View Full Version : Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ

February 10th, 2004, 05:33 PM
146-home plan in 'leadoff position' in Asbury Park transformation

Published in the Asbury Park Press 2/10/04


ASBURY PARK -- City planners last night began hearing the first application for new homes on the waterfront as Kushner Cos. presented plans for 146 town houses and one-story condominiums along Wesley Lake between Lake and Cookman avenues.

Kushner, of Florham Park, eventually plans to build 750 homes over four phases. The first phase includes four stories of stacked town houses on two blocks along Cookman Avenue, two stories of condo flats along Lake Avenue and 46 luxury town houses.

"Hopefully this will be the start of many buildings," said Alfred L. Faiella, lawyer for Asbury Partners, the prime redeveloper, which bought the oceanfront rights two years ago and is selling parcels for development to individual builders. "This is the beginning of a long journey for this municipality."

Jeffrey Freireich, vice chairman and managing partner of Kushner Cos., said it was "great to be in the leadoff position for the future of Asbury Park."

Freireich said the company expects to break ground in the summer. He has previously said an average cost for the homes would be $400,000. Home will vary from one to three bedrooms.

The Planning Board is to continue the hearing on the Wesley Lake District proposal at 7 p.m. Feb. 24. Also, at that special meeting, the planners agreed to begin hearing the site plan application of a second developer, Paramount Homes, for condominiums on the oceanfront block north of the Berkeley-Carteret Oceanfront Hotel.

Larry Fishman, chief operating officer of Asbury Partners, said Asbury Partners recently reached a tentative agreement with a third developer to build homes along Ocean Avenue, replacing K. Hovnanian. He didn't identify the builder but hopes to do so soon.

The plan provides for the development of more than 3,000 homes, 450,000 square feet of commercial space, an upgrade of the storm sewer system and sewer lines, rehabilitation of the Casino, Convention Hall and the boardwalk heating plant, rebuilding of the boardwalk (now in progress), and the creation of private and public beach clubs.

Asbury Partners has to build $45 million of infrastructure and acquire up to $40 million in additional property for the project, costs that are to be recouped as blocks in the 56-acre prime renewal area are sold to subdevelopers.

Kushner's architect, David J. Minno of Lambertville, said the two blocks in the first phrase would be a combination of three styles -- downtown architecture, Victorian arts and crafts, and art deco. Retail spaces with floor-to-ceiling glass are planned at corners.

"The idea is to come up with architecture that looks like it evolved over time," Minno told the Planning Board.

He said there are 146 planned units but eventually there would be 181 if developers obtain land now occupied by city school board offices on Lake Avenue.

Infrastructure update

Earlier yesterday, the board held a special meeting to re-view the infrastructure im-provements developers are re-quired to make. That hearing is to continue March 1.

Robert J. Curley, professional planner for Schoor DePalma, representing the developer, said once the storm sewer sys-tem is revamped, storm water will no longer discharge into the ocean or lakes untreated but instead at least 95 percent will go through treatment swirl chambers.

Many sewer pipes and some water lines will be replaced, he said.

Ocean Avenue, which is to have two-way traffic, will have no traffic lights as it does now, but stop signs instead, said Henry Ney, traffic engineer for Asbury Partners.

February 10th, 2004, 11:25 PM

TLOZ Link5
February 10th, 2004, 11:28 PM
Wasn't that a Bruce Springsteen album?

February 11th, 2004, 12:16 AM
Wasn't that a Bruce Springsteen album?

Yup, the Boss was born and raised just a couple miles from where I live in Freehold NJ.

He moved to Asbury Park when he got out of highschool, he lived in a surf board factory and met members of his future band who lived on a street called "East Street".

Hence Bruce Springsteen and the East Street Band, Bruce still lives here in Monmouth County and can be spotted around Freehold or Asbury Park.

April 9th, 2004, 01:44 AM
April 9, 2004

Officials Say Development Will Return Asbury Park to Glory Days


Plans call for demolishing dilapidated buildings on and near Asbury Park's mile-long boardwalk and replacing them with housing, shops, parks, beach clubs and possibly a hotel.

ASBURY PARK, N.J., April 8 - The governor showed up, the flashbulbs flashed and the sunshine even came out in force. After two decades in which its dreams of resurgence were repeatedly doused, this deteriorating seaside resort finally got a moment in the light on Thursday.

Gov. James E. McGreevey and other state and city officials visited the newly restored boardwalk near the historic Convention Hall, using the ocean as a sparkling backdrop to formally mark the start of Asbury Park's $1.2 billion redevelopment and declare that this time, the promises of new life for this beleaguered city would come true.

"In the past years there has been much hope and much failure," Mr. McGreevey told a crowd of about 50 residents, developers and reporters. "But now you are going to see Asbury Park rise again."

After all the earlier promises, there is no shortage of skepticism here. Previous developers had sweeping plans, but bankruptcies and litigation tied the city's hands for years while the buildings and infrastructure deteriorated and visitors and residents fled.

On Thursday, the predictions were bold for the redevelopment plan, which envisions new housing, shops, entertainment facilities, parks, two beach clubs and possibly a hotel along the city's mile-long boardwalk and on nearby blocks.

The presentations were laced with subtle references to Bruce Springsteen, the Jersey Shore's best-known native son and an important supporter of Asbury Park. Officials said that groundbreaking for the first of more than 3,000 new housing units, including condominiums and rental apartments, would take place this spring and that people would be able to move in within 18 months.

Three of the run-down and shuttered boardwalk structures that once housed shops and candy stores are being renovated and will be open by the summer of 2005, said Larry Fishman, the chief operating officer for Asbury Partners, the company that has bought the development rights to the entire beachfront area. The new shops are to be two-sided, with seasonal attractions on the east, facing the water, and year-round retail stores on the Ocean Avenue side.

In what might be an omen of the project's success, the city, for the first time in decades, recently received an investment-grade rating from Moody's Investors Service, which analyzes municipal bonds for private investors and mutual funds. Without a rating, it is impossible for a public agency to sell bonds. On Wednesday, Commerce Capital Markets of Cherry Hill, N.J., bought $3.2 million worth of general improvement and sewer utility bonds.

"It is hard to make bond ratings sound sexy, but every redevelopment starts with people's confidence," Terence J. Reidy, the city manager, said. "This is the first time in 35 years the city has had an investment-grade rating, and that shows financial experts have confidence in the redevelopment."

Not everyone is convinced that the new development plans are what the city needs. Some residents and business owners complain that they are not being given the opportunity to upgrade their properties to conform to the new plans, but instead are being forced to sell to the developers.

Werner Baumgartner, the city historian, said the city's identity as a center of rock 'n' roll and of summer vacationers would be destroyed by the condominiums and retail shops that are the centerpiece of the development.

But the gathered officials said on Thursday that every effort was being made to save the important parts of the city's past. Bradley Campbell, the state's environmental protection commissioner, praised the rapid approval of the crucial permit under the Coastal Area Facility Review Act that was granted late last month, and was quick to note that the redevelopment plan protected the history of Asbury Park.

"There are tough issues we are addressing of how to protect the character of Asbury Park and how to make sure everyone is phased into the project," Mr. Campbell said.

His remarks were made within view of Convention Hall and the Paramount Theater, two of the city's most significant landmarks. Both are to be renovated, as is the Art Deco Howard Johnson's restaurant next door.

The famous casino at the opposite end of the boardwalk will not be saved, but will be replaced by a similar structure that will house shops and some sort of entertainment, Mr. Fishman said, while the casino's carousel house, where artistic metal insets of faces are set into every window, will be saved.

Although procedures were begun this week for the developers to acquire the block that includes the Stone Pony, one of the state's, and possibly the nation's, most famous rock 'n' roll clubs, Mr. Fishman said the club is safe.

Susan Bass Levin, the state's community affairs commissioner, said Thursday's delegation of visiting officials was just the beginning. "Literally thousands of people," she said, "will come after us for the new glory days of Asbury Park."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

May 21st, 2004, 05:31 AM
May 21, 2004


50 Condos Are Planned for Asbury Park


Betting on signs that the long-hoped-for renewal of Asbury Park, N.J., is starting to catch on, a developer plans to turn an empty office building into 25 condominiums and build an adjacent building with 25 more residences on a block sandwiched between this faded resort city's recovering downtown and its oceanfront.

Work will start in two weeks on the $7 million-plus conversion of the six-story 1920's building at 501 Grand Avenue, once the headquarters of Jersey Central Power and Light. Renamed Asbury Grand, it will be reshaped into 900- to 1,500-square-foot apartments, some with ocean views. There will also be 5,500 square feet of ground-level commercial space as part of the conversion, which is being designed by WORK, a Manhattan architectural firm, and is to be completed by the first quarter of 2005.

Construction of the new building will not start until most or all of the residences in the conversion are sold, said Harvey Schultz, a principal of Asbury Grand Partners, the developer. Other principals include Frank Mandia and the Murnick family, who had owned the land as well as the limestone-colored brick building.

Mr. Schultz, who grew up near Asbury Park, said the amount of development taking place now persuaded the partners to invest in the city. "It has started to come back," said Mr. Schultz, who also is a principal of the Schultz Organization/TCN Worldwide, a commercial real estate services company in Woodbridge, N.J.

In the more than 30 years since race riots drove out much of Asbury Park's middle class, there have been a few unsuccessful plans for its rebound. But in the last 18 months, the 12-block central business district, which had become a virtual ghost town, has slowly revived.

Thomas Gilmour, the city's director of economic development, said that in that time 38 businesses had opened in formerly boarded-up downtown buildings, while the upper floors were being turned into housing, mainly condos. He added that 244 residences had been completed or were under way or about to begin, with most of the rest of the downtown buildings spoken for.

One of the larger developments is the conversion to 61 rental apartments of the vacant Steinbach department store, formerly the Commercial Hotel, on Cookman Avenue. The transformation of the five-story, 19th-century building, which is listed on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places, is to begin next month, said Carter S. Sackman, a principal of Emory Realty of Manhattan, the developer. An average 1,000-square-foot apartment will rent for $1,300 to $1,500 a month, he said.

There also are signs of success from the current $1 billion mixed-use redevelopment plan for the oceanfront and several nearby blocks. One is that Asbury Partners, the city-designated master redeveloper of the 56-acre redevelopment area, will complete the restoration of the nearly milelong boardwalk by July.

Also, work is to start late this summer on the first 146 town houses and condos of the 3,000 residences planned for the redevelopment area. They are expected to sell at prices starting from mid-$300,000's for the condos and in the $400,000 range for the town houses, according to the developer, the Kushner Companies of Florham Park, N.J. Those residences will rise on two blocks between Cookman and Lake Avenues along Wesley Lake at the southern end of the redevelopment area. Kushner will ultimately build 750 residences.

At the northern end of the redevelopment area, Paramount Homes of Jackson Township, N.J., will start construction in November on 153 waterfront condos. Prices are expected to range from $400,000 to $800,000.

Mr. Schultz, the developer of the Asbury Grand, said the location of the Grand Avenue building and lot was a key to his decision to proceed. The properties are near the ocean and downtown, and two blocks from the New Jersey Transit train station.

Mark Brown, a sales associate at the residential brokerage firm Gloria Nilson/GMAC who is marketing the conversion, said that last year 64 condos were sold downtown for $100,000 to $375,000, up from the 29 apartments that sold the previous year for $104,000 to $215,000.

