Low Real Estate Values Allow Brigantine Land Grab On The Cheap

The Brigantine Real Estate economy is (WAS) booming. It’s true. But there is one exception to that fact. Real Estate in Brigantine is only a great investment if you have the right connections. That connection seems to be City Councilman, Andy Simpson.

Hard to believe. At one time, Brigantine Beach was chock full of attractions, stores, restaurants and marinas like ‘The Fishfinder’.

Motels, restaurants, stores, …even a bowling alley and a world famous haunted castle. Brigantine Beach had them all at one time.

Somewhere in the mid-90’s, Brigantine leadership said screw it. Let’s throw out all the smart zoning rules and build homes everywhere we can. Brigantine allowed far-too-easy conversion of commercial/mixed use buildings into luxury homes and condos. No attention was paid to potential ramifications of those moves.

Did Brigantine city planners think is was no longer necessary to preserve and nurture commercial areas along our shores?

Fast-paced home construction took off. Builders thrived and scrambled to keep up with demand. They had no interest in a prudent mix of residential, commercial and attraction based properties.

The City of Brigantine was interested in old gas station lot in order to expand the Brigantine Historical Museum, or to build a small park or other pedestrian project. But not Councilman Simpson. He wanted houses on that land….and fast. WATCH VIDEO from Nov 2014 >

The Lighthouse Circle in Brigantine has been a main target over the years. When most thought the circle would be a tourist friendly destination, Mike Brennan of the Chamber was snookered when he found out that a giant CVS was going to built there.

Local resident & builder; Mike Snyder, bought and demolished the old Gulf gas station. Most wanted the City to use Green & Blue Acres grants to keep that space open. Would be kinda nice to see some water in Brigantine, no? In addition, most experts thought it may not be wise to build residential homes on top of an old gas station. The potential for problems relating to residual oil, fuel tank clean-ups and DEP approvals could make residential construction more complex.

In addition to the Brigantine Gulf Gas Station acquisition, Snyder and partner Jack Scheurich closed on the purchase of the old Steak 38 property, which is now THE COVE.

Lawsuits were filed against Snyder by the owners of Cellar 32 who claim Snyder was not allowed to build a competing restaurant for 5 years. Note: Snyder built and operated the Cellar 32 restaurant for a time. As of FEB 2016, Cellar 32 has been sold again.

Snyder also built two single family bay-front homes next to the Fish Finder Marina. One property has yet to sell. Snyder’s effort to shut down the Fishfinder two years ago were squashed after public outcry made him rethink that move.

Snyder and Scheurich have also reportedly acquired the former L’Aragosta Restaurant & The Rod n Reel.