Archive for the ‘North End Redevelopment’ Category

Wesley Lake, lookng toward the OG North End. A space where light, breezes and ocean views prevail. Paul Goldfinger ©

2015 Wesley Lake, looking toward the OG North End. A space where light, breezes and ocean views currently  prevail. Paul Goldfinger photo   Click to enlarge.   Note the White Whale building which subsequently burned down.  (2019).

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

At last week’s Neptune Township Committee meeting, April 27, 2015, Committeeman Randy Bishop reported that WAVE requested the Committee to amend the North End Redevelopment Plan (NERP. ) However, the Committee took no formal action to amend the plan.   As such, the 2008 plan (permitting 165 units) is still in effect.

The Coaster reports on the Grove, but they are not from the Grove. Their reporter goes to the Committee meetings, shuffles through the packet of press releases given to him by the Township, and then rolls it out in their next edition, as they did last week, sticking to the Committee’s narrative.

The Coaster doesn’t offer any editorial opinions on these matters because they get lots of money from the Township for ads that you can see at the back of every issue; not that there’s anything wrong with that, but The Coaster is  busy covering a bunch of towns in this area, so it may not get all the facts straight in Ocean Grove.   We, on the other hand, are OG specialists.

It’s a good thing Blogfinger is hovering nearby to keep the record accurate.    In The Coaster front page story on April 30, 2015, about the New NERP, we found some things that need clarification. All quotes are from that Coaster article:

——–“Redevelopment of the North End section in historic Ocean Grove will proceed under a revised developer’s agreement.” Wrong! How can an agreement be revised when it has never existed in the first place?  That agreement should have happened back in 2008 when the redevelopers were identified, but it never did.

——–“…but an exact timeline for the project has not yet been announced.”   No kidding! Such a timeline would be a necessary part of a redevelopers agreement which doesn’t exist, so why would anyone expect a timeline to be announced now?

——–“Committeeman Randy Bishop, who was mayor during the initial hearing to adopt the 2008 plan, said at Monday’s workshop that recent meetings were held with the main principals of the redevelopment project.”

Really?  Meetings?   We only know of one such meeting that was announced as occurring in April, and that meeting was attended not by our Mayor (definitely a “principle”) or by the Camp Meeting Association (definitely a “principle.”)   Instead that meeting was attended by the Township Engineer, WAVE, Bishop, and the Township lawyer. That meeting was supposed to be about negotiating a redevelopers agreement, but instead it was for WAVE to offer a new plan.    If there were “meetings,” then why don’t the citizens know about all of them?

——–  “It was very hard and there were very frank discussions. Everyone at the table gave up things to make the plan better.” per Bishop. But who exactly gave things up? Only Bishop and WAVE were there. Where was the CMA to say what it would give up?

——-Coaster, “The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association…..will still own the land, like it does in all of Ocean Grove.” But, excuse us, the CMA does not own the beach or Wesley Lake, and those places are involved in the “New NERP.”

——-“Bishop said all of WAVE’s principles and financials will have to be given before it is declared the sole redeveloper and that a timeline for the project will probably be announced once this happens”

Sorry, but the timeline must be included in the Redeveloper’s Agreement before it is signed.   And  let’s be frank here: those WAVE “principles” have been concealed from the public for the last 8 years. Why weren’t they identified before? They will have to come out of the shadows now if they own over 10% interest in the project.

——-And Coaster what about the site plan which must be designed after the surveys are complete, and no surveys have evidently been done so far. Those site plans are needed to get all necessary approvals such as DEP, Army Corps of Engineers, etc.

——-And Coaster  how about the Gateway Design feature* which has now been eliminated? Why did that happen and why did you forget to tell us about the construction plans which must be obtained before this New NERP goes forward?

It seems that you only want to mention what they tell you to mention. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

* Gateway design feature: A statue or other structure on the boardwalk at the place where Asbury Park meets Ocean Grove.


BIG BIRD:   What the heck avenue do those NEW NERP words mean?


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YAK! Our neighbor to the north. 2015. Paul Goldfinger photo. © YAK. A. Park.  2015. Paul Goldfinger photo.


2015: According to the Township Committee, the Township Attorney, the CMA, the Township Clerk and the OGHOA North End Committee, things are “heating up” with respect to the North End Redevelopment Plan. In a series of articles on the subject, Blogfinger has described some of the details and has found some “red flags” regarding the propriety of the process.


It would be helpful to take the pulse of the public regarding how OG citizens perceive what we have learned so far.  


Papa Bue’s Jazz Band:


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Condominiums at the Time Warner Center were found to have a number of hidden owners over a decade who had been the subjects of government investigations. Credit Edward Caruso for The New York Times Advertisement Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main storyShare This Page Email Share NY Times

Condominiums at the Time Warner Center were found to have a number of hidden owners over a decade who had been the subjects of government investigations. Credit Edward Caruso for The New York Times.  2016


Ocean Grove by Paul Goldfinger.  Imagine the Grove after OGNED gets done with the North End. Why won’t they reveal who they are??


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger   Jan. 2016.     Re-post 12/22


In a front page article in the NY Times*, it is reported that the Justice Department is looking into secret investors who are behind high end real estate deals. They are especially interested in professionals such as real estate agents, bankers, and lawyers who are involved in developing such entities.

Oftentimes shell companies are formed such as LLC’s**  (limited liability corporations)  that shield the identities of investors. Frequently foreign buyers are involved using cash payments as they seek real estate deals to hide or launder their money.