Prices at the Asbury Grand have not yet been finally set, he said, but an average 1,100-square-foot apartment is expected to sell for $330,000. Sales are to start by July.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

October 10th, 2004, 10:34 AM
New day dawns for Asbury

ASBURY PARK -- One Saturday last month, Bill and Mo Carpenter, who live in Bernardsville and summer in Ocean Grove, looked out from the second-floor window of a new $600,000 loft for sale downtown onto a lively streetscape streaked with sunshine and shadows.

Aerial view shows the Asbury Park oceanfront, with the unfinished high rise in the far left foreground. That is where Metro Homes, Hoboken, proposes to build a 224-unit condominium complex. Convention Hall and the Berkeley Carteret Oceanfront Hotel also can be seen. The North Beach project would be near the hotel.
"I'm totally impressed," gushed Mo Carpenter, a 58-year-old booking agent for a New York City modeling agency. "I would buy. I like it here. I think it's good for people our age. You have the beach, you have the downtown, the great restaurants, and the train's right there."

"I couldn't get her to walk into this town a year ago," remarked her husband, a 58-year-old auto dealership executive. "Now she wants to live here."

Mo Carpenter's change of heart speaks volumes about Asbury Park's own turnaround. As the city prepares to break ground Thursday on the first phase of its waterfront redevelopment project, Asbury Park finds itself riding a wave of momentum that has many here believing that this time, the city's rebirth is for real.

That feeling is most palpable downtown, where block by block, investors and entrepreneurs are transforming once gaunt buildings into vibrant shops, art galleries and upscale eateries. Foot traffic is still slow most weekdays, but activity picks up on weekends. Above these businesses, pricey new lofts and condominiums are quietly materializing -- one of which, a two-bedroom duplex above Robert Legere Home, a high-end furnishings and design store on Cookman Avenue, recently went under contract for close to $800,000.

Now the city's waterfront developers are poised to tap into that positive vibe.

Within weeks, developers expect actual construction to begin on two new residential communities in the redevelopment zone: Wesley Grove, which will bring 100 condominiums and 46 town houses, and retail stores to a vacant tract along Wesley Lake, outside the downtown; and North Beach, a 157-unit, three-building condominium complex to be built on an empty block north of the Berkeley Carteret Oceanfront Hotel on Ocean Avenue.

Sam M. Gershwin, president of Kushner Co.'s Westminster Communities in Florham Park, which is developing Wesley Grove, says prices for the condominiums will be "in the $200,000s, $300,000s and $400,000s" with town houses priced higher. And Jeffrey Fernbach, president of Paramount Homes, based in Jackson, says units at North Beach will range from $400,000 to more than $1 million.

The developers say the first units could be occupied by early 2006.
"I see it right around the corner," says Larry Fishman, chief operating officer of Asbury Partners, which purchased the waterfront redevelopment rights from builder Joseph Carabetta in 2001. Asbury Partners' overall $1.25 billion redevelopment plan calls for a total of 3,164 new residential units, entertainment venues and 450,000 square feet of seasonal and year-round retail space.

In another positive step, a third developer, Metro Homes LLC of Hoboken has joined the Phase 1 mix. The company unveiled plans last week to build out the unfinished high rise that has loomed over the oceanfront for 15 years, a relic of an earlier redevelopment that ended in bankruptcy. Called The Rising of Asbury Park, the proposed 224-unit art deco condominium complex offering studios to four bedrooms could follow close on the heels of the two other new developments, provided Metro Homes moves quickly through the city's approval process.

New revenue for the city

The prospect of all three developments coming on line by 2006 is raising hopes that meaningful financial relief is on the way for the cash-strapped city and its restive taxpayers, who have long borne one of the heaviest tax burdens in Monmouth County. City Manager Terence Reidy estimates that 500 new occupied units would generate about $3.5 million in annual revenues for the city, which in recent years has had to scramble to close multimillion-dollar budget deficits.

"We have been surviving year to year through a lot of creativity, a lot of grants, selling off waterfront property. What this redevelopment will do is take Asbury Park out of crisis mode," Reidy says. "It will stabilize the budget and allow the city to take a breath, for the first time in a long time, and say, 'OK, where do we go from here?' " What happens next hinges on how quickly the new waterfront units sell. For their part, officials with Westminster Communities and Paramount Homes expect an enthusiastic response, based on their assessment of the market and the hundreds of names they already have amassed on "priority lists" of people who have shown interest in Wesley Grove and North Beach.

"They've been waiting, and I can say not very patiently," says Fernbach of Paramount Homes, which has more than 1,000 names on its list. The developers can't actively market the units until their projects are officially registered with the state Department of Community Affairs, which regulates the sale and advertising of condominium units.

Gershwin expects Westminster Communities to begin marketing in earnest early next year, starting with those people who have already expressed interest in the projects. He says the 200 or so people on his company's waiting list represent "a broad spectrum" ranging from "older empty nesters to young families and young professionals." Added Gershwin: "A fair amount are people from northern Jersey and New York who still have an affinity for Asbury Park as it once used to be and who would love to return to Asbury Park provided someone is building to their expectations."

Wesley Grove's proximity to the resurgent downtown promises to be a major selling point for Westminster, which is considering locating its sales office there. And Gershwin says Westminster can't help but be encouraged by the interest shown for downtown residential units. For example, although some thought downtown developer Patrick Fasano was asking too high a price for the duplexes in his newly rebuilt Triangle Building at Cookman and Mattison avenues -- whose sweeping views so captivated Bill and Mo Carpenter -- the most expensive unit, listed for $635,000, is already under contract.

Skyrocketing prices

The upturn in prices isn't limited to downtown. Citywide, property values are on the rise, in part due to the influx of gay couples and singles who, in addition to opening new businesses downtown, have purchased and refurbished scores of houses. James McGlynn, an agent for Genesis Realty on Cookman Avenue, cited some examples of recent single-family sales: a house in the 500 block of Eighth Avenue, purchased in December 2000 for $255,000, sold in October 2003 for $620,000; and a home in the 400 block of Second Avenue, bought in 1996 for $96,000, sold in June for $650,000.

McGlynn thinks the restored Victorian on the 600 block of Seventh Avenue he and his wife scooped up at a foreclosure sale 10 years ago for $70,000 could command more than $600,000 in today's market. Carl Williams Jr., a former mayor and council member, who since 1971 has operated the Mr. Fashion men's clothing store on Cookman Avenue, says he's not shocked by the prices people are paying for properties in the city today.

"The people coming in are people from New York," Williams says. "They compare Asbury to New York, and we keep comparing Asbury to Neptune. They don't look at what it was. They look at what it is." Gershwin says Westminster is trying to appeal to a broader market than the niche developers downtown, and will price its units accordingly.

"If I try to hit a home run on my first unit, I'm going to be sitting here for a long time and not moving product," Gershwin says.

"We thought 90 percent of the marketing challenge is to get them to believe in Asbury and believe their investment will actually double over a few years, and it will," says Fernbach of Paramount Homes. "I think the pioneers will do very, very well."

The new frontier

One of those prospective pioneers is Adam Pfeffer, 24, who put his name on the list for one of the North Beach units. A Lakewood native, he now lives in Huntington, N.Y., where he is working toward his law degree and a master's in business. He says his family will help him with a down payment.

"It seems like it's up and coming," Pfeffer says of Asbury Park. "I like the idea of having the ocean and brand new buildings." After suffering through a disastrous redevelopment bid in the late '80s and early '90s, the city is anxious to see those new buildings rise. Fishman says he understands the city's impatience.

"All of the developers are going to have tens of millions of dollars invested. No one is going to sit here and stall," he said. "If they can sell 500 units the first year, there will be 500 more the next year." Although Fishman believes Asbury Partners has moved quickly on the first residential phase, he admits they have not succeeded in attracting major retail businesses to the five boardwalk pavilions Asbury Partners purchased from the city and promised to market.

"Retail's a funny thing. You need customers, and there was no foot traffic in Asbury Park," Fishman says. "We talked to a lot of national chains and some of the nicest local restaurants and couldn't get anyone to commit. We still can't get anyone to commit." So far, the most visible sign of progress on the boardwalk is the boardwalk itself, which Asbury Partners rebuilt this year.

Fishman says Asbury Partners is trying to bring in a partner to help market the pavilions. In the meantime, the redeveloper plans to remodel two of the pavilions to stimulate retail activity on the boardwalk next summer. City resident Stephanie Jones is eager to see that aspect of the waterfront plan proceed.

"I just hope they finish up on the beach, too, so our kids will have some activities," says Jones, 40, who owns a home on Fourth Avenue.

'A social contract'

This week, though, the city's focus is on Thursday's groundbreaking ceremony, which is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bradley Park across from Convention Hall. The event is open to the public.

"What it means to me is self-sufficiency, in a word," says Councilwoman Kate Mellina. "It's going to mean new tax money so we can start repairing the infrastructure here, fixing the streets, provide recreation for the kids, have a real senior center, do something about affordable housing, create jobs. This is going to bring the revenue that we need to turn it back into a real city." "East side, west side, everyone knows once you raise the ratables, it will help the whole city," says Mayor Kevin Sanders. Reidy, the city manager, says the city is committed to moving the entire city forward, not just the waterfront and downtown.

"As the city is successful in this redevelopment, that success comes at a price for some people, and the city can't be as affordable as it has been," Reidy says. "But the city has a social contract with all the people of Asbury Park, and when the community goes through this transition, the responsibility of government is to be as sensitive as it can be to the needs of the community."

Reidy cites these examples:

Under an agreement worked out with the city, developer Carter Sackman must obtain 20 percent of his workforce and 20 percent of his materials from Asbury Park when he converts the old Steinbach department store into 63 rental lofts and first-floor retail space. Thomas Gilmour, the city's Urban Enterprise Zone director, is overseeing new initiatives to train Asbury Park residents for jobs opening up inside and outside the city, including construction and service jobs on the waterfront.

Housing and Community Development Director Hazel Samuels is heading up a $945,000 effort from various funding sources to revitalize homes, streets, trees and sidewalks in a neighborhood at Ridge and Bangs avenues. An affordable housing subcommittee is discussing how best to utilize $7 million Asbury Partners is obligated to pay the city for affordable housing and community development; $2 million has been paid into the fund so far, with the rest coming as the redevelopment unfolds.

In addition, Reidy says the city is close to settling litigation that has held up redevelopment plans for Springwood Avenue that include new stores, a new elementary school and a mix of moderate and affordable rental and single-family housing. "If we can nail all of this down," Reidy says of the settlement, "it just opens the door to Springwood Avenue and allows us to reclaim that part of town in a way that it hasn't been in 30 years."

The same can be said of the city's long dormant waterfront. "We've all waited for this day," says Steven Troy, who owns Robert Legere Home and the five new units above the store with his partner Robert Legere. "For the first time, all these people who have been driving through town for the past three years saying, 'When is it going to happen? When is it going to happen?' are going to see something concrete."


April 7th, 2006, 06:41 AM
April 7, 2006
Asbury Park in New Pact to Restart Development

After more than a decade of failed plans, Asbury Park has reached new agreements with its development partner to speed the refurbishment of the Convention Hall, dilapidated casino and boardwalk pavilions.

Work is under way on 147 town houses by Westminster Homes, a sub-developer of Asbury Partners, in a 56-acre section of Asbury Park. The city has reached agreement with Asbury Partners to resume redevelopment.

ASBURY PARK, N.J., April 5 — Asbury Park's hopes of redevelopment have been frustrated by more than a decade of failed plans, bankrupt developers and corruption.

But the city's prospects took a step forward this week when it reached a new agreement with its development partner to speed the refurbishment of the city's sagging Convention Hall, dilapidated casino and Boardwalk pavilions, and to quickly resolve disputes that have bogged down progress in the past.

