What businesses would you want to see downtown Highlands


hotel exampleThe last emergency meeting when Mayor Nolan said we “used to have Hotels in Highlands” with regard to revitalizing downtown Highlands.

What types of businesses that ‘used to be’ in Highlands would you like to see come back?

36 comments

  1. Once again, no one will want to open a business here, by a house etc etc etc until the town gets cleaned up. That means proper and aggressive code enforcement and enforcement of our town ordiances. Only then will this attract people to want to invest here.

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    • I guess it depends on your point of view. I’m looking at Sandy at forced renewal. Is it going to happen overnight, no. But if guided the correct way it could happen. We have prime real estate by the beaches, parks and transit to NYC. A developer with some vision, latitude and the right price could turn this town around.

      I don’t agree with a ‘residential’ high rise being ‘highlands silver bullet’ – its what Colonel Potter would say “horse hockey”. And I’m getting pretty aggravated at those almost trying to be divisive in town. Yes, there are some that want to keep the “trailer park” “Just because” and there are some that want a “high rise” because they lack the vision to see any other options and they’re just plain lazy to consider anything else. But those aren’t the only two options, and there seems to be many of us that want to vet out options C – N as options.

      For example, why couldn’t we build a hotel up there? Not a huge one maybe one with limited stories (6 or 7) & have a roof top restaurant. Think Molly pitcher meets Hotel Angeleno in LA. They could cater to weddings with a view. The Waterwitch place in monmouth hills has weddings a lot in the summer, people drive there and leave, this would enable people to have their reception and stay in the same place. (plus) It’s close enough to the ferry to attract tourists that want to hit up NYC and the beach in the same vacation. It could also attract business travelers, its a great place that has ferry access to NYC and could easily zip other places in NJ. Plus anybody that has traveled for work knows, being close (walking distance) to a convenience store (quick check), pharmacy (CVS) and other restaurants not in the hotel is a big plus.

      Maybe negotiate in to use some of Highlands local talent in the business, so for example, Transcendence could do her Spa in the hotel, maybe Tap House could do the restaurant. That way if they have special craft beer shows off season, people can book rooms for the weekend and make a weekend out of it.

      Yes this town has problems, and yes the problems have to be acknowledged before moving forward, but there comes a point where you need to start offering solutions instead of just bitching about the issues.

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    • Beautifully said. I would like to see progress and solutions that would create a renaissance in this town. This is the time to rebuild smartly looking towards future sustainable growth. I see places like Asbury Park that were so badly depressed for so many,many years and rattled with corruption but is a thriving growing city. I used to go there as a kid and teenager and never thought I would see the change that I have seen just in past three years. We have such great potential if we do this right. Right on HB

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    • I have always said that the Shadow Lawn property should build a hotel. With an infinity pool, meeting spaces, wedding/events areas with windows facing the ocean, etc. a section for long term housing would also be ideal!

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    • I’m not familiar with the Hotel Angelo in LA.

      I guess when I was living there I was too busy trying to make ends meet and not aware of hotels I couldn’t afford.

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    • Its hard to miss, its the old HoJo’s that looks like a battery right on the 405, they re-did it and as far as LA goes not that expensive. BTW is the glass EVER 1/2 full with you?

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    • In Bel Air? The one that also used to be a Marriott?

      Nope….I live my life at 11! If the glass is half-full, it’s time for another round!

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  2. I’d love to see specialty shops that might attract the spenders. They don’t even have to be separate stores. In the process I might gain 100 lbs but…

    ~butcher
    ~cheese shop
    ~wine shop
    ~produce/farm market
    ~super premium ice cream (I miss Bogo’s…)

    These could compliment what we already have: an awesome fish market, a great bakery, and one of the best coffee shops in Monmouth County.

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  3. HB,

    I dont disagree with you that perhaps something other than a high rise deal might be nice up on the hill. However, we dont own that particular piece of property. The owner has been jumping through hoops for years trying to do something with the place in the face of constant opposition, much of it opposition for oppositions sake.

    We can talk about it all day, but in the end both trailer parks need to go. And a developer is only going to want to come in and do something where there is profit to be made, and not with endless resistance.

    Its like the saying goes, opinions are like butt holes, everybody has one. And with the never ending opinons of some in this town you wold think they had three or four!!! 🙂

    I cant think of any major project in this town where there werent people coming out with pitch forks and torches against it. Often it would be with them having little or no facts at all fueling their “rage”.

