Developer Plans Retail in this Vacant Building in Asbury Park

Coaster photo – There is a proposal to make this building on Memorial Drive in Asbury Park into retail space.

By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI

A Washington, DC developer wants to make the former Braverman Building, 1200 Memorial Dr. into retail space.

Douglas Jemal of Douglas Development, purchased the building in July for $1.1 million and began demolishing the interior.

The building had been owned by the state and Jemal purchased it at auction.

Jamel’s construction permit to continue working on the project was denied in August by City Planner Michele Alonso,  based on a change in use of the building from warehouse to retail space.

Alonso said this triggered the need for a site plan, which has not yet been submitted.

A parking variance would also be needed for the proposed retail plan because it does not include the required number of parking spaces for retail space.

Alonso said Jemal hired Andrew Karas, who has represented clients at both the zoning and planning boards in the city.

Jemal will present an appeal of the denial at the Dec. 11 zoning board of adjustment meeting.

When the application for the permit was submitted the inside of the building had the appearance and configuration of retail spaces.

Alonso also said plans submitted by Jemal to waterproof the exterior of the building also had the appearance of storefronts, with separate openings and went beyond looking like repair work.

If he wants to move forward with the retail plan Jemal has to submit an application to the planning board, Alonso said.

The planning board will have to approve the site plan,  however if approved, it will not have to go before the city council for approval because the developer is not asking to use the public right of way.

“Without a request to use the public right of way it’s just a planning board matter,” Alonso said.

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