Currently the investigators are focusing on New York City and Miami.

There is an LLC that is involved in the North End Redevelopment Plan. It is called WAVE, and we posted an article about it in April, 2015.

Since 2007. the identities of the WAVE investors have been hidden, even though they have been doing business with Neptune Township, the governing entity that is in charge of the North End Area in Need of Redevelopment.

You would think that any group doing business with the Township would be required to disclose the identities of its investors, and if it refuses, the Township should open bidding for others to be redevelopers of the NERP.  But the Township continues to be involved with WAVE.

This is not to say that there is any evidence that WAVE’s principles are doing anything illegal,  but any entity doing business with the Township should be totally above board  and transparent, or it should be excused from participating in this project. This is about appearances, and the Township ought to make sure that its business associates are squeaky clean.  As far as we can tell, the Committee does not know whom it is dealing with.

**”Simply put, an LLC is the least complex business structure. Unlike an S corp or C corp, an LLC’s structure is flexible. It also gives you the perk of pass-through taxes, limited liability (obviously), and legal protection for your personal assets; plus the added benefit of looking more legit than the other guys.” ( Internet definition.)

NY Times link:*


CAROL HANEY   from the Pajama Game.


Editor’s note:  It is now nearly 7 years since we expressed concern about the identities of those who are part of WAVE, the “re-developers” at the OG North End.

The identities of every member of that secretive group should have been demanded by Neptune Township because such a re-development zone comes under the direction of the Township Committee according to Land Use Law in NJ.   But amazingly, the curtain was never pulled back.   What were they hiding?

We should have been informed of every name in order to know about conflicts of interest in the Grove and Neptune governance.

Recently  the issue was once again raised here on Blogfinger, but this time the secretive group has been renamed OGNED—Ocean Grove North End Developers.

Before this project is allowed to place even one shovelful of  Grovarian dirt onto a dump truck, an HOA lawyer,  or the Attorney General,  should make sure that all secrets are revealed to the public before the character of this town is allowed to be transformed by big-money interests.


Paul Goldfinger, MD ,  Editor Blogfinger. net

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Ocean Grove. 2011 © Paul Goldfinger photograph.  Yellow warning flag is flying.

This article was posted in January, 2020, but it references events in 2019:

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor  Blogfinger.net


Modern Ocean Grove History:


“Something familiar,

Something peculiar,

Something for everyone:

A comedy tonight!

“New complications,

Nothing portentous or polite;

Tragedy tomorrow,

Comedy tonight!”

*Stephen Sondheim:  A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.


Raise the curtain at the Neptune Theater of the Absurd.  The stage is set for a tragedy:

Jack Bredin attended the Township Comedy’s meeting last night (August 2019,) and his conclusion is, “Ocean Grove is being sold down the river.”

After hearing OG’s  Carol Rizzo, the 2019  Neptune Township Mayor, effusively praise the “new” North End Plan, Jack sank down in his chair—He says that all hope seems to be lost as this show unfolds with its final acts waiting in the wings.

This drama about the historic town of Ocean Grove is now positioned to move forward in a direction that will be accepted by all the power players, leaving the residents of the Grove hung out to dry.  Once the contractors’ trucks begin to stir up the dust and clog our respiratory tracts, while creating a nightmare of congestion  and a cacophony of noise, we will wind up with a large scale version of the Greek Temple on Main Avenue—a variation on a theme as the promise of historic small town OG may forever be lost.

And along with it will be the hopes for a pristine Wesley Lake, now known by  all concerned  as a “retention/detention basin.”

Let’s consider the players in this Greek tragedy known as “The North End Revelopment Plan.”  We have the main actors at  the  Neptune Township Comedy along with the Chorus consisting of  the Home Groaners, the Camp Meeting, the Chamber of Commercials, the Historic Preservation Commission, the Planning Board, and The Wesley Lake Commission.

And providing the backdrop and script for this scandalous performance, there is the main villain of the piece—secretive developers lurking off stage while pulling on the puppet strings.

Here is the cast of characters:

a. The Neptune Township Committee: Mayor Rizzo of Ocean Grove, who has swallowed the Kool Aid,  will lead those Neptuner sheep to unanimously approve the new plan.  She has appointed Committeeman Michael Brantley to take her place as the “Class one” member of the Planning Board.

She has abdicated her key role as the protector of the people at the PB. Brantley is a Neptuner through and through and he will order the PB to approve the new plan unanimously.

Once upon a time there was a Committeewoman who favored single family zoning at the North End.  Mary Beth Jahn stuck her neck out for the best interests of the people and the town, and she was beheaded by the Monmouth County and Neptune Democrat Party.

The Neptune Comedy is indifferent to the people of Ocean Grove, and one-party rule prevents any chance of changing the ending of this tragedy.

b.  The Rule of Law:  Normal procedures regarding land use law have been routinely violated in Neptune, but that crowd, along with their OG allies, does whatever it pleases.  And they are aided and abetted by favoritism offered by key unelected bureaucrats at Town Hall.

c. OG Home Owners Ass.  We don’t know their motives, but this group of turncoats continues to back the developers and Neptuners regarding the North End.  The late Ken Buckley who was on the HOA Board and the HPC told Jack that the HOA is  “backing the Plan.”

d.  Developers: (OGNED)    Some of these people are connected to OG, but despite that, they conspire, whenever possible, to exploit the people of OG for profit.  They are favored at the Mother Ship with zoning manipulations including those that increase congestion and ugliness in town:  condos, Greek Temple, Mary’s Place, parking  torture, etc.

e. Camp Meeting Association.  They have removed themselves as redevelopers, but that is just cosmetic.  The President of the the CMA told us publicly that his organization has been involved in negotiations to move the NERP forward. They have control as the land owners, so they are focused on making money.  They seem to have little interest in the OG residents community or the historical designation of the town.

f. Chamber of Commerce:  In many US towns the CC is community minded.  But this crew only cares about two things: profits and tourists.  They never get involved with community issues such as the North End. For them, the commercialized North End Plan will increase their membership as they continue to close Main Avenue for mindless tourist events and crowds.

g.  Historic Preservation Commission:  When they are not hiding under their beds  they have stood by while the Neptuners seek to take over their guidelines on behalf of developers and contractors.

