LAKEWOOD – A Hilton Garden hotel, two restaurants – LongHorn Steakhouse and Ruby Tuesday – and a Starbucks will be opening on Route 70 west just off the Parkway next year, company officials said.
The new Hilton complex is on a 12-acre tract along Route 70 directly across from the Home Depot Shopping Center.
The site is being converted into a hotel complex owned by Parkway Lodging, a subsidiary of East Windsor-based Hotels Unlimited.
The LongHorn Steakhouse is tentatively scheduled to open early next year, quickly followed by Ruby Tuesday and Starbucks in the spring, and then the Hilton Courtyard around August, according to Carey Tajfel, vice president and director of business development for Hotels Unlimited. The company bought the property near the Brick boundary and east of the Garden State Parkway previously owned by the township for $2.25 million.
Construction on the restaurants began this fall, and they are expected to open early next year, Tajfel said.
Hotels Unlimited also owns and operates the Ramada Inn on Route 9 in Toms River as well as the Holiday Inn on Route 37 in Toms River.
The project is expected to generate more than $15 million in new ratables and create up to 175 new job opportunities, said Russell K. Corby, executive director of the Lakewood Development Corp.
Corby said the site is likely to generate up to $500,000 in general tax revenues annually once the abatement is over, as well as contribute about 150 new job opportunities. “That’s what’s really important to us,” Corby said of the jobs.
Tajfel said his company had been eager to acquire the land because of its prime location near the commercial center of Brick. The deal was further sweetened by the township committee’s willingness to extend a five-year graduated tax abatement.
The company will pay no property taxes the first year during construction, Tajfel said. The next year, it will have to pay only 20 percent with the total increasing by an additional 20 percent annually until year six when it would begin paying its full share of property taxes.
The Lakewood spot is the first foray into Ocean County for both Ruby Tuesday and LongHorn Steakhouse.
The Lakewood Planning Board originally approved the project in July 2005, but the deal was then held up as officials waited for the state Department of Environmental Protection to issue a Coastal Area Facilities Review Act permit.
In addition to permit issues, the infrastructure of the area had been inadequate to support the proposed 110-room hotel and eateries.
The same site had been slated to be turned into a hotel and cme conference center, a plan that received approval nearly five years ago.
But the development company scaled back the size of the hotel from 200 rooms to its currently proposed size in order to add the restaurant facilities on site.