    Once again, its about dollars and cents. Prime real estate in Highlands is severely underdeveloped and the taxpayers subsidize that each and every day. So, if people want to continue to pay ever higher taxes, lets fight redevelopment all day long, pat ourselves on the back for being some sort of patriots and write that big check to the town every quarter! But if you have a problem with the taxes, then maybe its time to say, “yeah, we need to get some redevelopment in here ASAP’. Remember it takes years from application to the time something is bulit.

    As far as having HP on the planning board, it would be a great idea. But do you know how she has to get on it. Well, its a mayoral appointment only. So, either she kisses the butt of the mayor, or she and other like minded people get involved in such as way that they are in a position to put people, and be put on the board. IE getting politically involved. Blogs and speaking ones mind at a council meeting if fine, but at the end of the day, those folks have all the toys, and you either have to be in the clique to get to play with them, or youre going to have to take them away! 😉

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    • For the record, I am NOT opposed to developing Shadow Lawn. I AM opposed to something that’s going to put the hill stabilization at risk and NOT bring the windfall ratables the council is promising. Could we get $10M in ratables from that land? Perhaps. But the council has it’s head in the sand about the burden on local services: schools, police department, infrastructure, etc.

      I’m also very concerned about the stability of the hill and I don’t think mid-rise residential is the answer. What happens when every homeowner on the property files a tax appeal because of some major change in conditions?

      I’m very supportive of mixed use. Put some low rise condos and some commercial space up there. Why should the view be for residents only?

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  4. For what it’s worth, Shadowlawn looks a lot better than most of the town these days (and is actually pretty damn nice for a trailer park, even before the storm).

    Our mayor himself is one of the people that has done squat to clean up or maintain his property since Sandy, including leaving the crawl space open to wildlife. Way to set an example for the rest of the town.

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    • There has been no work being done at his home and from what I’m hearing he doesn’t plan on returning to his home downtown. I ‘m hearing he is cutting and running to the hills. Makes me think something more going on then we know about.

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    • Kevin Redmond is also downtown. I never thought of electing them based on where they live but after Sandy that’s now a concern. I’d hate to have a council with no downtown residents.

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    • Um…Kevin does….Becky, I believe, lives just up the hill so she’s kind of downtown….the only one that lives up in the hill is Tara…so much for that theory….

      Now back to the ORIGINAL topic – How about a “Gentlemen’s Club?” It would create a lot of jobs in town!

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  5. rockemsockem,

    You might have to wait a long time for that. Do you know that there is actually an ordinance on the books that prohibits any kind of arcade? It says that you can only have one pinball machine, or video game per location.

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    • That is ridiculous! Its such a New Jersey shore thing to do. I dare to ask the reasoning behind that ordinance? Maybe kids would stay out of trouble if they had fun things to do. Not only kids but adults too:)

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    • I’m with Rockem on this – sheer madness… Duncan, do you know the ordinance number by any chance?  In my s pare time, maybe we can get it repealed, then Rockem and I can open a family game room in town!  WOOT

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    • Carolyn…I’m so in I love to play myself since I was a kid. There is a great one in Asbury Park… I love to go there and try to get my name on record. You know I have friends who invested in Asbury Park and there is a Hotel there with a ballroom that is used for conventions all the time. Last time I was there they had comic.con. We should be trying to get convention business in town if we are going to build bigger buildings as long as engineers deem safe.

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  6. I would love a movie theater, grocery store, or bowling alley. However, if we can restore some of the buildings rather than just tear everything down, that would make me happiest. I moved here because I like the quaint shore look. Otherwise, I’d have stayed in McCondoland.

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  7. Rockem, and Carolyn,

    I dont know the specific ordinance number, I was just going by memory. When i heard about this ordinance years ago, i thought it was ridiculous as well. I was told at the time that the ordiance was put into place because they didnt want kids in town using any location as a “hang out” . All ordiances can be viewed online.

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    • Why do they have a recreation center? Bunch of Killjoys! Its an activity that kids enjoy particularly now a days and if done with properly can be a great place for kids to safely hang out and stay out of trouble. They just seem to just like to sweep trouble under rug rather than take it in on creative ways.

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  8. Someone wanted to open one where tiny corner laundromat is. Back in 1990?? The local residents didn’t want it. I think the ordinance would be in that timeframe.

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