And they refuse to be transparent with BF or the public. The Chairwoman won’t even speak to us regarding their situation.

h.  Wesley Lake Commission, representing both sides, has stopped trying to clean the Lake and instead they support the Retention/Detention re-naming in order to allow the Lake to be used to receive  increasing amounts of filthy ground water from the  future North End, thus saving the developers a huge amount of money to fix the ecology of the former “Wesley Lake.”

i. The Residents of OG-–Those who envision our historic town as a lovely place with its Victorian architecture, parks, clean Lakes, parking for those who live here, reduction in tourist glut, solving the Asburian invasion, keeping our streets open, nurturing of the community with its kids, families, retirees, diversification, etc. will be the big losers in the North End project.

“Representative government” has failed here, and apathy reigns.   Only a major law suit in Superior Court  or an investigation by the NJ Attorney General could close this show down.

Once the curtain closes on all this, the corruption in OG/Neptune will continue.  Blogfinger will keep reporting the news, but we don’t see an alternative ending to this drama.   Jack says, “Ocean Grove is a door mat;  we’re sunk.”

By Jack Bredin and Paul Goldfinger:  Blogfinger.net.   Ocean Grove, New Jersey.


ZERO MOSTEL  from the original Broadway cast album of Stephen Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

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RE-POST  from  2015.  Still relevant:


Old Salvation Army housing is being turned into a boutique hotel in Asbury Park. Prosper Belizia photo, Blogfinger staff. Old Salvation Army housing is being turned into a boutique hotel in Asbury Park. Prosper Bellizia photo, Blogfinger staff. April, 2015. ©


Is this the historic look that the HPC wants for the North End? The CMA seems to create the good old days in the Grove and call it Is this the historic look that the HPC wants for the North End?*   The CMA seems to want to re-create the good old days in the Grove and call it “historic.”


This space on the southern border of Asbury Park, across from Wesley Lake will get condos in the future. Does Ocean Grove need to add more condos to the neighborhood? Blogfinger photo. This space on the southern border of Asbury Park, across from Wesley Lake, will get condos in the future. Does Ocean Grove need to add more condos to the neighborhood?  Isn’t AP more in need of “redevelopment” than we are?      Blogfinger photo.



By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger


If you were wondering what our new North End hotel might look like, better hope it doesn’t take shape like the one on top.   The NERP calls for an 85 room hotel, but don’t worry—-remember that the HPC must approve the design.  What? You don’t trust the HPC? Perhaps you are thinking about the Greek Temple on Main Avenue or about the new Mary’s Place which will take up two lots and look like a pseudo- Victorian building designed to fool the tourists.

Or perhaps it occurs to you that there are enough hotels in the neighborhood counting the one above, so maybe we don’t need another hotel in the Grove. Currently in Asbury Park there are 3 hotels:  Berkley-Carteret, Tides, and Empress. In Ocean Grove we have Majestic, Shawmont, and Laingdon.

How about a nice park which we could call “Hotel Park” to remember the old North End Hotel which became useless in its time and was finally torn down in 1978.

Did you have a look at recently built condos in Ocean Grove  (e.g. on Ocean Pathway)  or in Asbury Park?  What do you think?

Editor’s note March, 2021. We have posted the architects design* for the hotel and condos.  It has a pseudo-Victorian look.

Historic zoning should not have permitted a hotel now at this site.  Just because there was a hotel before in that vicinity does not mean that another one should be allowed.  The 1911 hotel at the North End was demolished in 1978.  Note that the Asbury Hotel has opened in the interim, while the Tides has closed.



JOE WILLIAMS  From his album Music for Lovers

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Whitefield Avenue runs down the middle of Embury Arms providing private parking spaces. Blogfinger photo. 9/22/15 © Whitefield Avenue runs down the middle of Embury Arms, oriented north and south,  providing private parking spaces. Blogfinger.net  photograph. 9/22/15 ©


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger


Here is a re-post of part I of our research about the Embury Arms Condominiums posted in September of 2015. Time to re-read it now in 2020.  The dots between it and the current North End Plan can be connected.

Recently a reader wondered about the Embury Arms condominiums. Her concern came about in the midst of our real-time discussions of the North End Project and Mary’s Place zoning. She asked how that large condo project came about and whether there were issues then similar to the ones that we have been considering recently.

Embury Arms condominiums on Whitefield Avenue consist of 112 units. It was built in the 1980’s. Old OG newspaper reports say that the CMA approved the project in 1978, and then the ground breaking ceremony was held in 1980.  Those news reports never mention approvals by Neptune Twp. nor do they mention any concerns about historic preservation.  They do talk about energy conservation measures that won awards for the developer.