The agreement is a result of nearly six weeks of negotiations between city officials and Asbury Partners, its redeveloper, after council members and others grew impatient with the slow pace after the city turned over the Boardwalk buildings to the company in 2001.

Critics of Asbury Partners had threatened to press for the developer's ouster if there was no agreement on strict timetables to complete the work and assurances that the developer was financially able to do so. Under the contract, Asbury Partners is to oversee the redevelopment of the buildings and a 56-acre parcel of shorefront.

The developer has also agreed to put in escrow an amount equal to 25 percent of the estimated $6 million in work on the Boardwalk buildings, obtain performance bonds for each project and provide periodic financial statements detailing its net worth and any significant changes in its finances.

One of the key provisions of the new agreement, said Terence J. Reidy, the city manager of Asbury Park, was a dispute resolution process that involves an arbitrator with the power to settle disagreements and to dictate remedies. The goal is to resolve disputes within 60 days. Mr. Reidy said that the only recourse for the city in past disputes had been to find the redeveloper in default, a move that often led to court battles.

"And when you hold a developer in default it sends a terrible message to the financial community," said Mr. Reidy, recalling the city's plight in the 1990's when its developer went bankrupt and redevelopment hopes were stymied by protracted litigation. "Default says that there is not good communication with the developer, but this agreement creates a softer trigger in disputes and signals a higher level of communication and commitment by both the city and the developer."

Larry Fishman, the president of Asbury Partners, said that part of the reason that work on the Boardwalk buildings had been delayed was that litigation challenged portions of the agreement that brought Asbury Partners to the city in 2001. But he said that as a result of the City Council's concerns, "rampant rumors" questioning the company's intentions, and the need to show its "commitment" to redevelopment, the company would no longer wait to start.

"We have gotten timelines memorialized in this agreement and given financial assurances to our commitment," Mr. Fishman said.

Many residents who have long mistrusted Asbury Partners continued to be skeptical. They said that although the new agreement has set time limits and financial guarantees that the city never had before, it had nevertheless taken more than four years to get them.

"I just hope it comes together," said Dan Sciannameo, president of a New York real estate appraisal company and a resident who has criticized the redevelopment effort.

The new agreement focuses on the premier beachfront buildings that many hoped would be the beacon for further redevelopment. But it does not directly apply to Asbury Partners' dealings with the sub-developers that it hopes to attract in order to bring housing and retail businesses to the area. Already the redeveloper has made deals with three sub-developers who are currently building 525 of the envisioned 3,100 condominiums and rental apartments in the area.

Some critics had questioned whether Asbury Partners was extracting too much for itself from such deals and thereby dousing interest in the redevelopment among property owners and other developers. But Mr. Reidy said the new agreements had opened a "dialogue" that would allow the city to influence redevelopment efforts beyond the Boardwalk.

Glenn Scotland, a partner in the law firm that represented Asbury Park in negotiating the new agreement, said that the concessions obtained from Asbury Partners — the timetables, for example, and the escrow money — were not available to the city in 2001 when they were desperate for help in getting redevelopment restarted.

"But this redefines the relationship between the city and the developer and acknowledges that the city has promise and has become a more significant and commanding partner," Mr. Scotland said.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

April 8th, 2006, 03:37 PM
Will they do Camden next?

April 8th, 2006, 11:06 PM
They're kind of doing Camden now in dribs and drabs. Asbury Park will still have all of those housing projects.

March 16th, 2007, 08:28 PM
First Occupants Move into Seville in City (http://thecoaster.net/wordpress/?p=1171)

Coaster Photo

The first occupants of new beachfront residences in Asbury Park moved in last week at the Seville.
The first residents have moved into their home on Asbury Park’s new beachfront.

According to Paramount Homes sales associate Carolyn McKeon, a family moved in over the weekend in the Seville, part of the North Beach Asbury Park condominium complex. She also said that there have been seven closings to date at the Seville.
The complex consists of three buildings; The Seville, the smallest, with the Barcelona and Monterey buildings bringing the total number of units to 157.
Councilman John Loffredo, who has been instrumental in the development of the beachfront, said when he heard the news, “Really? Congratulations to them for buying here, I wish them all the best and welcome.”
Councilman Ed Johnson said it was “fantastic.”
“We are slowly but surely getting there,” he said. “This is the first of many more to come and I think it’s really great.”
The Barcelona with 48 units, sold out during the pre-construction phase. Sales in the other two buildings have been steady, according to Paramount Homes representatives. Prices for penthouses in the complex begin at $1.2 million. Total sales at North Beach have exceeded $71.2 million.
Governor Jon S. Corzine paid his first visit to Asbury Park to attend the “topping out” ceremony at North Beach Asbury during the summer.
He joined Asbury Park officials and Paramount Homes executives in heralding the milestone in Asbury Park’s redevelopment.
Corzine said, “It is great to be here, there is nothing like seeing economic growth to a governor. There is rebirth happening all over New Jersey and there is no place better to see that than in Asbury Park.”
Councilman James Keady, who has been critical of the slow pace of the redevelopment saying it has cost the city millions in lost revenue said, “I certainly welcome new residents to the Asbury Park community and I’m excited about this development, but I wish it wasn’t just one family, there should be hundreds. I wish we reached the benchmark promised by Asbury Partners.”

March 16th, 2007, 08:29 PM
Esperanza Developers Plan to Add Drama to Asbury Park Boardwalk (http://thecoaster.net/wordpress/?p=1137)

The Esperanza goes on sale this summer.
The condominium project on the Asbury Park beachfront will do it with a visual bang, too, as developer Metro Homes plans to drape the building’s likeness around one end of the Fourth Avenue Pavilion.

The company will also open model apartments on the beachfront and launch an advertising campaign from here to the big bridge on the Garden State Parkway.
Metro Homes won Planning Board approval Monday to use 5,000 square feet of the pavilion, or about a third of the building, to install a sales office, model apartment, finishing materials display and even a device that lets potential buyers see what the view would look like from the unit they are viewing.
The main feature would be a cloth called a scrim mounted to the north end of the pavilion painted to look like the Esperanza – “Hope” in Spanish – which is to be a 224-unit structure with a restaurant, spa, gym and 84 types of units from studio to four-bedroom, 2,500-square-foot apartments, Metro Homes President Dean Geibel said. The exterior will have wave forms on the roof and sides to echo the ocean.
He said pile driving should end next week and concrete begun to be poured. The first tower is scheduled to open in May 2008, and the second tower that October. The building would be the third major housing development in the beachfront redevelopment area; two others are under construction, one just north of the Berkeley-Carteret Hotel and the other along Wesley Lake.
The construction is the centerpiece of efforts to transform the entire strip to a year-round residential and tourism site.
One customer is likely to be Robyn Streisand, Metro Homes’ publicity agent. The Ocean Township resident works for a New York City public relations and advertising agency, The Mixx. She said Monday she bought the first unit in the Esperanza, and then outlined an ambitious marketing scheme.
The pavilion would be resurfaced and painted in three tan shades to mimic the beach. Large temporary ads touting the sales office would be on either end of the building and what are supposed to look like classified ads will be put on the fence around the Esperanza construction site. A billboard would be erected on the Parkway’s southbound side of the Driscoll Bridge and newspaper and other advertising would be bought.
But the scrim would be the main attraction. Made of material with holes to prevent wind damage, it would tower over the pavilion and lead the eye to the glass entry, she said.
Geibel asked the board for quick approval, even though the company needed a variance for the advertising signage. The signs would cover less than 7 percent of the building but would still be too big under the ordinance.
“Our problem is we don’t want to miss the spring market,” he said. “In my heart I think this is a good thing for the city, too… It’s going to make the boardwalk a heck of a lot nicer, too.”
The board agreed.
“I think this is a terrific project,” board member Steven Troy said. Others agreed.
Henry Vaccaro, the builder, approved.
“This is a quality, quality project Metro Homes is bringing to Asbury Park. It will bring positive buzz to counter the negatives,” he said.
The board approved using the pavilion for 18 months; the time Geibel said would be needed to sell the units. They would ask for an extension if needed, his lawyer, Alfred Faiella said.

March 16th, 2007, 08:33 PM
Occupants at Wesley Grove Expected in Spring (http://thecoaster.net/wordpress/?p=1057)

http://thecoaster.net/wordpress/2006/WesleyGroveforresidenti.jpg The first of Wesley Grove’s buildings, the St. James, along Wesley Lake in Asbury Park is nearing completion and residents are expected to take occupancy in the spring.

The first phase of the project includes 30 townhomes and 61 condominiums. Approximately half have been sold.
Two decorated models are scheduled to open at the site in April.
The St. James, built by Westminster, is part of Wesley Grove at Asbury Park which will ultimately offer 740 townhouses, duplexes and condominium flats with interior garages between Wesley Lake and Cookman Avenue. The project, when completed, will also include 35,000-square-feet of retail space.
It was designed by Minno & Wasko, an award-winning architectural and planning firm based in Lambertville.
“I think the two primary features people react to, most strongly, are the surprisingly large size of the homes and those amazing views,” said Laurie Koziol of Laurie Koziol Real Estate, director of sales for Wesley Grove. “They also notice the high-end features, like the designer kitchens and baths, tiling, and warm woodtones.”
She said most units will have outdoor space to take advantage of the proximity to the beach.

The St. James is finished in brick, stucco and glass, and steps down from four stories at its front along Cookman Avenue to two stories along Lake Avenue. The townhomes offer approximately 2,200 to 2,400 square feet of living and entertaining space, which includes spacious loft and rooftop terrace areas.
The condominiums and duplexes average more than 1,800 square feet, some with walkout balconies and roof terraces.
Garage space is hidden from view, and the designers have created many individual building entries with stoops to simulate a small-town atmosphere.
The Sales Center for Wesley Grove at Asbury Park is located at 600 Cookman Avenue on the corner of Press Plaza in the heart of the downtown district, just a block from the site. It is open five days a week (closed Tuesday and Wednesday), from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

March 16th, 2007, 11:25 PM
Good to see Asbury Park come back. It is a significant place in Americana and needs to make a come back.

March 17th, 2007, 11:31 AM
Check out their website, I love the designs of the Esperanza for Asbury Park.


March 18th, 2007, 12:26 AM
Fine Art, Design to Live in Asbury Park Design Center (http://thecoaster.net/wordpress/?p=1116)


Coaster Photo
Eric Allen Cohen, the architect for the Asbury Park Design Center, unveiled a banner with his rendering of the center scheduled to open in the fall on Cookman Avenue.
Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park will soon be home to what officials are calling the premier interior design center of the Jersey Shore.

