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Posts Tagged ‘New North End plan in Ocean Grove’

Water flows through large pipes onto Main Avenue at the site of Mary's Place construction.  Blogfinger photos © May 9, 2015 ©

Water flows through large pipes onto Main Avenue at the site of Mary’s Place construction. Blogfinger photos © May 9, 2015 ©

A huge blue pump brings the water out of the elevator shaft seen to the right.

A huge blue pump brings the water out of the elevator shaft seen to the right.

The pumped water flow into a sewer drain at Beach Ave. and Broadway.

The pumped water flows into a sewer drain at Beach Ave. and Broadway.  Is it OK to pump that water into the sewers?  Evidently it is—where else would it go?

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger Saturday, May 9, 2015.

About a week ago, the construction of the Mary’s Place foundation was halted due to water filling the depths of the elevator shaft at the site of the building being built on the second beach block of Main Avenue in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. Pumps were brought in, but they were not sufficient, so a large pump with large pipes was implemented several days ago.

When we went by today, the water was flowing slowly onto Main Avenue and then south on Beach Ave.  At Embury Ave. there was a small lake, and then the river continued to the corner of Beach and Broadway, where the water flowed into the storm drain for its final destination in Fletcher Lake.

Mary’s Place, a single family house on a double lot, is destined to become “a place; a respite, for women with cancer to heal their minds, bodies and souls.”* It received zoning approval under the heading of “community residence or shelter.” If you use our search engine above, you can read the posts on Blogfinger about this controversial project.

Evidently, the deep digging for the shaft hit the water table resulting in flooding. The Gannon Company, who is the contractor, has poured cement in an effort to water-proof the area involved. Meanwhile, there has been damage to a neighbors patio which abuts the building from the Heck Avenue side.   The neighbors are, of course, concerned, especially since the pumping continues despite the remedial work. With the pump running, the flood area appears dry.

This is not the first time a situation like this has occurred in the Grove. The water table was penetrated when the Youth Temple was built. That problem was resolved by the contractor, and our sources tell us that the Gannon Co. is confident that this will also be solved.

Of course, an incident like this causes many Grovers to wonder how an underground garage at the North End could be built when this Gannon project has hit water during construction of something a lot less ambitious. The North End underground garage is still scheduled to be part of the NERP, and the NEW NERP concept plan shows the garage to be quite an extensive structure. So far, no engineering report has been offered regarding that project, so, at this point, it is all speculative.

 

* Source: Mary’s Place web site.

HARRY NILSSON.   Does it flood in New York City?

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

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

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

At last week’s Neptune Township Committee meeting, April 27, 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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shore on right side

A new North End Redevelopment Plan was announced at last night’s Neptune Township Committee meeting.   The initial part of that meeting was a work shop session which had the NERP on its agenda.

Committeeman Randy Bishop reported that the redeveloper WAVE had a new plan prepared for the North End by Shore Point, an architecture firm from Ocean Grove, and he brought the concept drawing (above) with him.   Click on the drawing to make it larger and easier to study.

In an email from JP Gradone, COO of the CMA, Gradone said, ” The OGCMA and WAVE have agreed to make WAVE the primary developer.  The OGCMA will have covenants that will run with the land, and Neptune Township will be the authority to oversee the project as The Redevelopment Entity.”

The new plan is not official and it contains the same elements as before: condos, hotel, underground garage and retail. But there will now be some major quantitative differences.

In addition, the concept plan actually shows us, in a limited way, what the project will look like. The diagram by the Shore Point Architecture firm has no seal, no signature and no date. In addition, there was no engineers report or signature, and the project has yet to be reviewed by the Department of Environmental Protection.

Bishop wasn’t planning to share the diagram with the public, but when challenged by citizen Jack Bredin, and with the approval of the Township Attorney, Committeeman Houghtaling handed a copy to Bredin.

Interestingly, Bishop did not offer to explain why these changes were made. The redevelopers likely didn’t cut back on millions of dollars in profits just to make Grovers feel better about the project.

Here are four of the differences between the new plan and the 2008 NERP which Bishop was willing to share, and then we will make some observations of our own.

  1. Condos: reduced from 78 multi-units to 39
  1. Single family homes: increased from 7 to 10
  1. Hotel rooms : reduced from 80 to 40
  1. Retail space: reduced from 15,000 sq. ft. to 12,000 Sq. ft.

Then comes the drawing from Shore Point, and that is very interesting, even though is merely a “concept.” Remember that the original NERP which was accepted in 2008 and is still officially in effect had no detailed diagram or plan to show. But now we can see some details:

  1. There will be 10 single family detached homes, 2.5 stories high along Spray Avenue (a narrow one way street.) Each home will have its own underground garage. Each home will face Spray Ave. and retain a historic setback.
  1. The hotel, despite the reduced number of rooms, will be 5 stories high. It will have some surface parking (6 handicap and 13 standard) and a loading zone. It will partially abut the boardwalk to its east. On the second floor are 11 rooms; 3rd floor 11 rooms; 4th floor 11 rooms; 5th floor 7 rooms. The first floor is for commercial enterprises.
  2. The condos will face the lake. Those two multi-family buildings will be 3 and 4 stories and contain 39 units total. It looks like there will be a roadway alongside the lake.
  1. The current white building standing alone on the beach and boardwalk will be a 4 story multi-family structure with retail, health club and restaurant on the first floor. There will be a conference banquet facility on the second floor along with the restaurant. It’s unclear how that building will be accessed for vehicles. A pedestrian bridge will cross over the boardwalk.  Condos will be on the top floors.
  1. Retail will be 12 units.
  1. The garage will have 139 underground spaces. It will have egress and ingress via Spray Ave. Exit out to Ocean Avenue.

You can study this diagram yourself. However consider this:

  1. Because the changes involve “core elements,” the original 2008 NERP may have to be rescinded and a new one approved, including public hearings. In addition, the Township may have to open up the redevelopment project to new bidders. So will the Township conduct a search for a new redeveloper, and when will we have a signed redeveloper agreement?
  1. The whole project will fail if an engineer does not sign off on the structural integrity of the garage and related structures.
  1. RSIS parking standards will be met. At some point a traffic study will be required.
  1. The last step before construction will be another Planning Board hearing.

So, the plot thickens. Let’s pay attention.

Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

DALIDA:

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