These condos are 1 and 2 bedroom apartments within four large 3 story buildings. The complex sits in the middle of the Grove, surrounded by Benson, Delaware, Heck and Abbott Avenues. Embury and Webb Avenues stop short as they go west to Delaware Avenue, right at the border of the Embury Arms  condos, and Whitefield Avenue goes straight through the middle, with private parking spaces on the perimeter of a public street.

Ocean Grove Times, August 25, 1978. Ocean Grove Times, August 25, 1978.

An ad in a 1982 local newspaper  describes “authentic Victorian designs.”  The apartments were starting at $49,900.00.

These are the Embury Arms buildings as seen from the Delaware Avenue side. Blogfinger photo/ © These are the Embury Arms buildings as seen from the Delaware Avenue side. Blogfinger photo/ ©

The official 2015 CMA summer guidebook map shows Webb and Embury going straight through  to Lawrence Avenue, but they do not and they never did because west of Delaware, where Embury Arms now sits, there were stables, used mostly for storage by the Camp Meeting Association. Apparently some of the buildings were rented out for parking, but it was not an area for public parking.

It is not our intention to review the detailed history of this  condo project, but anyone walking by has to wonder how the heck the developer got permission to do this distinctly un-Grovian style condominium complex. It not only is contrary to the Master Plan as we know it, but it takes up space that could have been filled with single family Victorian style homes in order to match the appearance of the rest of the Grove.

Embury Arms provides PRIVATE parking by allowing head-on placement of vehicles on Whitefield Avenue that is partly on private property (using the theoretical front yards of those lots) but it also allows the cars to stick out over where the public sidewalks should be. In other words, that parking lot violates the public pedestrian right of way.


Note how Note how the sidewalk (pedestrian right of way) ends to allow parked cars to protrude into that right of way.  This is Whitefield Avenue taken by walking from Heck Avenue.  Blogfinger photo ©

Normally the right of way along a public street is 40 feet wide, consisting of the road (auto right of way) and the sidewalks (pedestrian right of way) measured together.

Yes they put some recessed sidewalks there, but that is private property, and public access could theoretically be shut down at any time. The Whitefield Ave. auto right of way is intact for cars driving through, but is not inviting for autos to drive through, and warning signs threaten anyone who would dare park there.

In addition, the project deprived Ocean Grove of many potential public parking spaces if private homes had been built on streets. Instead, all those curb cuts created a giant parking lot. Where else in town is a public street (in this case Whitefield Avenue) used for private parking?

The property was originally used for stables, so no private homes were demolished to make room. Undoubtedly the CMA, the Township, and the developer were in collusion to create this massive mistake, but the history of the time* indicates that OG was not as proactive in historic preservation then. It was a time when governance here was in a state of flux**, and the public did not protest much.  There was a suit that delayed completion, but eventually the Embury Arms condominiums were finished.   At least the condo developer of Embury Arms provided parking, even though the law was stretched to make that happen.

We have no information as to how the zoning was finessed to allow this, nor do we know what the Planning Board had to say. At any rate, it is a done deal, and nothing can be done about it at this point.

It is interesting that there is an earlier precedent.  In 1964, across from Days, a large hotel burned down, and in its place rose the Arlington Court Co-op.  consisting of one bedroom apartments for which no mortgages were allowed.   This was a new idea for the Grove, and evidently no one cared that single family Victorian homes were not built.  The CMA was in charge then and they must have supported the idea.   (? sound familiar)

However, now we are in a position to do something about the largest condominium development in the history of Ocean Grove—the North End Redevelopment Project.  But there is concern that public apathy will once again allow a wrong-headed condo project to go ahead. We have seen this illegal process before.  If no one takes  legal action when work begins or sooner, then, as with other projects in town, nothing can be done after the fact.

The CMA and the Township are counting on public inaction.  Will we let them do it again?


Ted Bell*, Ocean Grove historian

Jack Bredin, Blogfinger researcher

Tom Constantino, Blogfinger researcher

** In 1980, governance of Ocean Grove was turned over to Neptune Township by the NJ Supreme Court. That transition must have taken years to work out, but the Embury Arms project took hold during that delicate time.


Here is a link to Part II of this Embury Arms historical review.


Embury Arms Part II. Blogfinger.net


NANCY WILSON  “Please do it again.”

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Site plan dated 11/13/19. Hot off the griddle. Click to enlarge.

Two condo buildings facing Wesley Lake.  HPC : “..resembles a contemporary gated subdivision; isolated and virtually private.”  Click to enlarge the monstrosity.

Retail area tight to the boardwalk.

By Paul Goldfinger and Jack Bredin.  Blogfinger.net

This is what the HPC said in their report of 11/13/19:

“The proposed plan does not demonstrate an in depth understanding of or regard for, Ocean Grove’s character and the need to preserve the town’s ‘sense of place,’ established in its plan.”

OGNED PLAN: 40 room hotel, 49 condos (in two buildings,)  10 single family homes on Spray Avenue, 7,000 square feet of retail on the boardwalk, underground garage on top of which will be built condos and homes, 140 car spaces in the garage for residents only, and 13 surface spaces.

Utilities are available. Homes will cost over $1 million each; condos will start at $800,000.

November 13, 2019. Neptune Township  Municipal Building:

The Planning Board meeting went on for hours, yet the testimony by the developers’ professionals, such as the architect and the engineer, was incomplete.  Others did not get their turn.

The room was crowded.  The content  consisted mostly of technical discussions, for example how many parking spaces will be on Spray Avenue and how will ground water be handled?