At a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, city officials gathered with Robert Legere and Steve Troy of Legere Interior Design to reveal their plans for the three-story high Asbury Park Design Center.
The center is located adjacent to Robert Legere Home.
Joining Robert Legere Interior Design in the venture are Architectural Accents and Monteforte Construction of Long Branch and Asbury Electric.
In his remarks Troy said each of the partners “will play a key role in making the design center a reality.”
City Manager Terry Reidy commended the Planning Board for their determination and talent and for waiting until they saw a design they liked before granting approval.
“We are blessed to have the talent on our planning board that we do,” Reidy said.
He said Asbury Park holds one very important distinction that sets it apart from other places.
“A very, very important distinction for Asbury Park is that many places are show places for art and design, but Asbury is one of the few places that creates design. We live, where we create. Art, music and design live here, they are not done and brought from some place else. That is the beauty of what is being created here today.”
The design center is being touted as a place for designers, architects and “discerning” homeowners to come together, making the city the most successful center for design in Monmouth County.
Troy said he believed the design center would attract customers from North Jersey as well as Manhattan.
He added that many of his clients from the shore area have asked him and Legere to design their primary homes in North Jersey and Manhattan.
They also designed the models for the Wesley Grove Condominiums currently being sold along Wesley Lake.
“We essentially have an extension of our showroom a block away,” Troy said.
Mostly glass, the building’s architecture is designed to “blend” into the neighborhood, according to one of the principals, Frank Monteforte.
The design was the work of local architect Eric Allen Cohen, who has designed other Cookman Avenue storefronts.
Cohen’s design was chosen after the efforts of two other architects failed to be approved by the city Planning Board.
Planning Board Member Sara Anne Towry said both rejected plans were of post-modern design.
“We did not like it,” said Towry. “We suggested, if you want to go modern, go modern, but not post modern.”
Councilman John Loffredo read a proclamation declaring the new building the Asbury Park Design Center.
He said, “We want people to think of Cookman Avenue as the design center of the Jersey Shore.”
Jodie Shalonis, of Asbury Lighting, said the design center will allow her to showcase her merchandise in a “natural” atmosphere.
“We have fixtures that are high tech and up and coming – we can display them in an atmosphere that’s not cluttered. They can see it in a kitchen or bathroom, not hanging with a lot of other fixtures,” she said.
Monteforte, whose company is constructing the building, said it should be completed by September.
The building is three stories high, with the third floor designated for a library of design resources where designers and clients will be able to convene to discuss decorating plans.
“Other designers will have the use of our staff and library,” said Troy.
Contact information: joanne@thecoaster.net.

December 11th, 2007, 11:00 AM
A blip in beachfront boom
Esperanza halts condo construction
By Nancy Shields • COASTAL MONMOUTH BUREAU • December 11, 2007

ASBURY PARK — The Hoboken developer building the 224-unit Esperanza high-rise on the city's beachfront says it is temporarily closing down the construction site and sales office.
Dean Geibel, president of Metro Homes, said the company recently informed the city that it was halting construction and sales "until such time market conditions allow us to move forward and successfully complete this important luxury beachfront development.
"We are convinced that the national mortgage crisis now impacting real estate markets around the country represents a temporary setback, and we remain fully committed to Asbury Park and its rebirth," Geibel said in a telephone interview Monday.
Geibel said there are sales contracts on about 70 of the condominium units in the two-tower building, which is three stories out of the ground and is being constructed on the site of the failed C-8 condominium project that dogged the city for 17 years until Metro Homes imploded the unfinished steel skeleton in the spring of 2006.
Geibel said the money people put down on their units is being held in escrow. "It's too early to decide how they'll be impacted," he said.
The Esperanza promised buyers beachfront homes with hotel amenities in an architectural design that evokes images of waves and ships.
"I understand what they're going through, and I do not blame them," said City Councilman John Loffredo, who said that Metro Homes had told the city a couple of months ago that it might have to alter the design.
Loffredo, who wants the Esperanza built as is, said redesigning it would mean starting over with the city's technical review committee and Planning Board to get a new project approved.
Metro Homes' decision comes as Madison Marquette, the national retail developer, has formed a joint venture with master developer Asbury Partners and is restoring and renovating the Paramount Theatre and Convention Hall, the Casino, the Power Plant and boardwalk pavilions.

Upbeat outlook
City Manager Terence Reidy said he talked to about 50 investors at a luncheon Monday at the Market In The Middle restaurant downtown.
"I feel badly about this hiccup with Metro Homes. Dean has come to us and said he's regrouping. This is a good time to do it, in light of winter and the market. I think it's a positive strategic move for Dean. . . . We'll be there and work with him every step of the way."
"I think what is so significant about Asbury Park is a solid stream of people coming in to fix up homes, starting businesses," Reidy added. "The foundation is so strong in this city now that it's not built on one person, one developer, one project. . . . It's literally built on thousands of people who are coming in saying, "This is where I want to live.' "
Bob Davis, president of the Rumson-Fair Haven Bank, which plans to open a fourth branch to be known as the Asbury Park Community Bank in the city's downtown next April, said he did not think the news about Metro temporarily closing down affected his bank's project.
Local businessman Steve Troy, who is on the city's Planning Board and a leader in the Chamber of Commerce, did not like the news that Metro is shutting down, saying it is happening at a time when the city's revival seems to be particularly successful.
"This (Metro Homes) really is more a statement about the turmoil in the real estate market than the future of Asbury Park," Troy said.
Deputy Mayor Jim Bruno said he found out about Metro Homes' decision on Friday.
"They have to regroup, may have to downsize it, refinance it," Bruno said. "I guess they're not going to have enough money to finish this project. It won't be as high-end as they thought it would be."

South end slowdown
With the site between Third and Fourth avenues closing down, it will mean that only Paramount Homes is still building on the waterfront north of the newly reopened and renamed Berkeley Hotel.
Earlier this year, Kushner Cos. made significant changes in its housing investments, and its affiliated company, Westminster Communities, halted going forward on its second block at the south end of Asbury Park next to Wesley Lake. Westminster opened a new sales office at its existing site of townhomes and condominium flats to sell those units already built.
Larry Fishman, chief operating officer of Asbury Partners, the master developer that bought up the waterfront and sold off parcels to individual developers, said Monday that a number of companies, including Madison Marquette, are interested in buying out Westminster's real estate interests.
Gary Mottola, Madison Marquette's president of investments, could not be reached for comment.
"Asbury Partners is very sad that the current financing and real estate market has caused Metro to suspend construction on the Esperanza," Fishman said.
"It's a great building in a fabulous location," he added. "Reported sales were going well in terms of pre-sales and prices despite an overall negative market. We are hopeful Metro will be able to start construction soon or sell to another developer."
Fishman said the building was designed three years ago and Metro may require certain modifications that affect both the marketability and profitability.
Fishman said he could not comment if his company could decrease the amount of money it is slated to make as the master developer on the Esperanza.
Geibel said Metro Homes is not stopping construction or sales or any of its other projects, including the huge Trump Plaza Jersey City condominium project. Metro and partner Donald Trump are the builders.
"There are some adjustments that have to be made," Reidy, the city manager, said. "We don't live in a static environment; we live in a world that is in flux. I think Metro Homes is a solid organization and I think they have a very positive vision. We'll work together."

http://cmsimg.app.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=B3&Date=20071211&Category=NEWS&ArtNo=712110318&Ref=AR&MaxW=318&Border=0 (http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?template=zoom&Site=B3&Date=20071211&Category=NEWS&ArtNo=712110318&Ref=AR)
The Esperanza's skeleton rises behind a sign advertising the luxury condominium units between Third and Fourth avenues.


March 1st, 2008, 01:44 AM
City leaders seek revival of 'the other' Asbury Park

Monday, February 25, 2008
Star-Ledger Staff

Growing up in Asbury Park, Laura Henry remembers the vitality of the city's West Side, with working-class residents taking pride in their mom-and-pop businesses.

Also burned into her memories are four days of rioting that in 1970 left the area's commercial district in smoldering ruin, causing an exodus of homeowners and the beginning of the city's downturn.

Nearly four decades later, Asbury Park has slowly begun to reclaim its place as a destination city. Property values along the oceanfront have soared, and long-empty businesses along Main Street are filled with antique stores and trendy restaurants.

But the West Side, the other Asbury Park, has remained mired in crime with only the faintest of movement. Over the years, 14 major makeovers have been proposed for the area, literally the other side of the tracks from the more desirable oceanfront.

None has come to fruition, and the neighborhoods remain impoverished and troubled.

"The residents of the West Side are discouraged. They think all the attention is being given to the people who have money," said Henry, director of Just Be Cuz, a nonprofit group helping the poor on the West Side. "It seems like the powers that be determined they weren't going to invest in that part of town so they concentrated on the East Side."

Now, city leaders are promising a new day and a concerted effort to remake the West Side.

The new Springwood Avenue Redevelopment Plan could make things happen more quickly, said Councilman John Loffredo, whose father worked in a West Side meat market before the riots.

"I want to see an active, vibrant community. I want to see businesses back and decent affordable housing built," he said. "The West Side is a key piece. The more prosperous our residents are, the more prosperous our city is."

The city has identified a number of vacant or underutilized lots and has requested proposals from developers with an eye toward retail businesses that would serve the needs of those in the community and anything that would create jobs. Rental and owner-occupied homes also would be encouraged.

Unlike the oceanfront, where large parcels allowed for a master developer, the city is throwing the West Side open to smaller developers and hoping good ideas come of it.

It won't necessarily be an easy sell.


Gun violence and street drug dealing have crept into the West Side along the Neptune border, with sprawling public housing projects and run-down or vacant houses a common sight. The median annual income is $26,000.

Traditionally, the neighborhood was home to the workers who manned businesses on the oceanfront catering to tourists and more wealthy residents.

The West Side riots eventually dragged the entire city down, with Asbury Park joining the state's other major cities in decline. A major redevelopment project focused on the oceanfront fell apart in the 1980s, leaving skeletons of buildings as a testament to failure.

On the West Side, meanwhile, attempts to rebuild Springwood Avenue met a similar fate. The strip had an unfinished housing project, scores of vacant parcels of land and small businesses barely clinging to life.

"For 35 years, since the civil disturbances of 1970, there have been a lot of people who put together plans and went out to the community and asked the community 'What is it you need to have happen here?' but not much has happened," said Paul McEvily, associate executive director of the nonprofit Interfaith Neighbors.

His Asbury Park-based organization, which provides meals, rental assistance and affordable housing to Monmouth County residents, contributed to the Springwood Avenue Redevelopment Plan and has been slowly doing its part to rebuild the area.

Interfaith Neighbors is building its eighth home for low-income families on the West Side, an effort it has worked on for more than a decade. And there have been other small signs of life, the conversion of a warehouse into condominiums at First and Langford avenues, for example.

"There are already investments being made on the West Side, but it's on a scale that's at the other end of the spectrum from what's going on on the oceanfront. It's lot by lot," McEvily said.

City Manager Terence Reidy said the city never expected the good fortunes of the East Side to be enough to lift up the West Side.

He said officials believed the area needed its own community-driven redevelopment plan.

"It wasn't a trickle-down economic theory," he said. "You have to design development for the part of the city you're looking to assist."

With the recent adoption of the Springwood Avenue Redevelopment Plan, some projects can get underway quickly, he said.

"There are enough projects moving forward immediately that people will begin to say, "Wow, There's something happening over there."

Maryann Spoto may be reached at mspoto@starledger.com.

March 6th, 2008, 11:17 AM
March 6, 2008

Hotel was historic, now it's just history

http://cmsimg.app.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Avis=B3&Dato=20080306&Kategori=NEWS&Lopenr=80306006&Ref=AR&MaxW=380&Border=0 (http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080306/NEWS/80306006&referrer=FRONTPAGECAROUSEL)

With the long-neglected century-old Metropolitan Hotel now razed, city officials are expected to keep their options open for at least a little while on what might take its place.

Demolition started this past week, and the bulk of the decayed white classic structure at 309 Asbury Ave. was knocked down Wednesday. The 180-unit hotel-annex complex had sat empty and ignored since 1987 and last fall was determined to be an imminent hazard.

Donald Cresitello, the mayor of Morristown, who purchased the hotel in 1993, had been seeking to raze it last year.

The city approved that demolition request at first, but then pulled back because the building had been designated to be preserved or rehabilitated. Cresitello tried again, providing the city with a structural engineering report that said the hotel needed to be razed.

