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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2004

Contact: Karen Hershey
(609) 984-1795

DEP GIVES GREEN LIGHT TO ASBURY PARK REVITALIZATION
Coastal Development Permit Authorizes Large Scale Redevelopment Furthering Smart Growth

(04/25) TRENTON - Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has issued a fast-tracked, comprehensive coastal development permit to the city of Asbury Park and Asbury Partners LLC, authorizing the construction of 3,164 residential units and 450,000 square feet of commercial space. The goals of the redevelopment plan are to preserve the character and history of Asbury Park, provide employment opportunities, generate tax revenues for the city and improve the quality of life for a year-round community. The city expects that it will take 10 to 15 years to complete the project.

"This is a critical milestone in Governor McGreevey's effort to redevelop Asbury Park into a vibrant urban community,"said Campbell. "In addition, the speed of the permitting process makes clear that DEP is facilitating growth and investment for those developers willing to meet appropriate and protective standards."

The permit is being issued under the authority of the Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA), which requires that a permit be obtained from the DEP prior to undertaking certain development activities near coastal waters.

The permit issued today is based on a redevelopment plan adopted by the city of Asbury in 1984 and revised in June 2002. In addition to residential and commercial redevelopment, the DEP-approved project includes improvements to sewage infrastructure and the rehabilitation of various landmark buildings. The redevelopment area is approximately 213 acres in size and is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean and boardwalk to the east, Grand Avenue to the west, Wesley Lake to the south and Deal Lake to the North.

"This is a significant step forward for the citizens and town of Asbury Park- a step that brings the "glory days" back to the community," said Susan Bass Levin, Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. "As part of Governor McGreevey's ongoing effort to encourage private development in Asbury Park, DCA has opened a construction code office to expedite permits and facilitate redevelopment efforts throughout the city."

"This permit begins the rebirth of Asbury Park and reinforces the concept of public-private partnership and smart growth for the benefit of all New Jersey communities," said Chief Operating Officer of Asbury Partners LLC, Larry Fishman.

"We're very pleased that the process is complete. The issuance of the CAFRA permit is the key to allowing development to begin on the waterfront," said Kevin Sanders, Mayor of the City of Asbury Park. "The city looks forward to reviewing the elements of the permit when it is delivered."

The plan as proposed by the city and its developer, Asbury Partners LLC divides the redevelopment area into several distinct districts:

  • Wesley Lake Village

    The redevelopment plan for this area includes small scale residential development taking advantage of the smaller angular blocks close to Wesley Lake. The plan calls for the creation of low-rise residential buildings along Lake Avenue with increased building height along the south side of Cookman Avenue. The north side of Cookman Avenue is proposed for the construction of mid-rise residential buildings.

  • Ocean Avenue/Entertainment District

    The five blocks along Ocean Avenue between the Casino and Convention Hall will be the core of Asbury Park's entertainment district with retail operations, restaurants, recreational areas and rehabilitated pavilions. The plan calls for the restoration of the Casino, Convention Hall and Heating Plant as well as the construction of a hotel opposite the Casino.

  • North Shore District

    The north shore district extends from Deal Lake in the North to Convention Hall in the south. The plan for the North Shore District includes the construction of an eight story residential tower and a boardwalk extension with a path to Deal Lake.

There will be additional open space that will be created through the design of streets and the creation of new pedestrian routes. New dunes will be constructed to provide a backdrop of natural landforms and 10 acres of trees will be planted throughout the City.

The permit issued today requires the city to meet DEP's standards, including sewer, water, historic preservation and public access requirements. DEP will play an ongoing role in ensuring that the project is in compliance with the CAFRA permit and the city's Waterfront Development Plan.

Reconstruction of the boardwalk is currently ongoing and is more than 50% complete. In addition, residential and commercial construction should begin late spring/early summer 2004.

CAFRA regulates all development activities involved in residential, commercial, or industrial development, including construction, relocation, and enlargement of buildings or structures, and all related work such as excavation, grading, shore protection structures and site preparation.

 

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