Questions  were allowed from the audience,  but only 5 minutes at a time, and the part where citizens can offer opinions was not reached–only questions related to professional testimony were allowed, such as what is the angle of the driveway into the subsurface garage?

Those citizens who went to the mike were mostly concerned with their personal issues, especially parking on their streets near the project.  A few members of the HOA asked questions, but they did not identify themselves as HOA officials.  There were a few angry confrontations between citizens and the Board.

But the big picture, as enunciated by the HPC report conclusion above, was not addressed.

HPC 9-point report

The most worrisome episode during the meeting, was at the beginning when the HPC was attacked before their report was distributed–it never was.

The first one to preemptively strike the HPC was the Township Engineer, LeAnn Hoffman,  who, in a hit-and-run appearance before the Board, certified that the new North End Redevelopment Site Plan is “consistent with” the original Plan of 2008.  The process requires that the two plans be “consistent” with each other.

Hoffman’s hit-man appearance was designed  to add Township credibility to OGNED’s lawyer, Jennifer Krimko, who would appear next in order to make the same assertion.

Why would that assertion be important?  It’s about depriving freedom of speech to criticize the new plan. Do you recall when OGNED wouldn’t allow certain questions to be asked at the HOA meeting?    Evidently, OGNED does not want the HPC report to see the light of day.

According to Krimko, that  “fact” of consistency was unassailable and would “supersede” whatever the HPC had to say.  Krimko said that “the HPC cannot judge the consistency of the two documents.”

In other words, she thinks that the HPC should not be allowed to complain about the details of the new plan, especially regarding the design elements, which is what the HPC report is all about.  She also said that the  “Planning Board cannot complain about the details” either.

According to her, “All challenges are foreclosed.”

In addition, while she was nailing another spike into the heart of the HPC, she said that the HPC “is too late to challenge the plan based on Ocean Grove history.  They should have done that in 2008.”   She also said that the “HPC may not now offer a statement.”

She stated that by signing the Redevelopers Agreement, the Governing Body  (Township Committee) ignored the HPC concerns, and that the signing ends all further discussion about plan details.

But the 9-point HPC report was released only yesterday, so we suspect that the Township Committee and the Planning Board are  ignorant of the HPC report.  (see link above)

So this flagrant attempt to aggressively preemptively shut down the HPC before it has a chance to speak is a vicious tactic to stifle their free speech, and we resent that, regardless of the legal niceties.

The HPC should have gone to that meeting with their lawyer, and the Planning Board Chair should have expressed her outrage at this horrid lawyerly maneuver to suppress the citizens of Ocean Grove.   And by the way, how many of the Planning Board members are from Ocean Grove?  Does that board have any built-in biases?

We believe that the new Plan seriously and illegally disregards elements of the old.  For example, regarding the HPC, the original NERP says, “The Township Committee shall consider the HPC comments.”  (it says “shall” not “may”)

And there are other elements which are not consistent with the original NERP, and that consistency is necessary for the Board to approve the new Plan.

Here is a quote from the HPC:   “The site plan does not follow the historic site plan.  This is contrary to the mandate of the Redevelopment Plan that the site be developed in accordance with the Period of Significance  (late 19th and early 20th century.) Instead it follows the 1930’s development of the North End.”

Because there are inconsistencies with 2008 as well as other standard procedure deficiencies, the PB should not give final approval to this plan. Why rush the process?

This OGNED plan is a conceptional plan and should not therefore receive final approval by the Board.  At Blogfinger we think that final approval should not be given to a conceptual plan.

More to say from Blogfinger:

a. The Township Committee should have sent an official letter to the PB containing the HPC report.  So, 11 years after the original document, this current Committee should have considered the current HPC report.  If the developer can freely change the specifications from 2008, then why can’t the HPC offer an updated opinion?

b. The Township Clerk should have received a schedule of completion of the project and performance guarantees from the developer, and then forwarded them to the Board. Did he?

c.  How can this be approved without DEP  (environmental protection) approval, currently absent.

d. What about the assertion by the Township that the 3+ acres plan consisting of 4 parts  (hotel, condos, retail and houses,) should be considered a single lot with no subdivisions?

In 2008, this was a 5 acre plan—-a minimum size that was required for Redevelopment Zones.  It included the White Whale site, but that is now gone.

So now, in 2019, clearly this part of the 2008 plan is different and not consistent.  Is the Revelopment designation still applicable?

And Lake Avenue is a lot and not a street.  It needs to be subdivided.  The site plan calls it “Wesley Lake Promenade”—a fanciful name, but the official name on the Tax Map is still Lake Avenue, despite what  Google maps  say.

And the east side parcel (which burned down) should be subdivided since it is not.

e. Why was lawyer Krimko allowed to give testimony without being sworn in?  She was doing a lot of interpreting of the new plan.  When the minutes are published they should reveal all that she had to say.

f.  Why is the Planning Board rushing this process along?  This truly is like a freight train.  We doubt that the members of the Planning Board saw this site plan and studied it before this meeting.  The site plan was handed out to some of the audience mid-way in the meeting. This is sloppy.

g. The Board should have a  written report from the Township Planner and a written report from the Planning Board Engineer, Peter Avakian; and from the Town’s pool of special environmental engineers.

h. Where are the easements under the boardwalk which would  be needed to bring utilities over to the western parcel when that is developed. That concern is stated in the 2008 version.  Another inconsistency.

i. Now that the west side White Whale has burned down, the original 2008 NERP, which included that parcel, must be revised in the new Plan including provisions from 2008 regarding off street parking which need to be revised;  and the east parcel is no longer nonconforming—another example where the old and the new plans cannot be identical.

