Condo Complex Coming To Long Branch WindMill Site

December 5, 2017
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Schematic design for The Reef, a condo complex coming to 200 Ocean Ave. in Long Branch.

By Liz Sheehan |

LONG BRANCH – After thirty years of serving hot dogs, cheese fries and other foods to local residents and visitors to the shore, the popular WindMill eatery on Ocean Avenue, across the street from Seven Presidents Park, will be closing next year to be replaced by a news complex with 13 buildings, 26 four-bedroom unit and two units per building.

“We’re closing the end of October,” said Rena Levine Levy, who owns the WindMill, along with her brother Steven, and is the daughter of one of the founders of the original WindMill in the West End section of the city.

“We will be open all next summer,” she said.

She said they would be looking for another site to move to in Long Branch, Sea Bright and other places.

In July, after the plans for the project were presented at an informal hearing at the Long Branch Planning Board, Levy said she did not know the name of the owner of the building and communicated with the owner of 200 Ocean Blvd. through a post office box in Livingston.

Carl Turner, the assistant planning director for the city, said Morris Matalon was the owner of the property.

John Giunco, of Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla, P.C., Red Bank, the attorney for the presentation of the proposal, did not respond to a call for information about the owner of the site.

Last month, the planning board approved the plan submitted by applicant Chris Amato, developer, Ocean Holdings LLC, for the condominium project, according to Martinha Sanders, the board secretary.

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Amato, the president of CMM Construction, based in Avon By the Sea, said Wednesday that the property was still owned by Matalon but the name of the company had been changed. He said that each of the units would be two stories high with 400-square-foot rooftop decks and all will have an ocean view.

The buildings will be separated with “light and air” between them, he said, with “a sort of townhouse style.”

Amato said the complex would be designed by Phil Kean, a Florida architect.

It will include a pool, gym and a running or walking path which all will be open to the public on a membership basis.

He said his company had been founded in 1983 by his father and has done projects in Wall Township and other southern Monmouth County towns.

Amato said the project still needed to have construction documents approved and also needed approval from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection because of its location near the coast. He said those had already been applied for.

Krauszers, a convenience store located next to the WindMill, will also be removed by the new project.

Robert Goodman, assistant director of development for the city, said he had not been contacted by owners of the WindMill concerning a search for a new location, but would welcome the chance to work with them.

The city publishes a monthly list of available sites, he said

“We’d like to see if they can relocate in North Long Branch, Goodman said.

It was going to be difficult to find a site with “the same access to foot traffic” as the current location, he said.

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This article was first published in the Nov. 30-Dec. 7, 2017 print edition of the Two River Times.

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