Rebuilding The Business of Brigantine Beach

There’s a new home-building boom on Brigantine Beach. You can thank our award winning beaches for that great news. Construction permits are piling up at City Hall. Classic bungalows are sadly being bull-dozed. Dirt lots are decorated with Real Estate signs. Brigantine Real Estate is on a rebound. Unfortunately, our island is plagued by a growing number of empty storefronts and some residents still reeling from Hurricane Sandy.

At a recent City Council meeting, local developer Mike Snyder pleaded for City Council to be more business friendly. Snyder recently overhauled the old Steak 38 building and is still looking for a buyer. Plans to launch an all new bar & restaurant called THE COVE in that location never materialized due to previous agreements already in place with another Snyder built property.

During Snyder’s chat with City Council, he explained “it’s easy to build homes, but we need to also build business and attractions”. Mike also shared with me his thoughts on a question I posed to him that references the ‘Law of Diminishing Returns’. This law states that eventually, profit will stagnate and even slip backwards, by doing the same thing over and over again.

I asked Mike: Will it get tougher to find premium home buyers if Brigantine has limited retail & attractions? Will Brigantine’s economy struggle if we only have beautiful homes & beaches….but nowhere to eat, drink, shop, play and be entertained? Snyder said ‘yes’.

At one time Brigantine had over 30 motels. A Burger King. A department store. The Brigantine Castle. Over 20 marinas. Amusements for kids. A bowling alley. Numerous retail, food & beverage attractions.

Then, the mixed blessing of AC Casinos came. Luxury home development and land speculation exploded. Big time cash money was made, but this ‘every man for himself’ land grab put the squeeze on small business and fixed income full-time residents. It also put Brigantine on the road to retail ruin.

Some whisper that past Brigantine leadership might have made life difficult for a small business operator that was part of the ‘insiders club’. Some say this legal, but un-ethical stuff still might happen. If a small business operator occupied a prime piece of property in Brigantine (ex: waterfront), some might play dirty pool to try and get them to sell. Then, that land could be bought on the cheap. Real cheap.

Watch video below. Builder/owner; Mike Snyder, takes us on a sneek-peek tour of the old Steak 38 being cleaned-up and refurbished. 

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