And what about the fact that the eastern parcel is not on a street?  NJ law requires that new construction be on a street.   And they will eventually need an easement to allow access to the eastern parcel for deliveries, garbage collection, etc.  Where is that addressed in the new site plan?  It is found in the old one.

j.   What about the fire lane which is Lake Avenue?   When a big firetruck enters Lake from Bridge, it would then come east on Lake; how can it turn around at the end?—It cannot.

The PB needs to get an official statement from the Fire Department after they review this new site plan.

k.   How can all parties quickly review the complex site plan when it is dated Nov 13—just released?

l. How can the PB approve a plan which has parking for new residents and businesses, but no provisions for tourists, guests, families, employees, pre-existing neighbors, or customers?   The lawyer says that customers will only be beach-goers, but that is nonsense.

M. Where is the traffic impact study? Has the Board looked that over?

N. What about the ground water pipe from  Wesley Lake that discharges  into the ocean?  The new development will dump its dirty ground water into the Lake.  Who has promised that the system will work and be maintained?  That should be in writing.

The developers’ engineer said that dumping that water into the ocean is “a good thing” because “you can’t flood the ocean.”  He also claimed that the pipe contains a “water quality device,” but nobody knows if it actually works or how it works. Should we trust this developer to care about the environment?

O.   The HPC only just released its report yesterday.  The HPC Chairperson was present at the meeting, but she had nothing to say.  She is welcome to make a statement on Blogfinger.

Note:  The next session of the Planning Board will continue the process on December 11.


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By the Blogfinger Editorial Staff at our offices in Ocean Grove.  August 22, 2019.

Today the Coastericans filled their front page with old news:  The Township is trying to work out an agreement with OGNED regarding the North End Redevelopment Plan.

According to this local fish wrapper there may be a signed Redevelopers Agreement at the next Committee meeting on September 9.  But we’ve been hearing that for 11 years including on June 24 when OGNED made a useless and disgraceful guest appearance at the Home Groaners Ass. when the HGA censored the membership and allowed OGNED to evade questions from the audience.

Blogfinger has covered this story as recently as June 24 and August 9, 2019.  Here are links below.

OGNED wastes our time at the HOA June 24.

Here is a link to the last BF article on this subject:

Last  BF timely news on this subject August 9


From the Coaster:

Vito Gadaleta, the soon to depart Neptune spokesman, said, “There are still a few issues to be finalized.”  He also said, “We would like to finalize this quickly and get the information out.”  He hopes to “come to terms” so that the agreement can be “formally approved.”

So, did he say anything worth front page coverage?

And then we have a brilliant quote by the President of the Groaners, Barbara Burns, who said that her organization “doesn’t know what is in the finalized redevelopment agreement and is taking a wait and see posture.”

And as for the White Whale property that burned down in the April 13 fire, Gadaleta said that “there are no current plans to rebuild The Pavilion.”

But what if the current plan is completed and then, down the road, the White Whale and its large property also gets developed, right on the beach, and with no parking and blocking all views of the ocean?   Are the Groaners OK with that also?  Don’t you love their “wait and see posture?”


Ladies and Gentlemen:     If that North End property is turned into Asbury Park South, it will result in damage to our historic seaside family-oriented town.  Our lifestyles are in danger as is the ecology of the sensitive environment near the Ocean and Wesley Lake.

OG is a magical place with a delicate balance of attributes. That balance can be disrupted, and then you have any old shore town with old buildings.

If it happens, the citizens should have a bonfire on the beach to burn every copy of the Neptune Master Plan for the Historic District.  And while they are at it, they should toss in their copies of the Coaster which has never asked a probing question to anyone regarding this front page gibberish.

If the Coaster strives to cover the waterfront, they have been doing a terrible job.




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In the future, when visitors stroll through the Casino and emerge on the sunny OG side, what will they find?   Paul Goldfinger photo ©. Undated


Jack Bredin and Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger.net.    May 30, 2019.  Ocean Grove, NJ.

If you read the Blogfinger North End Update below, you will see that Administrator Vito Gadaleta painted a portrait of deceptive simplicity when he described the procedure for getting the latest  North End plan off the ground.

He said that all the “issues” have been resolved, so a signed Redevelopers Agreement, which has been missing in action since 2008, is now on the launching pad.

His statement made it seem so easy: just take it to the Neptune Planning Board and then on to the Historic Preservation Commission: a piece of cake.

But not so fast Mr. Gadaleta!  You seem to have left out some important issues which, according to New Jersey Land Use Law, require your attention.

This huge commercial, mixed-use-development at the North End  is on the verge of being approved,  along with  the consequent big money that will ensue, and the citizens need to take a close look.

So here are the issues which worry us, even though Mr. Gadaleta and the Fabulous Five failed to mention them in their announcement at the last Workshop meeting.

a.  Are they going to persist in calling Lake Avenue a “roadway?”  Are they planning to turn the north end boardwalk into a roadway?    Or are they planning a new road parallel to the boardwalk?

b. What plans do they have for processing dirty street water runoff ?

c. Have they applied for  a CAFRA/DEP permit to protect our coastal waters?

d. Where is the site plan that will show pilings and elevations according to post-Sandy construction regulations?

e. Have they obtained a security bond that will guarantee that the redevelopment project will be built as promised in the Redevelopment Agreement, soon to be signed as promised by Gadaleta?  Where is the letter of credit from a financial institution?

f. If they are proposing something different than the original (2008) North End Redevelopment Plan (NERP) then will they be scheduling public meetings for the input of citizens/residents ?

g.  What environmental studies have been done?  And what about engineering studies regarding the underground garage?

h.  If they plan to rebuild the Pavilion property, site of the recent fire, then will they get permission from the CMA  to provide access for trucks and other vehicles?  Will they provide parking as required by RSIS?  That property, east of the boardwalk, would not get parking access to the new garage.

