are in line with or priced less than any other development that promotes an unobstructed view of the ocean. If you are referring to the businesses, again I fail to see your logic in stating these are high priced. What did you want them to put up there a walmart? You stated it worked in other shore towns, please provide some examples.


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