The owners of Ocean Place Resort and Spa and the city have to come to terms on an agreement that would allow the hotel to expand.
Ocean Place, 1 Ocean Blvd., Long Branch, is located within a redevelopment zone, so the city council would have to approve any expansion of the premises, Long Branch Business Administrator Howard Woolley said.
United Capital Corp acquired the hotel last year and is now planning on building a second tower, A.F. Petrocelli, United Capital’s Chairman and President said in an interview this week.
"We have reached an agreement with the city to follow the 1985 redevelopment plan," Petrocelli said. "The city is very cooperative and we're both trying to do what is best for the property."
The second tower will be built on top of two floors that already contain office space, an indoor pool and a cocktail lounge. Petrocelli said more condo-hotel-style rooms will be built in the second tower.
Petrocelli said interested parties will have the ability to buy these rooms and rent them out to people.
He said United Capital Corp is in the process of hiring an architect to design the second tower, but that construction could still be a few years away.
"If everything goes well, we hope to start by the fall of 2015," Petrocelli said. "It could be later, but that's what we're shooting for."
Redevelopment plans for Ocean Place Resort & Spa were created and submitted to the Long Branch Planning Board in the past, but the plans were put on hold after the previous owner filed for bankruptcy in early 2011.
Ocean Place Development LLC, the previous owners of the hotel, filed for Chapter 11 in early 2011 to "put a restructuring plan together" for the hotel according to hotel General Manager Brian Czechowski.
The result of the bankruptcy hearings awarded the mortgage for the property to United Capital Corp.
United Capital Corp has already made some renovations to the hotel. The top three floors were redone, hurricane-proof balcony doors were added and new roofs and elevators were installed. The outside of the building was also given a fresh coat of paint and now features a blue and white design.
Petrocelli said the second phase of the improvements will begin this fall. Those improvements will include the renovation of the remaining rooms, a new spa, a new indoor pool and an outdoor pool and restaurant.