I  If OGNED is the contract purchaser of the North End land, then will OGNED pay all the back taxes on the property?  And if the CMA sells the land to OGNED, then will the CMA be able to charge ground rents to those residents?

J. And for the part of the NERP west of the boardwalk, will there be enough parking to satisfy a traffic/parking study and will there be a way to get trucks and other vehicles  as well as utility access to those properties that face Wesley Lake?

K. Will the Planning Board be able to approve the new NERP  (which no one has seen yet) if some or all of the questions above remain unanswered?

So Blogfinger doesn’t know how many of these issues will apply, but it sure doesn’t sound as simple as portrayed by Vito  Gadaleta, spokesperson for Neptune Township.




Yes, I’m wondering
Wondering if you might be wondering too
Lately, I’ve been wondering about this brand new rhythm in my heart
Lately, I’ve been been wondering why these thoughts won’t stop tearing me apart..”



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Light, air, and open space is what we want at the North End.   Photo by Jean Bredin, Blogfinger staff in Ocean Grove, NJ. ©


By Jack Bredin, reporter/researcher and Paul Goldfinger, Editor.  Blogfinger.net

Let’s review some of the background of the North End Redevelopment Plan and then bring us all up to date.  At the heart of this post is the Township Committee meeting of October 22, 2018.

Redevelopment is a public project. A developer does not become a Redeveloper with the authority to develop an “area in need of redevelopment” until they have signed a contract with a Township called a Redevelopers Agreement. In Neptune Township there are “areas in need of redevelopment”, but there are no officially approved redevelopers.    What went wrong, and how can this happen?

In 2005, and again in 2008, at a time after redevelopers were selected by the Township for two large projects, the Mayor’s Redevelopment Committee went into executive session behind closed doors to negotiate Redevelopment  Agreements for:

  1.  West Lake Avenue in Midtown
  2. North End in Ocean Grove

But the choice of redevelopers was done out of sequence in the Grove, and Redevelopers Agreements were ever finalized.   The Township should have waited for the Township Attorney to first negotiate and have signed the Redevelopers Agreements before selecting anyone as a Redeveloper.

These agreements would have provided  the Township Committee with guaranteed provisions to insure the timely construction of the redevelopment projects, the qualifications, and the financial capabilities and financial guarantees of the redeveloper (s) before the Committee selected a Redeveloper for either project.

Signing a Redevelopers Agreement would usually take place at a special 10 am meeting on the same day the Redeveloper is officially selected by resolution.  In the event that a developer does not sign an agreement within 10 days of being selected, he should be dismissed.

Ten years ago, our Governing Body did not properly vet their Redeveloper friends for the North End of OG (CMA and WAVE,)  and after being appointed as the only horses in a horse race, they never crossed the finish line due to the fact that they could not come up with the necessary money and then they all backed out.  Thus the North End Plan was never implemented.

As a result of that failure, the Mayor’s Redevelopment Committee is technically still in executive session for all these years and that is why the Mayor’s Committee will not now reveal any information to the public.   And thus there are still no Redevelopers for these two projects.

Now, after 10 years of nothing being developed through the redevelopment process, and while everything is being developed all around us by “general development,” Dr. Brantley said, “I think we have to review all the redevelopment projects,” and then the Township hired a “special redevelopment attorney”  for the unenviable job of trying to pull these projects out of the mud.

Shortly after that, this past month, our new Mayor, Nicholas Williams, reports the following: “Thanks to the non-stop work of our Redevelopment Committee, residents will soon be hearing about two major investments that will transform our community for the better…..”

And then, like magic, there appears on the agenda of the October 22, 2018 Township Committee meeting, a Resolution, No. 18-369, regarding the West Lake Avenue project in Midtown.  The Resolution was approved, appointing BAW Development, LLC, as a “Conditional Redeveloper” while also approving a “Pre-Redevelopers Agreement.”  This agreement is for a 6 month period of time when a formal Redevelopment Agreement will be signed.

We believe that this so called “Pre-Redevelopment” process is not permitted by State Standards, Municipal Land Use Law, and Redevelopment Law.   We think that this new process has been invented to find an end-run around the usual legal procedures to move such projects along and which have failed so far in Neptune Township. In addition, this maneuver will prevent any other developers from bidding on these projects while the Township dithers.

The new Redevelopment Attorney said at the meeting that they will use the same process with the North End project in OG.   That is why we are extrapolating what was said about West Lake to what will likely happen for the North End.

We think that the Mayor’s Redevelopment Committee is failing we the people by remaining silent.  Where is the transparency?

Ocean Grovers:  Keep your eyes and ears open as this situation evolves—our local government seems to be placing the best interests of Grovers at the bottom of the pile.







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Power to the people of Ocean Grove. Blogfinger photo taken in Ocean Grove, NJ ©

Power to the people of Ocean Grove. Blogfinger photo taken in Ocean Grove, NJ  by Jean Bredin.©  Reposted from Jan. 2016. ©


FRANK SINATRA    Just substitute Ocean Grove for Chicago.

