Sports Complex Design Drops Dome

The current designs for the sports complex is one large building. (Screenshot by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  BRICK – A design revision for the proposed superdome sports complex required a hearing before the Planning Board when it was announced there will no longer be a dome in the plan.

  The original three-building layout included the 75,000-square-foot dome fronted by two additional buildings housing a daycare center, basketball courts and offices.

  The plan was altered due to fire code compliance.

  “We ran into a concern that Mr. [Kevin] Batzel the fire official had with our dome design,” said applicant attorney John Jackson.

  “Due to the spacing of the buildings he felt that regulations require that it has to have a fire suppression system, but it’s hard to hang in a blow-up building.”

  The developer, LCP Sports II Urban Renewal looked at a variety of options and decided to remove the spacing between the buildings and combine the three structures into a solid, single building, which Jackson called “a better product” since the building is “safer, more sturdy, more attractive and can handle a modern fire suppression system.”

  The change is simple and straightforward, said applicant engineer Jeffrey Carr. “It wasn’t something that stemmed from a desire that the applicant had, but it was more one of a combination of the building code official, Mr. [Daniel] Newman, and Mr. Batzel looking at it after we started applying for building permits.”

  The buildings were separated by 20 feet. The single building eliminates the spacing, and aside from a four-foot shift forward, would have nearly the same footprint as the previous proposed buildings, the engineer said.

The site, located behind Aldi’s, is currently being worked on. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  The traffic circulation stays the same as in the original plan, Carr added.

  The building sits 24 feet from the back property line instead of the original proposal, which was 20 feet away. A fire truck can access all around the property, he said, and the new plan allows for four additional parking spaces.

  Township planner Tara Paxton said if there had been a fire in the dome, the bubble would collapse and suppress the fire, but since the other buildings were so close, a fire could spread from the dome to the other structures before the dome collapsed.

  Sprinklers would have to be installed in the bubble, which cannot be done on the structural fabric.

  “So that wouldn’t work,” she said. “We tried for weeks and months to solve the fire issue.”

  Paxton, who also called the new single building “more aesthetically pleasing,” said that previous testimony and approved variances still apply to the revised plan.

The sports complex plan used to have a fabric dome. (Screenshot by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  There were no questions from the audience or Board members, who unanimously voted in favor of the revised development.

  The site is in the middle of Brick Township and has a long history, Jackson said.

  It was formerly the site of a Foodtown, and the 11-acre parcel was purchased by the township for $6.1 million in 2003.

  The property was split and the township was paid a total of $5 million. An Aldi supermarket was built on the parcel fronting Route 70 and had its grand opening in December 2022.

  “We’re just seeking to put this final piece together, and my clients are very anxious to get going with this,” Jackson said.