SEASIDE HEIGHTS — There will soon be another reason for more people to visit this Ocean County borough outside of summer.

A building along the Boulevard that was left vacant after the superstorm in 2012 is finally getting new life.

The municipality is in the process of converting the space into an "arts incubator."

"The second floor will be a space that artists can use — they can rent it out on a monthly basis — and then display and sell their work on the first floor," Christopher Vaz, borough administrator, told New Jersey 101.5.

And right now, plans call for the entry-level floor to feature a small stage, so the venue can host events such as poetry readings and acoustic acts.

"It's kind of all a plan to start really getting the Boulevard to come alive and even hopefully be more of a 12-month-a-year Boulevard than a seasonal Boulevard," Vaz said.

Google Maps/Canva
Google Maps/Canva
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The site is along the same strip of the Boulevard as The Snooki Shop, a clothing store created by Nicole Polizzi from the "Jersey Shore" cast.

Vaz said while some folks can't seem to shake the idea from their heads that Seaside Heights is just a fist-pumping party town, the borough is very different today than it was years ago.

"You've got a lot of million-dollar homes now, you've got all these condos that are coming online in the near future. So you've got a lot of people that are going to be buying here for the first time, and their expectations are high for what Seaside should be," Vaz said.

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The plan is to have the arts incubator up and running sometime this summer.

Mural along the boardwalk in Seaside Heights (Seaside Heights)
Mural along the boardwalk in Seaside Heights (Seaside Heights)
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Also adding to the local arts scene is a series of large murals on the boardwalk and at Borough Hall. The idea from a borough intern a couple summers back was a big hit, and the borough is now in the process of "round 2," Vaz said.

And the borough still has grant money for redevelopment, which it may use on new sidewalk lighting in the area, as well as redoing sidewalks near the incubator site to embed art.

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