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OG North End . No parking. Really?   c 2015. Paul Goldfinger photo.©



This is a monument to double standards, favoritism, failure to follow State laws (e.g. RSIS) and callous disregard for the people of this town. Do you want that repeated at the North End?   Be aware!  Blogfinger photo on Ocean Avenue ©. 2016

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger and Jack Bredin, Blogfinger reporter/researcher.

At every Township Committee meeting, someone from the OGHOA stands up and asks the Neptune  Township attorney whether WAVE finances have been settled in order to allow a Redevelopers Agreement to be signed.  And each time  they are told that no progress has been made.

However, those financial negotiations are only one item that needs to be addressed before a contract between WAVE and the Township is signed, and the Township and the Groaners need to read the North End Redevelopment Plan (NERP)   which was signed in 2008 and which still remains in effect.

There is a North End Redevelopment Subcommittee which has been supposedly following the entire project since 2008, but they don’t seem to be meeting.

The following is a partial list of separate items that the Redevelopment Subcommittee and the OGHOA should have been following, because these issues need to be addressed before the Committee and a redeveloper sign a Redevelopers Agreement to develop the North End project.

Page 23 of the NERP:    “The redevelopment agreement (s) shall contain provisions to ensure the timely construction of the redevelopment project, the qualifications, financial capability, and financial guarantees of the developers (s) and any other provisions necessary to assure the successful completion of the project.”

–Qualifications means, what has WAVE ever built?

–Financial capability means, do they have the money?

–Financial guarantees would require a letter of credit from a bank, payable to Neptune Township if the project is not completed on time pursuant to the Redevelopers Agreement.

–Timely construction of the project means a schedule of dates for when each phase of the project will be completed. The Subcommittee must prepare this schedule

Page 24 of the NERP:  “A redeveloper shall be required to pay their proportional share of the cost of any studies, plans, reports, or analysis prepared by the Township or its designated redevelopment entity as part of the Ocean Grove North End Redevelopment Plan. Any such payments required to reimburse the Township shall be specified in the Redeveloper Agreement.”

–The total could exceed $800,000.00, but according to an OPRA request, many financial records have been destroyed. They must be recovered by the Subcommittee.

Page 19 of the NERP—-under “property to be acquired:”

–“Neptune Township will limit its use of eminent domain to instances where there is a clear public purpose, such as roadway improvements.”

Page 8 and Page 13 of the NERP show a redevelopment map and minimum front yard setback requirements. These pages when viewed together, identify:

–The last block of Beach Avenue to the west.

–The boardwalk to the east.

–The Wesley Lake walkway to the north.

–These 3  are shown as existing municipal streets according to the plan, but they are not; and they need to be acquired through the process of eminent domain before the Redevelopment Contract is signed.    We cannot rely on a fraudulent map.

Page 14 of the NERP—–  Required offsite improvements: “The redeveloper shall reconstruct the structural retaining wall/bulkhead along the site’s frontage on Wesley Lake”

–What is the estimated cost of reconstructing the bulkhead?

Page 6 of the NERP:—-Boardwalk:  “The site is bisected by the boardwalk which provides pedestrian access to Asbury Park to the north and to the Ocean Grove beachfront. The designated developer will be required to create a gateway design feature at the north end of the boardwalk”

–A gateway design feature has not been selected. It is now up to the Subcommittee to select this design feature such as a statue or monument for that location, along with the estimated cost.

Page 14 of the NERP:  What is the estimated cost of “site improvements for streets, water supply, sanitary sewers, and storm water management facilities?”

Page 19 of the NERP—-Easements: “Provisions should be made for an easement to allow access to the eastern parcel (the Pavilion Building) for services, garbage collection, and deliveries.”

Several other major issues related to the NERP must be addressed:

–What is the estimated cost to prepare a plan for the underground parking garage?  Currently there is no plan for a parking garage, and what is the estimated cost to build the parking garage?

–What is the estimated cost to excavate and remove the soil from the site?

–What are the estimated costs to drive the pilings and to construct the hotel? There also is no plan for pilings.

–What are the estimated costs to build the single-family houses and multi-family condominiums and townhouses?

–What are the estimated costs of rebuilding the North End Pavilion (ie the White Whale?)

–What are the estimated costs to rebuild the boardwalk to 60 feet, pursuant to the redevelopment plan, and at what elevation?

–What are the estimated costs to build a waterfront promenade along Wesley Lake?

–What are the estimated costs to build the proposed boat docks? And, can you have a boat dock in a detention basin?

–What are the estimated costs to build the pedestrian bridge over the boardwalk connecting the hotel and the pavilion.


Note:  The Committee must be mindful that there will be only one (!) monolithic structure on Block (1).  The pilings, parking garage, hotel and residential units are all attached.

Reporters’ Note:  Before signing a contract with WAVE, the Township must have an estimated total cost of the project along with security bonds from WAVE in that total amount payable to the Township if the project is not completed on time.

So far, after 8 years, the Township Committee has nothing.

We do not need another Esperanza in Ocean Grove.

There are no OG songs, so try this one on for size:



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Tree meets wood at the North End boardwalk in Ocean Grove.. May 23, 2016

Trex meets wood at the North End boardwalk in Ocean Grove.. May 23, 2016. click to enlarge the splinters.  Blogfinger photo ©


Workmen strive to get done by Memorial Day. 5/23/16. Blogfinger photos. ©

Workmen strive to get done by Memorial Day. 5/23/16. Blogfinger photos. ©



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