Robert Corby, the city's building construction official, agreed last fall, but demolition was held up until asbestos issues could be cleared up.

""I just think it's a shame, because the glory days of the great hotels in Asbury are coming to an end, and what's going to replace them?'' said Don Stine, a trustee of the Asbury Park Historical Society, which had sought to save the building.

""Residential units are fine, but this is still the Jersey Shore, and people want to visit here and spend time here,'' Stine added. ""Where are they going to stay once these grand hotels are destroyed?''

""We've been working to see if we could find someone to save the building, talking to different developers, but it didn't come to pass,'' City Manager Terence Reidy said Wednesday.

The site had been earmarked for a hotel, whether restored or new, and the city Planning Board has recommended building a new hotel. Donald Sammet, the city's director of planning and redevelopment, is recommending four possibilities to the City
Council, which is expected to keep its options open for now.

The choices are a new hotel, multiple family housing up to four stories, attached single-family townhouses or parkland for playgrounds or handball or tennis courts, officials said. The site is not part of the prime renewal area of the waterfront plan; it's in an area listed as in need of rehabilitation.

Currently there are two hotels on the beachfront, the Berkeley and the Empress, and a high-rise hotel is planned in the vicinity of the former Palace Amusements by Wesley Lake.

The Metropolitan Hotel closed in 1987 when Martin and Sylvia Weinblatt, whose family had owned it since 1945, sold it for $2.25 million to Jersey City developers Karim and Gomaa el-Said, who at the time also were investing in Long Branch.

The Weinblatts had lived at the hotel, operating it as a family-oriented, mostly seasonal business, and considered trying to convert it to a year-round senior citizen residence, but then decided to sell.

The el-Saids showed up at a time when Asbury Park had just begun a massive waterfront redevelopment project, a plan that would soon fall apart.


The new owners planned to keep the Metropolitan a hotel, but a year later, in 1988, they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Their bank, American Savings and Loan, took over the hotel, trying to sell it for $2 million.

By 1992, a Texas developer had contracted to buy the hotel from the bank for $600,000 and convert the building into senior citizen apartments. The developer, Carpenter Property Management Inc., never received financing for the deal.

The bank eventually sold the Metropolitan in June 1993 for $10,150 to a company, 309 Park Corp., which sold it the next month to Cresitello's company for $150,000, according to city records.

Cresitello wanted to convert the hotel into a congregate care facility or a housing project of one-bedroom apartments and efficiencies for middle-income residents or the elderly.

But Cresitello and city officials clashed when the developer sought to open the 40-unit annex at the hotel as a daily or weekly motel to get cash flow while moving forward with the larger plans.

Neighborhood residents at the time said they feared Cresitello would create a welfare motel. He was not allowed to use the annex and never developed the property.

In 2001, Carter Sackman, a New York developer that specializes in historic preservation and that saved the downtown Steinbach building, had a contract to purchase the Metropolitan. That plan did not go through.


August 11th, 2009, 09:17 AM
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By Rick Hampson (http://www.usatoday.com/community/tags/reporter.aspx?id=533), USA TODAY
ASBURY PARK, N.J. — For 15 years, it stood as a rusting, 12-story mockery of this faded shore resort's revival dream. But on April 29, 2006, that would end. The skeleton of the condominium tower that was supposed to spur waterfront renewal, yet foundered on recession and lingered in bankruptcy, would implode.
It was a celebration. By 7 a.m. 1,500 people had gathered on the oceanfront, some with lattes, others Bloody Marys. When a city councilman pushed the detonator and the steel frame collapsed, the crowd roared. "Like the storming of the Bastille," recalls Terry Reidy, the city manager.

PHOTO GALLERY: Development challenged by recession (http://www.usatoday.com/news/gallery/2009/n090810_asbury/flash.htm?gid=1153&aid=5239)
The future seemed assured, because on the same lot a new developer was ready to start work on a 16-story luxury condo tower. It was part of another redevelopment plan for a waterfront of homes, shops, restaurants, clubs. And, through that waterfront, for a city reborn.
Three years later, the concrete stub of the new tower sits unfinished on the same lot — one of many such projects around the nation that the recession has stalled, altered or endangered.
FIND MORE STORIES IN: New York (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Places,+Geography/States,+Territories,+Provinces,+Islands/U.S.+States/New+York) | World War II (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Events+and+Awards/War/World+War+II) | Michael Bloomberg (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/People/Politicians,+Government+Officials,+Strategists/Governors,+Mayors/Michael+Bloomberg) | Prince (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Prince) | Bruce Springsteen (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/People/Celebrities/Musicians,+Composers,+Singers,+Rappers,+Groups/Bruce+Springsteen) | Pontiac (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Brands/Automotive/Pontiac) | Asbury Park (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Asbury+Park) | Peter Frampton (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Peter+Frampton) | Southside Johnny Lyon (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Southside+Johnny+Lyon)
It's unclear when construction on the tower will resume, or when life will come to the vacant fields and parking lots around it.
Rarely has land of such potential value sat so empty for so long, says Donald Moliver, a real estate expert at nearby Monmouth University. It helped make Asbury Park (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Asbury+Park) one of the New Jersey's poorest cities — dependent on the state for one-quarter of its municipal budget — and the pariah of the Jersey Shore.
Americans know this as the boardwalk amusement town where Bruce Springsteen (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/People/Celebrities/Musicians,+Composers,+Singers,+Rappers,+Groups/Bruce+Springsteen) found his voice and vision four decades ago. Now, many Americans can see in Asbury's question their own as well: Is the recession the end of our dream, or a chance to dream a better one?
Since World War II (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Events+and+Awards/War/World+War+II), a recession has come to seem like a sort of economic timeout, a mere interruption in the march of progress. But hard times can change history and kill dreams. Some will revive when the economy does; some won't.
• New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/People/Politicians,+Government+Officials,+Strategists/Governors,+Mayors/Michael+Bloomberg)'s plan to transform Coney Island with a 27-acre district of new homes, hotels and amusements — rides, arcades, freak shows — awaits the recovery of the housing and credit markets. The mayor says his plan would "breathe new life into a treasure that's been in decline for decades."
• Funding has fallen through for a $350 million complex of offices, shops and homes in financially strapped Pontiac (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Brands/Automotive/Pontiac), Mich., leaving an unsightly collection of unfinished parking garages, theaters and other buildings. The project was more than half leased when construction stopped in November.
• Blaming the economy, medical equipment heiress Pat Stryker has shelved her foundation's plan to begin work on a 2,500-seat performance amphitheater in the Old Town section of Fort Collins, Colo. The venue was designed to bring people to the neighborhood and bolster the city's cultural scene.
And then there's Asbury Park, desperate for a fresh start. Springsteen (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/People/Celebrities/Musicians,+Composers,+Singers,+Rappers,+Groups/Bruce+Springsteen)'s first albums celebrated the city's seedy vitality: In a send-up of tourism past, he entitled his first, in 1973, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Asbury+Park). Decades later, he wrote a different kind of song about the place that gave him his start. He called it My City of Ruins.
A promised land
The city that became famous for honky-tonk entertainment was founded in 1871 and named after the first U.S. bishop of the Methodist Church, a movement whose founder condemned "vain and demoralizing amusements."
The new resort had a mile-long beach and avenues that flared out as they approached the water, affording excellent sea views. It became a year-round community, with a downtown business district and fine single-family houses.
But after World War II, everything conspired against the city. The Garden State Parkway opened in the mid-1950s, allowing access to other spots on the shore. A mall opened in a neighboring communityin 1960, luring downtown shoppers. A race riot in 1970 scared away much of the white middle class. Patients released from nearby state mental hospitals flooded the old hotels and rooming houses.
Asbury Park sealed its own fate over the years with corrupt and inept governance, says Tom Gilmour, the city's economic development director. "There was no reinvestment in the city," he says. "They just let it slide."
Decline had one positive effect. Low land values and lax law enforcement meant cheaper rents for musicians and lots of bars in which to play. The result was the music scene that produced Springsteen, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Southside+Johnny+Lyon), and a Shore sound that eventually provided a seed for Asbury's rebirth.
Yet by the early 1980s, as Springsteen would recall, the city "started to close down." The Ferris wheel and the carousel were sold off.
The city eventually adopted a redevelopment plan, and the 12-story condo tower began to rise in 1989. Then work stopped in 1991, and tortuous bankruptcy litigation kept the site in limbo until 2006.
No one planned for the city's single ray of hope: the renovation of its gracious homes by gay out-of-towners who weren't put off by its reputation for unsafe streets and bad schools.
The new century brought a new waterfront development plan, including a new condo tower. The developer wanted to call it "The Rising," after a Springsteen song. When Springsteen objected, a $10,000 savings bond was offered to the student who came up with the best name. The winner was "Esperanza," Spanish for hope.
Before the Esperanza had risen three stories, almost one-third of its units were spoken for. Then, two days after a penthouse went for $2.45 million — a city record — the developer announced that because of the mortgage crisis, work would stop indefinitely.
That was December 2007 — the official beginning, as it turned out, of the recession.
Hard times, good times
This year's Fourth of July parade and fireworks — a tradition commemorated in Springsteen's 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)— had to be financed out of rainy day funds. Contributions from businesses had dried up.
Some worry what the recession will do to plans for the waterfront. Gilmour, the city development official, says he hears the rumors: Banks are foreclosing. Developers are pulling out. The Esperanza site is cursed — an Indian burial ground, according to one nervous joke.
Gary Mottola, president of the Washington-based development company that has revived the boardwalk, is reassuring: "This doesn't feel like a recession. There's almost a euphoria here."
The boardwalk, rebuilt four years ago, is jammed on weekends with people from New York, Philadelphia, all over Jersey, and most of its 40 businesses — up from zero a few years ago — report solid sales. On the Fourth of July weekend alone, the city sold $52,000 worth of beach passes, compared with $35,000 worth in all of 2002.
Many of the new visitors are really old ones — former residents or people who remember coming for their first rock show or carousel ride or dip in the ocean. "People have a soft spot for Asbury Park," Mottola says. "They're rooting for it to come back."
Marilyn Schlossbach, who runs a surf shop and two restaurants on the boardwalk, says the city will make it in part because "we're kind of used to recession here. We've been through so much over the years, nothing much fazes us."
'Take a deep breath'
Many people here insist the recession is a time to refocus a civic revival dream that's almost a decade old. Already, the drop in home sales and prices has reduced the speculation that left some houses empty for months until absentee owners resold them at a profit. "People are buying to settle," says the Rev. David Stout of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.
Brigitte Cali, a 30-year-old waitress, was able to buy a big third-floor loft with a balcony three blocks from the ocean for $175,000. She says she could never have afforded it a few years ago, when the price might have been almost $100,000 higher. "This is the only place on the shore where I could be this close to the water," she says.
Stout says he sees a change in attitude since the bubble burst: "It's less about the individual, more about the community. It's not all 'bigger, better, more.' That's the thing about a small community in tough times — you're forced to come together."
As for the waterfront, City Manager Terry Reidy says it's "time to take a deep breath and see where we're going." Like most officials, he says the redevelopment plan should be amended to allow developers to build less expensively, in smaller increments, "to keep our momentum going."
There's a consensus that as Asbury changes, it must not lose its funky, eccentric side. That means keeping its diversity and its music.
David Parreott, 75, is a retired police officer and minister who lives in the house where he was born just off Springwood Avenue, whose empty lots are reminders of the riots 39 years ago that ravaged the city's poor, largely African-American West Side.
He says that until Springwood comes back, the city has not come back.
"There has to be development of the waterfront, because that will support development on Springwood," he says. "I hope I live to see it."
Lance Larson, 56, is a veteran rock musician who helps run the Wonder Bar, a music club. In the '70s he tended bar at the Student Prince (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Prince), where for a $1 cover you could hear Springsteen five nights a week. The red baseball cap in Springsteen's back pocket on the cover of the 1984 album Born in the U.S.A. is Larson's.
Larson grabs a list of summer concerts in the city and jabs his finger at the names, which include Peter Frampton (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Peter+Frampton), the Pretenders and an array of up-and-comers. "That's Asbury coming back!" he exclaims. "Without the music, this is just another shore town."
No one knows the future of Asbury Park's dream, except possibly the successor to the late Madame Marie, the boardwalk fortuneteller whom Springsteen says in 4th of July, Asbury Park was busted by the cops "for telling fortunes better than they do."
Lisa Castello identifies herself as Marie's 23-year-old granddaughter. She's sitting in Marie's old concrete booth. "The future of the city looks good. It's an up-and-coming place," she reports.
Asked whether her forecast is based on astrology or economics, she looks out to where the waves are breaking on the beach — away from the stalled construction site across the street.
"Both," she replies.
•Contributing: Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press; Trevor Hughes, Fort Collins (Colo.) Coloradoan
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Comments: (17)Showing: Newest first Oldest first Most recommended New: Most recommended!

