PHOTO GALLERY: Sign Of The Times: Bayville's Barren Retail Landscape

The Route 9 commercial corridor in Bayville is studded with empty buildings, long-vacant lots


Visitors heading down Route 9 South into Bayville are greeted by a "Welcome to Berkeley Township" sign as they pass the boundary line between Pine Beach and the township.

But the view after the sign isn't pretty. The decaying Beachwood Shopping Center - with its sagging roofs, boarded-up, long-vacant stores and battered parking lot full of weeds - is the next thing they see.

Despite the state Planning Commission's long-sought approval of the township's massive redevelopment plan in early July, the site remains untouched.

Although retail seems to be booming just a few miles down Route 9 in nearby Lacey Township, that is not the case in Berkeley.

The Baywick and Berkeley plazas are the only larger mall-like complexes along the Route 9 corridor in Bayville.

What's your take on the retail situation along Route 9? How do you think it could be improved? Tell us in the comments section below!

Susan October 07, 2012 at 10:37 PM
We desperately need decent retail. I am ashamed to live in Ocean county. Even Toms River, the county seat can only seem to bring in ShopRites, Spirits or Duncan Donuts. Why can't we have a Wegmans, a Whole Foods, or even a decent restaurant? I know I don't only speak for myself, but many of my neighbors feel the same. We go to Monmouth county to shop.
barb October 07, 2012 at 11:06 PM
one of the things I loved about moving to this area 17 years ago was having a movie theater, not a great one but good enough for disney movies with the kids, the bowling alley, berkeley island, blackbeards and even woolworths. I thought it would be great for my kids to grow up with these things right here!! That didn't last long at all and now we only have 2 of those things left, sad.
stuffin October 07, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Maybe if the pay in OC was better things would be better.
Patricia A. Miller (Editor) October 07, 2012 at 11:36 PM
I remember that movie theater, Barb! I think it was only a dollar or two to get in. It was great.
dniece68 October 07, 2012 at 11:52 PM
Bayville can't keep the streets clean and safe now, so why bother bringing in more traffic, people til something is done....One like safe place for people to walk along the highway our route 9 ...you see sidewalks then 3 feet grass, sidewalks again then holes, etc, no safe crossing on route 9..... put a time limit on how long a building can be vacate way before it is falling down on someone.... the police are ready to charge people with traspassing but the town is so slow in charging the owners fines....come on clean up.......
mike October 08, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Maybe if someone did something with rt 9 then maybe they would get better business. Driving from Shoprite to Beachwood is a nightmare.
Natty Bumppo October 08, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Slow newsday?
Chief Wahoo October 08, 2012 at 01:05 PM
What a dump of a town. Keep paying those property taxes. Looks like you all are getting your money's worth.
Poindexter McSmash October 08, 2012 at 01:26 PM
We are not allowed to fix it. We must do what we are told. Time to move...
Karen c October 08, 2012 at 02:01 PM
It should be dealt with immediately by code enforcement!!!! Can you imagine how fast any of us would have a summons if we left our property in that condition? It gives everyone the impression that we are a bunch of depressed losers since we can't/wont clean up "our house". Nice example for the next generation. It would be to the benefit of all of us and our children if there were services in that location.
carol October 08, 2012 at 02:47 PM
I am apalled that residents of Berkeley aren't outraged at the conditions of deserted businesses along the Rt. 9 corridor. Where is code enforcement for these properties. Homeowners are fined if they don't maintain their homes and property. It would be great to have some decent stores and and good restaurants which would bring jobs and boost the economy of the area. People retiring and moving to the area look for things to do in the daytime... they live in Berkely, Lacey, Waretown, and they are bringing their money to other communities that take pride in their businesses and appearance. The community should be 'up in arms' that this deserted shopping center is the "Welcome to Berkeley" vision! I'm sure that township ordinances can force business property owners to shape up... how about escrow money when businesses open to cover the cost of the township demolishing deserted buildings and making the properties at least presentable.
Frank B October 08, 2012 at 04:42 PM
I think we need our Mayor to give us bi-weekly updates on status of this eyesore! Leadership is needed!
Random Poster October 08, 2012 at 05:34 PM
as a berk resident myself. i tell first time visitors to get off at exit 77 and come into town from the south and take rt9 north(during daylight hours) and let them use exit 80/rt9 south(after dark hours)......just so they don't have to see that mess. i have heard rumors that all or most of that property which is quite big from what i under stand(goes behind black beards and out to beechwood) is contaminated and needs site remediation. i have been back in there before(yes i trespassed) and you can just smell the oil/gas/tar. site remediation can be super expensive, and i am sure once all the other Superfund sites around this state(at least one in each county) get cleaned up, maybe they will get this place on the list and get it cleaned up. out of all the money hungry land developers here in NJ i bet a few of them have complete site plans already drawn up with retail/housing/parks and would act quick if the soil was clean. but having to pay to clean the dirt before they can build bites into their bottom line....
barb October 08, 2012 at 09:12 PM
yes he should, emails and phone calls? we can try
Lillian Lewis October 08, 2012 at 10:58 PM
How about a roller skating rink for kids so we don't have to go all the way to Jackson. You know a "Family Oriented FUN" thing to do for the whole family. That would be a GREAT addition to one of the strip malls instead of all these little nonsense little stores that noone can afford to go to. Let's get the families back together.
MrSaturdayNightSpecial October 09, 2012 at 03:15 AM
I'll just leave this link here from last November... http://berkeley-nj.patch.com/articles/carmen-amato I see no change!
skizma October 09, 2012 at 10:56 AM
uhhhh Route 9 itself is the problem. The road has never been improved to meet the demands of the residents and traffic. It's not big enough to handle the influx of customers. That road stinks to drive on.
Limo Bob October 09, 2012 at 08:22 PM
I said you got that right...sure got that right... Sorry, I couldn't resist...and I agree Mr.
Dennis Schmieder October 09, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Lived in Bayville for 38 years. It seems in the mid-90s the town got onto the slippery slope to disfunction. Retired, left the town, left the county, left the state. and never even looked back over my shoulder. Settled in a town with a historic past as well as a bright future. Get out as soon as you can! D.S. Pawleys Island, South Carolina.
Debbie November 17, 2012 at 05:08 PM
So whats wrong with Shoprite? Not everyone can afford Wegmans, (maybe that's why we live in Bayville/Beachwood and not Monmouth County.) And as for decent restaurants, every time we find a decent one around here it goes out of business. If you drive Rt 9 through Beachwood and Bayville you'll find the one thing we have an abundance of is liquor stores and bars, Thats the sad part. Yes we could benefit from nicer retail stores but instead of putting up more "mini malls" that will go half empty, the currently unoccupied ones should be restored or demolished.


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