SEA BRIGHT –The former post office may have the potential to become a three-story boutique hotel with first-floor restaurant, according to planning board discussion.
John Maher informally pitched the idea to the planning board recently to gauge whether it could proceed to a formal application, to turn the post office into a small hotel with three floors, each with eight rooms on them, said Sea Bright Planning Board Secretary Kathy Morris. The ground floor could house the lobby, a restaurant and possibly a bar.
Morris said no documents for an application have been submitted yet. Sometimes parties come before the planning board informally to see how receptive the board would be to a project.
“We were receptive,” said Planning Board Chairman Lance Cunningham this week, who added an application might come for a fall planning board meeting.
The site is located at 1030 Ocean Avenue, which houses the damaged post office, and was also home to Riverfront Cafe, Island Style Surf Shop and Tracy Lynn Salon and Spa. Hurricane Sandy shuttered the site, which has not opened since. According to borough tax records, the site is owned by R. Mc Keown & P. & T. Geraghty and was recently assessed at more than $775,000.
The plans would likely call for demolition and new construction, should the application be sent in. For a bar to operate, or a restaurant that serves alcohol, the owner would have to purchase a liquor license, which requires its own approval from the council and other authorities, Morris said.
There is currently one hotel in Sea Bright, The Beach Walk, at 344 Ocean Avenue.