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StenchofaLiberal (http://www.usatoday.com/community/profile.htm?UID=8fdbc66c795ddbda) (37 friends, send message (http://www.usatoday.com/community/pm.htm?slPage=compose&slSeedUserId=8fdbc66c795ddbda&slForumMessageSubject=Asbury%20Park%20rising%20blo cked%20by%20recession%20&slForumUrl=http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-08-10-asbury-park_N.htm)) wrote: 9m ago
Asbury Park has been a s$$$t hole for almost thirty years and will remain that way as long as we continue to allow corrupt politicians and gang bangers to run the city....

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Cat-Lover (http://www.usatoday.com/community/profile.htm?UID=79373c1ecd9e9426) (38 friends, send message (http://www.usatoday.com/community/pm.htm?slPage=compose&slSeedUserId=79373c1ecd9e9426&slForumMessageSubject=Asbury%20Park%20rising%20blo cked%20by%20recession%20&slForumUrl=http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-08-10-asbury-park_N.htm)) wrote: 11m ago
I grew up in Brooklyn and went to Asbury Park a few times with my friends. I hated the place.

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phayburn (http://www.usatoday.com/community/profile.htm?UID=90a4a38526cd7805) (0 friends, send message (http://www.usatoday.com/community/pm.htm?slPage=compose&slSeedUserId=90a4a38526cd7805&slForumMessageSubject=Asbury%20Park%20rising%20blo cked%20by%20recession%20&slForumUrl=http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-08-10-asbury-park_N.htm)) wrote: 16m ago
The best thing of Asbury Park is the Stone Pony. They have outdoor concerts throughout the summer. Awesome shows, I saw Bloc Party perform there 2 or 3 years back.

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GeilsRocks (http://www.usatoday.com/community/profile.htm?UID=3578139907e6d491) (0 friends, send message (http://www.usatoday.com/community/pm.htm?slPage=compose&slSeedUserId=3578139907e6d491&slForumMessageSubject=Asbury%20Park%20rising%20blo cked%20by%20recession%20&slForumUrl=http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-08-10-asbury-park_N.htm)) wrote: 21m ago
Asbury Park was not Disneyland before the recession and will not be Disneyland after it ends. When the recession hit it only doubled or tripled the problems places like this already had. I imagine the people in this region read this article and wonder why it wasn't written years ago. Good luck to everyone in that area, Asbury Park needs to survive.

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jerseyboy (http://www.usatoday.com/community/profile.htm?UID=517ab292daa260e5) (0 friends, send message (http://www.usatoday.com/community/pm.htm?slPage=compose&slSeedUserId=517ab292daa260e5&slForumMessageSubject=Asbury%20Park%20rising%20blo cked%20by%20recession%20&slForumUrl=http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-08-10-asbury-park_N.htm)) wrote: 39m ago
welcome to the world of president o-dumb-er and vice president dumber-yet,

this is just the beginning of the fall of the greatest country in the world as are leaders steal whats left of our wealth

and they now want private jets to cruise around in.

you dumb-a&&&&&& voters deserve the loss of everything, YOU FRIGGING VOTED FOR IT


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crf0031 (http://www.usatoday.com/community/profile.htm?UID=9843495d77f15a07) (0 friends, send message (http://www.usatoday.com/community/pm.htm?slPage=compose&slSeedUserId=9843495d77f15a07&slForumMessageSubject=Asbury%20Park%20rising%20blo cked%20by%20recession%20&slForumUrl=http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-08-10-asbury-park_N.htm)) wrote: 46m ago
Springsteen tainted it with all of his left wing, irrational rants. His songs were removed from my mp3 player and the cds tossed, and he is ditched when he comes on my xm radio.

Him and his liberal buddies should fire their tax advisors and pay 75% of their income in bail out NJ, they may have to get used to that tax rate.

Do you think the Barry O backers will have to pay the same taxes as the conservatives? I doubt Oprah pays here fair share.

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Asbury Park's rising has been blocked for a very long time by inept and corrupt politicians, not the recession.

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TheStrait (http://www.usatoday.com/community/profile.htm?UID=ff50717bf19e4320) (0 friends, send message (http://www.usatoday.com/community/pm.htm?slPage=compose&slSeedUserId=ff50717bf19e4320&slForumMessageSubject=Asbury%20Park%20rising%20blo cked%20by%20recession%20&slForumUrl=http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-08-10-asbury-park_N.htm)) wrote: 55m ago
Yeah, it's all Springsteen's fault that Asbury Park has fallen into hard times.....he likes the President....therefore he's caused the city's downfall. Right. And Stevie Wonder is responsible for Detroit's demise. I visited Asbury Park in the early 80's and found it charming, beautiful, and serene. Progress can be a double-edged sword. I hope they don't try to "fix" Asbury Park by tearing down the old buildings and putting up new, un-original tourist traps. Keep it real.

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August 11th, 2009, 10:44 AM
OMG you seriously need to learn how to edit a cut and paste.

June 13th, 2010, 05:22 PM
girls tease your hair up & boys grease it down, we’re going to the jersey shore for memorial day weekend, specifically asbury park, an 1870’s resort town with more ups & downs during its history than an oceanfront roller coaster. thankfully, its on an up again!

asbury park, nj (pop=17,930; size=1.3 sq mi; density=14,290.0/sq mi.; racial makeup= 15.77% White, 67.11% Black, 0.32% Native American, 0.70% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 6.49% from other races, and 5.53% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.58% of the population).

the carousel, the casino & the power station anchor the southern end of the AP boardwalk
the casino (the actual casino was out over the beach & recently torn down, this is the walkway)
2006-ish pre-teardown shots of the oceanside casino section itself
back in the day -- very grand!!!
the carousel building (1923-1980‘s) -- could use its carousel back!?
the power station
asbury lanes
the baronet
the fastlane -- early springsteen, later bon jovi basically started here as the house band
the fastlane in 2000
AP4life -- young bon jovi & bruce together at the fastlane in 1980
the paramount theater at the convention hall (1927)
the convention hall
“a multi-purpose venue of two separate buildings joined by a Grand Arcade.”
beachside outside the convention center, now the beach club
s.s.morro castle disaster memorial


the wonder bar
hope yr feelin better rawk guy!
the berkeley-carteret hotel (1923)
the 1950’s-era empress hotel, owned by 80’s super remixer producer shep pettibone
the stone pony, long one of the most famous rock clubs in the usa
school of rock at the stone pony
symbol of 90’s corruption -- abandoned eyesore in the middle of ocean ave
no more amusement rides, but lots of very recent new stuff along the boardwalk
silverball pinball museum = 100% awesome!!
memorial day wkend
jersey shore !!!
madame marie’s -- she died recently, but her iconic boardwalk shop lives on:
Marie Castello (May 25, 1915 – June 27, 2008), who was known as Madam Marie, was an American fortune teller and psychic reader who worked on the Asbury Park, New Jersey, boardwalk from 1932 until 2008. Madam Marie was the longest running tenant on the Asbury Park boardwalk. Castello was a fixture in Asbury Park for decades, telling fortunes on and off at her tiny booth on the boardwalk which is nicknamed The Temple of Knowledge. She read the fortunes of celebrities ranging from Judy Garland to Bruce Springsteen. Castello reportedly told Springsteen that he would be a huge success. Springsteen later jokes that she told all her musician clients the same thing.
somewhere she lost an ‘e’ since the 70’s
easy & cheap -- ‘pop-up shop’ metal beach shacks…northern ohio beaches? bueller?
classic beachfront googie-era howard johnson’s. now mcloone’s
time out for historic boardwalk postcards
former montery hotel
the beach
north of the convention center
downtown, cookman ave, main st, etc.
the roll gate used to be the entrance to the upstage club
and thx to one of AP’s many declines…the upstage is still there!
step inside & take a video tour!
“beyond the palace” -- sadly, my very favorite AP rundown/awesome beachy structure,
palace amusements, was torn down in 2004 for generic condos:
at least “tillie” was saved -- he’s in storage for now
shots from the 80’s
ap nj transit station -- north jersey coast line
*** that’s all from a beach day in AP, it’s an ongoing comeback story in progress***

June 13th, 2010, 05:34 PM
Asbury Park was kind of fun when it was trashy. Downtown used to be almost completely deserted with just a few businesses.

June 14th, 2010, 07:58 AM
I love Asbury Park... there's an existing thread with lots of information in it, could the mods please merge these two?

June 15th, 2010, 03:28 PM
Excellent update, meesa. The carousel, casino, and power station need to be restored pronto.

arcman, I agree with the merge, but I think I like the name of this thread better, so I kept that.

August 8th, 2012, 05:17 PM
Some of my Asbury Park pictures from Yesterday...

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8423/7737744780_047d431755_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737744780/)
Wesley Lake - Asbury Park,New Jersey (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737744780/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8289/7737745376_b60b87568d_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737745376/)
Downtown Asbury Park,New Jersey (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737745376/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7269/7737744496_5b9b6ed64e_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737744496/)
Downtown Asbury Park,New Jersey (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737744496/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8293/7737744304_682575290b_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737744304/)
Downtown Asbury Park,New Jersey (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737744304/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8287/7737744126_e38afb0190_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737744126/)
Downtown Asbury Park,New Jersey (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737744126/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8291/7737743648_df70e1925e_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737743648/)
Downtown Asbury Park,New Jersey (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737743648/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7250/7737738852_422e582049_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737738852/)
Downtown Asbury Park,New Jersey (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737738852/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7257/7737737424_a63558d19b_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737737424/)
Downtown Asbury Park,New Jersey (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737737424/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7106/7737736468_e2b82000d5_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737736468/)
Greetings from Asbury Park ,New Jersey (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737736468/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7109/7737735860_dc03ce2a54_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737735860/)
Sailing away on the Atlantic Ocean (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737735860/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8287/7737735504_31e522d893_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737735504/)
101 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737735504/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8429/7737735128_546470202d_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737735128/)
104 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737735128/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7123/7737734848_456366e576_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737734848/)
106 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737734848/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7271/7737734308_af98453328_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737734308/)
109 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/7737734308/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?p=5792171#post5792171 < The Rest can seen here

August 8th, 2012, 11:21 PM
Excellent. Glad to see Asbury's well on its way back (Long Branch is already there. You wouldn't believe it's the same town). Is the last pic the final product of that stalled hotel project, where the concrete shell sat there abandoned for years? Where McLoone's is now, back in the day Howard Johnson's used to have a spiral walkway leading from the upstairs hotel rooms down to the boardwalk. Looks like they still have it. May pass thru there this weekend. Looks like you had a beautiful day. Good pics.

