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What Should Go Here?

Oceanport Plaza, the heart of the borough's business district, looks like it needs to be resuscitated.

Oceanport's new Village Center, which will include 35,000 square feet of retail space, is expected to open its doors in 2014 but not 100 yards away sits an existing strip of commercial space that is just begging to be filled.

Oceanport Plaza, built along East Main Street about four decades ago, boasts a number of empty storefronts that at one point held staples for small-town living like an ice cream shop and a video store.

In July, Mayor Michael Mahon told Patch, "We would encourage the owners (of Village Center) to take advantage of activity at the fort and Monmouth Park as the local economy improves and redevelopment opportunities stimulate investment in their property." Our call to Teicher Realty, the company that owns and manages Oceanport Plaza, was not returned.

All this got us wondering, was Oceanport Plaza ever really a viable retail asset for the community? Share your memories of how things used to be and tell us what you think would help revive this downtown staple in the comments section.

Gary Parent September 25, 2012 at 08:16 PM
How about a nice local tavern.
Julius A Borrus September 25, 2012 at 08:36 PM
First, the prperty can use a little more updating. With another retail plaza comming is NOT going to help this center. You have vacancies in Red Bank . Little Sliver,the center by Contempory Motors. The Area at present does not call for another center at this time.And in to the Mayors statement about the Fort activity it is mostly in the Eatontown area, and it will be years for the Fort to be develope, before any one really see effect that is needed to make this area successful. Julius A Borrus,Little Silver
John Bulman September 25, 2012 at 11:30 PM
This plaza hopefully won't be a train wreck like the one that's there now! The old one could use a facelift too!
Pam September 26, 2012 at 01:12 AM
I work in Oceanport. How about bagel shop or a nail salon?
Regina Maps September 26, 2012 at 01:43 AM
The present plaza sure could use a new face lift. There is nothing attractive looking or appealing looking that grabs your interest to want to explore the shops that are there. A sandwich shop with counter seating would be a welcomed addition. Years ago we had such a store there. A bakery shop would be a unique addition.
Shannon K. Winning September 26, 2012 at 03:34 AM
If I had the cash I would be opening up a swank coffee shop. A girl needs her mochas and Red Bank or Monmouth Beach is too far to go for an everyday shot of espresso. Wouldn't something like that be a great anchor for that plaza?
Shannon K. Winning September 26, 2012 at 03:34 AM
I vote for Atlantic Bagel.
Shannon K. Winning September 26, 2012 at 03:35 AM
Yes Gary!
Julie Nagornyi September 26, 2012 at 04:05 PM
For a plaza to be desirable it needs to have an atmosphere. Its not a particular business that would save/draw people but rather a certain ambience. It would be nice if the plaza catered to kids/teens and also had a chill place to relax (coffee shop/lunch etc). Something that served the demographics of Oceanport. (ice cream, pizza, something like surf taco - cheap places that are nice, so people would stop by). Also - it would be nice to have something for the kids - maybe karate, or dance or some other activity place that's in town.
Jack Harris September 26, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Exactly. I had the same thought. I mostly work from home and a real local coffee shop would be a great place to recharge and probably even a quieter place to meet with clients or colleagues then many of the places in Red Bank or Shrewsbury. I'm hoping someone sees an investment possibility in the new plaza.

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