P.O. Box 600
Contact: Paul Aronsohn
RELEASE: June 4, 2002
Office of the Governor
McGreevey Forges Partnership to
Move Redevelopment Efforts in Asbury Park
Governor also announces plans to
streamline government through new permit process
(Asbury Park) - Demonstrating his commitment to making Asbury Park a thriving economic engine, Governor James E. McGreevey today announced that the State is working in partnership with the City's local government and the private sector to ensure that proposed redevelopment efforts are completed as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Joined by Community Affairs Commissioner Susan Bass Levin, Transportation Commissioner James Fox, Environmental Protection Commissioner Bradley Campbell, Asbury Park Mayor Kevin Sanders and private developers, Governor McGreevey outlined the goals of the redevelopment project for Asbury Park as well as highlighted state projects in the City.
"The public / private partnership set forth today represents a $1.2 billion investment in Asbury Park," McGreevey said. "The State with the private sector will trigger the economic revitalization of the City."
The Redevelopment Plan
The $1.2 billion redevelopment plan for Asbury Park includes over 3,000 residential units, including 2,500 new housing units, 500 replacement units, and 150 units of affordable housing. The plan also includes a proposal for 450,000 square feet of commercial and entertainment space that will bring increased revenues into the City, including restaurants and convenience shopping.
The developers estimate that the City will receive a net fiscal benefit of $6.8 million under a Payment in Lieu of Taxes abatement plan, of which $4.2 million is attributable to the residential portion of the development and $2.6 million is from the commercial portion. The developers project the redevelopment will create 7,000 jobs related to the construction of the project. In addition, the developer is estimating 3,200 full-time permanent jobs in the commercial, retail and entertainment sector, as well as 3,000 seasonal jobs along the boardwalk and beachfront.
"The redevelopment of Asbury Park will spur economic growth in the City's neighborhoods and oceanfront through new employment opportunities and tax revenues, while maintaining the character and history of the City," said McGreevey.
The redevelopment plan places an importance on the preservation of open space as it will comprise almost 20 percent of the boardwalk area and over 17 percent of the entire waterfront redevelopment area. The plan will also include elements of historic preservation as it retains the present location of the infamous Stone Pony and identifies three buildings within the waterfront redevelopment area that are listed on or eligible to be on the National Register of Historic Places including the Convention Hall, the Casino and the Palace.
The redevelopment plan will also concentrate on the complete restoration of the boardwalk, which is an integral part of the city's revitalization. One-third of the restoration has already been completed.
Ocean Front Acquisitions and M.D. Sass Municipal Finance are the developers working on the project. The redevelopment plan was drafted by New Jersey planners Clarke, Caton and Hintz and the New York firm of Ehrenkrantz Eckstut and Kuhn. In addition, nationally renowned architect Andres Duany reviewed the redevelopment plans.
The Governor also highlighted several initiatives undertaken by the State to build a strong Asbury Park, including:
- The Strategic Target Area Rebuilding Spirit (STARS) initiative, which will build 36 single-family homes in a 12 block area in the southwest corner of the Asbury Park bordering Neptune Township. To date, the State has invested $2.26 million towards the housing.
- The reconstruction of the Grand Avenue Bridge is underway by the Department of Transportation. This $2.5 million dollar project is yet another example of the State partnering with county government to improve transportation infrastructure.
- Funding from the Department of Environmental Protection will improve the quality of life in Asbury Park through programs such as Green Acres, which is contributing $500,000 for boardwalk restoration and Clean Communities, which provides Asbury Park with more than $30,000 for litter clean-up and recycling programs.
Streamlined Permit Process
The Governor also announced that the Department of Community Affairs will serve as a one-stop shop for implementing the world-class redevelopment plan for the city's waterfront, "Oceanfront Asbury."
Developers who build within the redevelopment area approved by the city will be able to use a streamlined permit process. For State permits, DCA will act as the "single point of entry". The applications will then be reviewed by the appropriate agency. DCA will act as a case manager to expedite the process.
For building permits, the department will also assist the municipality by conducting all plan reviews and construction inspections in the redevelopment plan area. This single step will reduce the time required in obtaining the necessary permits.
"This is an unprecedented effort by state government to sweep away the barriers to redevelopment. Obtaining building permits and state agency approvals today is an unnecessarily time consuming and bureaucratic process. We need to be innovative to encourage the revitalization of Asbury Park." Commissioner Susan Bass Levin said.
Under the current system, every developer who wanted to be a part of Asbury Park's redevelopment plan would be forced to run through a maze of permits under the state's regulatory requirements. They would have to file individual applications and prepare multiple and often duplicative studies on issues such as traffic impact, historic preservation, relocation, storm water run-off and water and sewer capacity.