HAZLET – The Buhler auto dealership at 3290 Route 35 has gotten the green light to build a parking lot along nearby Keyport-Holmdel Road to store up to 159 new vehicles.
The sparsely wooded 1.1 acre lot is situated diagonally from the rear of the dealership. It is located in the business/highway zone.
“My client has off-premises inventory parking in locations further south,” said Buhler’s attorney, Jeffrey Gale of Hazlet, at the Land Use Board meeting July 18. “This is to reduce the impact of having to drive two to three miles to get a car.”
A 25-foot internally illuminated dual-faced pylon sign will be erected at the intersection of Holmdel Road and Bayview Avenue, behind the Exxon gas station. There will be 9 LED lightpoles which will turn off on a timer one hour after the dealership is closed. Three other light poles will always stay on for security. No structures are planned on the site.
The lot’s only opening will be on Park Avenue, at the end of a mostly residential street. The dealership estimates that employees will make 175 trips a month to move vehicles between the lot and nearby dealership, accessible on Bayview.
Eighty percent of the lot will be paved over, but the the center strip will be of porous material that will allow stormwater to pass through and feed a nearby storm drain, an engineer said. The parking lot will be bordered by 18″ shrubs. There will be a solid vinyl fence between it and the adjacent landscaping business on Holmdel Road.
Several bulk variances, design waivers and other types of relief were sought related to nonpublic, low-impact intended use of the site.
The plans were submitted by DGRC, LLC, whose members are Garry Foltz, general manager of Buhler Auto Group, and Darren Buhler, co-owner of Buhler Auto Group.
The dealership has been in expansion mode lately, as several irresistible opportunities have popped up in the neighborhood.
Buhler purchased the vacant lot from Nick Mariolis, the owner of the nearby Shore Point Motel, for $600,000 in September, 2018. Six years earlier, Mariolis won approval to build a strip mall at the site, but never followed through. He is now putting his efforts into expanding his motel into a hotel, and offered the land to Buhler.
Buhler also recently purchased two small residential properties on Bayview Avenue, behind the showroom, which had both come up for sale in November, 2018. They sit next to a paved auxiliary lot behind the building. Buhler also parks cars on a lot at Bayview and Maple Drive.
The expansion is a sign the dealership has bounced back from a devastating fire on Memorial Day weekend in 2012.
Nearby sections of Holmdel-Keyport Road could also change in the future. Next door to Buhler is a plan for six homes. Across the street, the former Park East restaurant is going through another re-invention. And Mariolis is working on transforming his motel into a hotel called The Country Inn.