Rising from the ashes, this Toms River plaza is ready for business, but which ones?

1 min read

TOMS RIVER, NJ – Like a phoenix from the ashes, the Ocean National Plaza at the intersection of Route 9 and Cox Cro Road in Toms River is nearly ready for business.

Nearly four years after being completely gutted in a fire, the plaza is looking great and nearly ready for new stores.

Here’s what happened:

On Monday, July 09, 2018, just after midnight, the Toms River Police and Fire Departments were dispatched to 2114 Route 9 for a report of a commercial structure fire. The location is a strip mall on the northwest corner of Cox Cro Road and Route 9 known as the Ocean National Plaza.

That plaza was home to five businesses: Esposito’s Pizza; Azteca Mexican Restaurant and Bakery, Wing Far Chinese Restaurant, Kokomo Nail Spa, and BJ’s Dry Cleaners.

An investigation eventually concluded that the origin of the fire was located in the overhang of BJ Cleaners. A malfunction of energized electrical equipment could not be eliminated as the cause leading to the fire being deemed accidental.

That was then, this is now.

Azteca has relocated south and reopened in the Victoria Plaza. After the fire, the workers of Wing Far said they would be back, but never did. Kokomo Nails Salon reopened as New Kokomo Nails and Spa nearby on Route 70. Esposito’s eventually closed down.

Now, a new and modern building exists and waiting for new tenants, but a lot has changed in the area since the 2008 fire. Demographics along Toms River’s northern border with Lakewood are changing and hundreds of new apartments have been built in the immediate area since the fire.

Related:  Man Found Dead Inside Baltimore Car, Police Investigating

Which stores would you like see in the plaza? Join our Facebook page to get in on the discussion.

A man who identified himself an “E.J.” on the company’s website, when asked if any leases have been signed, told Shore News Network today, “It’s none of your business.”

Share your thoughts...