Explaining Where We Stand on the Morrison's Marina Resort Hotel Project
Change is inevitable.
No matter how attached we are to special places like Long Beach Island, even charming beach towns have to evolve. We understand this.
In the late 90s, we built Mud City on a property that had been, among other restaurants, Spanky’s Secret Fish House. We opened the Black Whale in the building that was formerly Romeo’s in Beach Haven. Old Causeway is literally two blocks from the historic “Old Causeway” Inn, (named for the original bridge from Manahawkin to LBI) built on what was a mini golf and eatery. Parker’s Garage was our friends’ restaurant called The Boat House reimagined in the spirt of turn-of-the-century Beach Haven. This year we rebranded our new nightclub and restaurant Bird & Betty’s in what was the iconic Acme Hotel. Both of those two buildings are both over 100 years old. These were all existing businesses and we have worked to keep their charm and stories alive.
We love the character and history of the LBI Region. That said, we fully understand that we have caused change ourselves.
But the themes of our eateries often harken back to different times in LBI history that we seek to celebrate. With each project, we make great efforts to enhance the neighborhood. We aim to be positive change for both locals and visitors.
The Tide Table Group has a 15-year track record of hands-on community involvement, working with the Jetty Rock Foundation, Surflight Theatre, David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation, the Southern Ocean County Hunger Foundation, Alliance for a Living Ocean, The Oyster Farmers, Girl Scouts of America and countless grassroots organizations.
We understand that health of our economy is directly linked the health of our waterways.
We work to lessen the impact of our businesses on the environment. Two of our eateries have been certified as “Ocean Friendly Restaurants” by the Surfrider Foundation. We have led other local eateries in moving to more responsible practices. Our oyster co-op is helping filter the waters of our bay. As co-owner, Eric Magaziner has said in the past, “We’re not perfect but we’re trying.”
2019 has bought some contention to our community and we have joined with voices who are concerned about too much change too fast, rapid development that may forever alter the feeling and the spirit of a place we’ve all come to know and love.
The project in question is specifically a three-story, 102-room hotel at the site of the current Morrison’s Marina with a hotel, a restaurant, event venue, pool and roof top entertainment area. It is proposed to be 44 feet high, in the waterfront zone that currently has a height limit of 35 feet. It is also running into issues with the Coastal Area Facilities Review Act as it would be within 100 feet of the existing bulkhead. It is simply a massive resort that will forever alter the feeling of the Queen City, which is already strained for parking during the busy season.
Let’s be very clear. We are not opposed to development and we are not against this company
In fact, we have long worked alongside this company, particularly in helping to grow our area’s ever expanding wedding industry. We have many friends who work for the organization. We appreciate their businesses on Rt 72. in Manahawkin and patronize them. We’re supportive of hotels that draw people to Long Beach Island. We are not concerned about “competition” as we believe that a rising tide raises all ships. Furthermore, we have a long history of working with the Island business community and we are a “Partner” level member of the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce.
But just a few years after Superstorms Sandy, we are in a period of accelerated development. And with a project of this scope on such an ecologically sensitive property, we understand that residents, workers, summer folks, environmentalists and business owners all have concerns.
At recent council meetings, groups like Save Barnegat Bay have expressed major environmental concerns about the effect of the new resort of this size at Morrison’s so close to our bay.
The developer has yet to submit a final proposal and we’re hoping that the mayor, council and planning board of Beach Haven act in a responsible manner and consider the full impact that the Morrison’s project will have on our environment and community.