August 8th, 2012, 11:47 PM
Wow, I haven't been to Asbury Park in decades. It's looks WAAAY better in these pics than what I saw years ago. Good stuff.

Oh yeah, LOL at those parrots crapping on those two guys' backs!

April 15th, 2014, 12:01 PM
Went back the other day....some New Condos went up...a few new sites have broken ground

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2838/13863257484_c11f8262ce_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/n83PsL)132 (https://flic.kr/p/n83PsL) by Nexis4Jersey09 (https://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2833/13863254654_69f32c2410_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/n83NBY)135 (https://flic.kr/p/n83NBY) by Nexis4Jersey09 (https://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2846/13862882965_44fc594ba7_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/n81U8x)136 (https://flic.kr/p/n81U8x) by Nexis4Jersey09 (https://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3753/13862881505_78008b3576_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/n81TGn)138 (https://flic.kr/p/n81TGn) by Nexis4Jersey09 (https://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2813/13862902723_92e62d8e78_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/n8211c)140 (https://flic.kr/p/n8211c) by Nexis4Jersey09 (https://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3819/13863248734_02fdffd580_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/n83LRU)142 (https://flic.kr/p/n83LRU) by Nexis4Jersey09 (https://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3754/13862899023_c870999657_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/n81YUp)144 (https://flic.kr/p/n81YUp) by Nexis4Jersey09 (https://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5265/13862996704_061d0363b0_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/n82tWy)148 (https://flic.kr/p/n82tWy) by Nexis4Jersey09 (https://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2903/13862871305_e664a94746_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/n81QEv)150 (https://flic.kr/p/n81QEv) by Nexis4Jersey09 (https://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2885/13862893243_7981891d72_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/n81XbK)151 (https://flic.kr/p/n81XbK) by Nexis4Jersey09 (https://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3739/13863237424_ac42f1e50d_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/n83HuU)154 (https://flic.kr/p/n83HuU) by Nexis4Jersey09 (https://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5510/13862866215_fa0b6a111c_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/n81P9K)155 (https://flic.kr/p/n81P9K) by Nexis4Jersey09 (https://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2861/13862861585_952f462223_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/n81MLV)159 (https://flic.kr/p/n81MLV) by Nexis4Jersey09 (https://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

West Hudson
July 18th, 2015, 06:32 PM
A sign that the rental boom is now morphing into a condo boom? Speaking of which, has much taken place in Asbury Park in terms of rental development? Did Esperanza ever restart construction?

From The Real Deal:

Miami-based architecture firm Oppenheim opens Soho outpost

Firm is designing iStar’s residential project in NJ and others
July 17, 2015 04:04PM
By E.B. Solomont (http://therealdeal.com/looks/E.B.%20Solomont/by)

http://s12.therealdeal.com/trd/up/2015/07/ChadOppenheim.jpgFrom left: Chad Oppenheim and renderings of Williamsburg Hotel and 514 Eleventh Avenue (credit: Oppenheim)

Miami-based Oppenheim Architecture is planting a flag in New York City to satisfy a growing client base throughout the Northeast.

Known for dramatic and nature-inspired designs, Oppenheim is currently operating out of WeWork’s space at 175 Varick Street, the firm told The Real Deal.

“We are thrilled to establish a New York City office to better meet the needs of our clients in and around the area and to build to a strong foothold in the market,” Chad Oppenheim, the firm’s principal and lead designer, said in a statement.

Founded in 1999, the architecture (http://therealdeal.com/blog/2015/02/06/riffing-on-renderings-architects-unpack-the-pretty-pictures/), interior design and planning firm also has an office in Basel, Switzerland. Notable projects include the Wadi Rum Desert Resort in Jordan, which has 72 guests lodges, as well as Net Lima and Net Park, office and retail towers in the Philippines. Oppenheim also designed movie director Michael Bay’s 30,000-square-foot villa in Bel Air.

In the tri-state area, Oppenheim is designing iStar Financial’s Monroe Condominium, a 34-unit development in Asbury Park, N.J.

Several New York City projects may soon be on the horizon, Oppenheim said.

The firm submitted designs for Silverstein Properties’ 1.6 million mixed-use development at 514 Eleventh Avenue (http://therealdeal.com/blog/2014/05/18/renderings-of-planned-super-tower-unveiled/) on the Far West Side, and it says it won a competition to design a new Williamsburg Hotel at 175 Broadway, adjacent to the Williamsburg Bridge.
Juan Lopez will run the New York office as studio leader.

Tags: architecture (http://therealdeal.com/blog/tag/architecture/), nyc development (http://therealdeal.com/blog/tag/nyc-development/), silverstein properties (http://therealdeal.com/blog/tag/silverstein-properties/)

- See more at: http://therealdeal.com/blog/2015/07/17/miami-based-architecture-firm-oppenheim-opens-soho-outpost/#sthash.KD5DWbIR.dpuf

Link: http://therealdeal.com/blog/2015/07/17/miami-based-architecture-firm-oppenheim-opens-soho-outpost/

July 18th, 2015, 10:25 PM
mini Asbury Park overview


https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3784/18904160512_5a7e8dbaf4_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/uNuLiW)
Greetings from Downtown Asbury Park,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/uNuLiW) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5547/18721732760_76ec07d6b2_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/uwnLTS)
Greetings from Downtown Asbury Park,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/uwnLTS) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3715/18904159862_df1803c475_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/uNuL7J)
043 (https://flic.kr/p/uNuL7J) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/547/18721732680_c15309e9be_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/uwnLSu)
Greetings from Downtown Asbury Park,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/uwnLSu) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/362/18288750943_2f971bf020_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/tS7Cu8)
Greetings from Downtown Asbury Park,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/tS7Cu8) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5541/18288761513_b0f1a690e5_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/tS7FCn)
Greetings from Downtown Asbury Park,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/tS7FCn) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/263/18721732290_3a13e308a4_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/uwnLKL)
Greetings from Downtown Asbury Park,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/uwnLKL) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5557/18721745108_eeca0d02e4_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/uwnQyL)
059 (https://flic.kr/p/uwnQyL) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3739/18721744958_4277e85cfe_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/uwnQwb)
Greetings from Downtown Asbury Park,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/uwnQwb) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/468/18909407355_b13cfaf69d_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/uNXE1K)
Greetings from Downtown Asbury Park,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/uNXE1K) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3787/18286870914_22cbdc9090_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/tRWZBQ)
Greetings from Downtown Asbury Park,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/tRWZBQ) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5340/18721744358_1f83d6e6b6_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/uwnQkQ)
Greetings from Downtown Asbury Park,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/uwnQkQ) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3750/18723258009_86a9ed0de4_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/uwvAig)
Greetings from Downtown Asbury Park,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/uwvAig) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/416/18883127626_2b09784111_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/uLCXXY)
Greetings from Downtown Asbury Park,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/uLCXXY) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/486/18872587343_614e7f6b6d_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/uKGWGX)
Greetings from Asbury Park (https://flic.kr/p/uKGWGX) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr


https://farm1.staticflickr.com/342/18721744138_247df2360b_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/uwnQh3)
Greetings from Asbury Park,NJ - Beachside (https://flic.kr/p/uwnQh3) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/479/18904157742_559944d0cd_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/uNuKub)
Greetings from Asbury Park,NJ - Beachside (https://flic.kr/p/uNuKub) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3845/18904169112_6ac2e946d0_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/uNuNSd)
Greetings from Asbury Park,NJ - Beachside (https://flic.kr/p/uNuNSd) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/441/18721719500_db9090bdca_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/uwnGXf)
Greetings from Asbury Park,NJ - Beachside (https://flic.kr/p/uwnGXf) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/522/18912282341_8bbf4b0845_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/uPdoDt)
080 (https://flic.kr/p/uPdoDt) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5610/18723246069_5418fcea74_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/uwvwKp)
Greetings from Asbury Park,NJ - Beachside (https://flic.kr/p/uwvwKp) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/332/18286870224_c315e1de04_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/tRWZpW)
086 (https://flic.kr/p/tRWZpW) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3912/18721718820_c4e4663037_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/uwnGKw)
Greetings from Asbury Park,NJ - Beachside (https://flic.kr/p/uwnGKw) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5601/18721743218_2971394de1_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/uwnQ1b)
Greetings from Asbury Park,NJ - Beachside (https://flic.kr/p/uwnQ1b) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/463/18288759893_743532c017_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/tS7F9r)
092 (https://flic.kr/p/tS7F9r) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/411/18904168512_fb67000602_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/uNuNFS)
Greetings from Asbury Park,NJ - Beachside (https://flic.kr/p/uNuNFS) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/444/18723245249_360920650c_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/uwvwvg)
Greetings from Asbury Park,NJ - Beachside (https://flic.kr/p/uwvwvg) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/417/18909393855_e42ab9ca61_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/uNXzZZ)
Greetings from Asbury Park,NJ - Beachside (https://flic.kr/p/uNXzZZ) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

West Hudson
July 19th, 2015, 12:45 AM
Thanks for sharing the pics. I never realized that there's a ton of great architecture there. Seems like AP has alot of grand scale, unique buildings & structures. That tall building in photos 6 & 7 coincidentally just posted units for sale on Saturday afternoon. I guess it's a conversion project; pricing seems pretty reasonable but there aren't any pics of the interior available. They're calling it the Eureka. K. Hovnanian also has for-sale units on the market - townhomes closer to Deal Lake I believe.

July 23rd, 2015, 09:43 PM
Wow Asbury's looking good! I was pleasantly surprised at the whole boardwalk area last year, but downtown's catching up, too, and they do have some beautiful old buildings there that I'm glad to see preserved.

In the 1st pic, what is that pre-fab modular structure going up?

July 23rd, 2015, 09:53 PM
Wow Asbury's looking good! I was pleasantly surprised at the whole boardwalk area last year, but downtown's catching up, too, and they do have some beautiful old buildings there that I'm glad to see preserved.

In the 1st pic, what is that pre-fab modular structure going up?


West Hudson
July 23rd, 2015, 11:17 PM
What's the nightlife like in AP? Are there alot of restaurants and bars to check out? I know there are a few iconic spots like the Stone Pony, but what's the crowd like? Young professionals? Young families? Are most neighborhoods downtown Jersey City safe? More dangerous? Less?

July 23rd, 2015, 11:50 PM
East of the tracks is safe like Harrison safe with a few older and semi poor blocks that mixed in that look out of place but aren't dangerous. West of the Tracks is like the North Ward in Newark, around 35 bad blocks...with the Northern section being safe and nicer looking. But its not like as bad as the West Ward or Camden level of crime. I don't know about the nightlife , but the restaurant scene is very diverse , Korean , Seafood , American , Italian , Czech , German , Old School Candy & Ice Cream. Asbury & neighboring Ocean Grove have a large LGBT communities , along with a year round growing artist community. Its a mixed town , young and old , rich to poor.... People are nice by shore standards...its not rowdy like Long Branch , Belmar or Point Pleasant... Beach wise , its diverse.... You tend to see less families on the beach itself , more 25+ year olds... Ocean Grove tends to get the Families... But its a quiet & relaxed beach...with people playing Sports near the Conventional Hall and Dogs on the Beach north of the Hall along with Kite flyers... Both the Wonder Bar and Stony Pony seem to have a constant stream of visitors... Sometimes you'll catch Bruce their or on the Boardwalk or some other famous guy.

West Hudson
July 24th, 2015, 11:05 PM
Thanks for all the info Nexis. Sounds like a pretty solid place with the exception of the west area. Do you know if there's been much progress in reducing crime there? Or if there's a concerted/strategic effort to eliminate whatever brings crime in? Seems like it has all the right elements to become a great powerhouse of a little city.

July 25th, 2015, 12:40 AM
Thanks for all the info Nexis. Sounds like a pretty solid place with the exception of the west area. Do you know if there's been much progress in reducing crime there? Or if there's a concerted/strategic effort to eliminate whatever brings crime in? Seems like it has all the right elements to become a great powerhouse of a little city.

Its been brought down from high levels over the years...the issue with Asbury Park in general is lack of Infrastructure upgrades...you'll notice that there are a lot of streets that need to be paved , they need new traffic lights...the train station needs to be replaced...its rather run down and the Police station being next to the station in the Downtown doesn't seem to help things. The lack of redevelopment in the Western area has allowed the crime rate to remain high.... There's a lot of abandoned properties in the Western area...and barren lots... Promises of big redevelopments have come and gone...

July 25th, 2015, 04:05 PM
iStar’s Block by Block Redevelopment Picks up Speed

According the city’s redevelopment plan for the area it is envisioned to contain 3,164 residential units and close to 450,000 square feet of commercial space. The plan also calls for updating the utility infrastructure and improving public streetscapes.

Thus far we’ve seen iStar’s block-by-bock development of The Vive and the K. Hovnanian South Grand homes [shown at right], both with 28 units.

This past year construction of the Boutique Hotel at the former Salvation Army site that sat vacant since 2004 got underway and to help solve the city’s parking crisis, the redeveloper constructed three temporary parking lots and helped lay the foundation for the North Eats Food Truck Court.

But as construction of the 34-unit Monroe Condominiums project kicks off next month, all eyes will turn to the Esperanza.

The Esperanza was planned as a luxury condominium complex but construction stopped near the end of 2007 due to economic conditions.

“It’s time,” Cheripka said of plans to refurbish what many in the community call an eyesore.

He said only that more will be revealed in the upcoming weeks and months.


Read More Here : http://asburyparksun.com/istars-block-by-block-redevelopment-picks-up-speed/

July 28th, 2015, 08:20 PM

An apartment building?

July 28th, 2015, 09:27 PM
An apartment building?

Its either that or condos. Most projects that have been built recently are condos...

August 4th, 2015, 09:14 PM
Thanks Nexis.

August 20th, 2015, 04:32 PM
IStar unveils plans for 16 story tower on Esperanza site

By Michelle Gladden


Master waterfront redeveloper iStar Residential outlined its plans for a new 16 story high-rise at the former Esperanza site during Tuesday night’s Technical Review Committee [TRC] meeting.

“This obviously has been a long time coming,” said iStar Senior Vice President of Development Brian Cheripka. “We said all along that we were going to take our time and work our way up to this project…We strongly believe that now is the time to deliver this project to the community.”

Designed by Gary Handel of Handel Architects, headquartered in New York, the mixed use development on Ocean Avenue includes retail space, a boutique hotel, luxury condominiums and a three-story parking garage.

Read More Here : http://asburyparksun.com/istar-unveils-plans-for-16-story-tower-on-esperanza-site/

West Hudson
August 20th, 2015, 09:58 PM
Read More Here : http://asburyparksun.com/istar-unveils-plans-for-16-story-tower-on-esperanza-site/

That's great news! It will include 128 luxury condos...that's a pretty substantial number.

I recently read about co-working space that has been/is being built in AP...seems like the boom from the 2000's is being revived.

August 20th, 2015, 11:16 PM
I think its too big for that location...it should be closer to the train station...

August 21st, 2015, 08:28 AM
I think its too big for that location...it should be closer to the train station...

A building this size on this site has been in the master plan from the beginning.

This would be very out of scale near the train station. Downtown has much smaller scale buildings, for the most part. With Asbury Park being 1 hour and 45 minutes from NYC via train, it's not destined to be a large scale commuter hub (like Rahway, Morristown, New Brunswick, etc). This building is near the beach for a reason, and there are 3 other tall buildings to the north of this. It won't be so out of place.

August 21st, 2015, 08:44 AM
A building this size on this site has been in the master plan from the beginning.

This would be very out of scale near the train station. Downtown has much smaller scale buildings, for the most part. With Asbury Park being 1 hour and 45 minutes from NYC via train, it's not destined to be a large scale commuter hub (like Rahway, Morristown, New Brunswick, etc). This building is near the beach for a reason, and there are 3 other tall buildings to the north of this. It won't be so out of place.

I think Asbury Park should build up on Density before it builds upwards....common sense and basic city planning seem to not exist in the city. They seem to want to kill the culture of Asbury and transform it into another rich destination like Long Branch which is an awkward beach town.

West Hudson
August 24th, 2015, 10:23 PM
From GlobeSt.com:

Broad Redevelopment Plan Unveiled for Asbury Park

By Steve Lubetkin (http://www.globest.com/authors/steve-lubetkin-971.html) | New Jersey

ASBURY PARK, NJ—If development plans announced recently by iStar move forward, Asbury Park, NJ is finally looking at a major redevelopment of its long-neglected beachfront.

iStar, a real-estate investment company with Asbury Park roots, announced plans for more than 20 individual projects in the faded seaside resort that would transform a 1.25-mile stretch of Asbury Park waterfront with carefully curated residential, hotel, and infrastructure projects.

“We believe in Asbury Park’s potential as a one-of-a-kind place to live, work, visit, and invest,” says Jay Sugarman, iStar’s founder and CEO. “We’re excited to harness its character, beauty, and heritage to build a future full of promise. And we’re eager to share it with the world.”

Development has already begun on several elements of the iStar project. Vive, a 28-townhome project completed last year as a pilot project, sold out within a day of its initial offering. Landscaping, sidewalks, street lighting, and parking have all undergone major overhauls withiStar support. The company has been a presence in Asbury Park since late 2010, when it opened a headquarters on Ocean Avenue.

The company says the project will add more than 2,100 homes and 300 hotel rooms to the town, strengthening Asbury Park’s tax base, employment opportunities, and economic backbone. Among the 20 individual iStar-financed projects planned:

The Asbury, a 110 key independent hotel designed by Stonehill & Taylor Architects will be inspired by Asbury Park itself and will take the title of its first new hotel in 30 years. The Asbury is set to open early summer 2016 in a long-vacant former Salvation Army building after extensive adaptive-reuse work.
Monroe, a stylish and sophisticated 34-unit condominium designed by acclaimed Miami architect Chad Oppenheim, projected opening summer 2016.
Asbury Lanes, the legendary music and bowling venue acquired by iStar that’s home to everything from burlesque to bingo, will be renovated.
1101 Ocean, a landmark mixed-use hotel/condominium/retail project designed by New York’s Handel Architects will shine as one of the tallest buildings along the Jersey Shore. By completing a project that had been abandoned by two previous developers, iStar will finally rid Asbury Park of a concrete eyesore that has been vacant for more than 20 years.

Sugarman has assembled an experienced team to move the redevelopment forward. Anda Andrei, formerly director of design with the Ian Schrager Company, is the creative lead for the entire redevelopment project. Andrei is selecting designers and architects who understand how to shape Asbury Park’s future while celebrating its one-of-a-kind character.

Rendering of 1101 Ocean, Asbury Park, NJ

Hotel innovator David Bowd, creator of the SALT hotels brand and a former executive at Andre Balazs Properties,will manage, program and oversee development of aniStar-backed hotel currently under construction.

Other notable partners include architects Gary Handel(The Dream, Four Seasons Miami); Paul Taylor (Ace, Nomad); and Chad Oppenheim (Ten Museum Park Miami); renowned landscape designer Madison Cox(Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech, Spring Garden at theFrench National Museum at the Château de Blérancourt); and landscape architects Melillo + Bauer Associates.

While it reshapes the future, iStar says its redevelopment will nurture “the maverick spirit and indie attitude that make Asbury Park one of the unsung capitals of cool in the United States” —preserving multiple music venues like the Stone Pony and retro-hip Asbury Lanes, to galleries, chef-owned restaurants, independent-minded local retailers, nightspots, and seasonal farmers’ markets.

“Asbury Park has a soul that makes it unique in America,” says Andrei, whose past projects include the Delano Miami, Royalton New York and The London EDITION. “There’s a love for that behind this project. We’re mining the incredible history and one-of-a-kind character to amplify what’s already here.”

Rendering of The Asbury, Asbury Park, NJ

“Through the properties we’re developing, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to capture Asbury Park’s incredible sense of place,” says Bowd.

The company says it will also partner with Asbury Park businesses, cultural institutions, entrepreneurs, artists, and community groups to nurture the town’s character as a true American original, noting that it has been called “Brooklyn on the Beach,” or “The Indie Hamptons.”

iStar’s unconventional, far-sighted approach to development extends far beyond buildings, however. The company began laying the groundwork more than three years ago with a series of community outreach and beautification projects.

iStar has created “The Crew,” an ambassador training program that teaches employment skills and community outreach as it coaches locals on welcoming visitors to Asbury Park. The Crew also helps support local organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club.

To beautify the town, iStar has added beach-themed landscaping throughout the community, and together with Asbury Park, relocated overhead electrical utility lines underground, installed new storm-sewer systems, and restored historic streets, lighting, curbs and sidewalks. Working with town officials, iStar has also facilitated the addition of significant new parking for the waterfront and its many attractions.

“The opportunity to design almost a mile of oceanfront land almost never comes along, and to have that opportunity in a place with as rich a history, as beautiful a setting, and with such iconic venues and architecture as Asbury Park, gives us a chance to do something really special,” saysSugarman. “I know everyone on our team is committed to making that happen.”

Link: http://www.globest.com/news/12_1181/newjersey/development/Broad-Redevelopment-Plan-Unveiled-for-Asbury-Park-361013-1.html

September 6th, 2015, 05:01 AM
Small Asbury Park Update

The former Salvation Army building is being renovated into a 110 room boutique hotel, the first one in 50 years, since the Empress.

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/688/20538118854_e6b0cbba8d_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/xhTecu)
A Hot September Morning in Asbury Park,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/xhTecu) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5685/20539660013_2087c8379d_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/xi28kc)
A Hot September Morning in Asbury Park,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/xi28kc) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5792/21160797385_862f5cf1f7_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/yeUBQe)
A Hot September Morning in Asbury Park,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/yeUBQe) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

KHovnanian, the developer that is known for building McMansions all across New Jersey, is building 38 brick-fronted rowhouses on this site in Asbury Park.

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/568/20538121134_b154e7a794_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/xhTeSN)
A Hot September Morning in Asbury Park,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/xhTeSN) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/706/20538104694_684742e8db_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/xhT9Zm)
A Hot September Morning in Asbury Park,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/xhT9Zm) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5708/21134562786_de5d8061db_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/ycAacy)
A Hot September Morning in Asbury Park,NJ (https://flic.kr/p/ycAacy) by Corey Best (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

Development info from Brandon Nagle http://urbanismvsmodernism.blogspot.com/2015/09/a-rainy-day-tour-612015.html?view=magazine

May 1st, 2016, 01:45 PM
The Asbury; new hotel near waterfront. First in 50 years. Opening Memorial Day Weekend!