Posts Tagged ‘North End Pavilion in Ocean Grove’

Rotten supports under the Great White Whale. March 7, 2016. Jean Bredin photo Blogfinger staff ©

Rotten supports under the Great White Whale. March 7, 2016. Jean Bredin photo Blogfinger staff ©



Blogfinger special report.  March 7, 2016. By Paul Goldfinger, Editor  and Jack Bredin, researcher @Blogfinger.

The big white building on the beach at the North End is called the Pavilion by some and the Homestead Building by others.

We call it the Great White Whale.  This past summer Randy Bishop announced that the building would contain 4 stories in the future including condominiums, an auditorium and a banquet hall.  Later he disavowed that announcement.

There have been concerns about that building in terms of whether such a usage would be legal.  Construction on New Jersey beaches is under the watchful eyes of the State DEP, and only recreational uses are allowed.

You may recall that the back of the restaurant collapsed after Sandy, and some wondered about the adequacy of the re-built portion.  New construction standards have been developed for shore buildings post Sandy.  FEMA is paying for the current North End boardwalk project, but no one that we know has seen the plans as submitted to FEMA.

The new North End Boardwalk was supposed to be widened to 35 feet in front of the Whale during the boardwalk reconstruction going on now. You will recall that macadam had been used temporarily and that wood rather than Trex is planned for some portions of the North End boardwalk because of NERP uncertainties at this time.

Recently we reported that work had stopped at the North End boardwalk.. We don’t know what happened since then, but today we are informed that work has stopped again because the underlying supports under that building are rotted, and the integrity of the building is in question.

Engineers have to evaluate the situation, but so far there are no public announcements and no details.   This condition has already raised serious concerns about the future of the Great White Whale. The State will undoubtedly be looking at this, and probably also FEMA.  Who is responsible for this sloppy mess?






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OG North End waiting for development since 2007. Home Groaners Ass. are clueless. Blogfinger file photo ©

OG North End waiting for development since 2007. Home Groaners Ass. (HGA)  are clueless. Blogfinger file photo ©


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

A Blogfinger reader suggested we view the minutes of the Nov. 28, 2015 Home Owners Association   (HOA) meeting. It can be found on their website (OGHOA.org,) and below is our evaluation of their North End misinformation including some quotes from their minutes. We suggest that all of you familiarize yourselves with the truth:

  1. The Township’s application for a RISS exemption is ignored by the OGHOA, according to their minutes. There is no mention of that situation which we have been reporting about recently. The Neptune Township application to the Sites Improvement Advisory Board in Trenton has important implications for the North End Plan. The Home Groaners are missing in action.   That application must be blocked by our citizens.
  1. “The entire negotiation process has come to a pause.” Sorry, but there is no negotiation process going on. The CMA is having private discussions with WAVE, while the Township waits for WAVE to sign a Redevelopers Agreement. The Town Attorney has been waiting for 7 years for WAVE to show their financial capability and to sign the Agreement.
  1. OGHOA says there is “a newly revised and reduced plan that has lowered the amount of RSIS standard required parking to be accommodated in a one level underground parking garage which will be for the condos in block one.”

This is nonsense. Committeeman Randy Bishop presented a concept plan earlier this year which, he said, would replace the 2008 NERP. But that “new” plan was never approved because no revised plan can be approved before the signing of a Redevelopers Agreement for the 2008 NERP.

On page 22 of the 2008 NERP it says, “Any proposed changes in permitted uses in the land use plan (NERP)—residential density, building height, or the core design concepts in this plan shall require notice and new public hearings in a manner similar to the adoption of the original plan.”

The “new” WAVE plan presented by Bishop proposed reducing the density west of the boardwalk by 50% and also increasing the density east of the boardwalk by 100% by adding two  upper stories of condos to the large Pavilion on the beach.

When Bishop was subsequently questioned about the “new plan” by a member of the public, Bishop said, “That plan was a mistake.” Ann Horan must have missed that meeting.

  1. “WAVE has asserted that they will not give complete financials to the Township until the CMA signs a revised CMA-WAVE Agreement.”

This is also nonsense:   Private negotiations between OGCMA and WAVE have nothing to do with and cannot hold up the redevelopment process that is controlled by the Township Committee.

  1. OGHOA says that “reduced RISS mandated parking would be accommodated in a one level underground parking garage.”

That is wrong because no actual garage plan has ever been submitted for the 2008 plan. In the “new plan” there is a dotted line on a drawing to show the extent of a parking garage, but again, there is no actual plan available and no engineering estimate of the project’s costs for such a garage. There is reason to believe that the bulk of the new condo’s will sit on top of the garage, but there is no plan to show such an arrangement.

  1. Another issue that is not mentioned by the HOA: According to the NERP and the “new plan” no parking will be required for the boardwalk Pavilion despite the condos and the banquet hall mentioned in the “new plan.”

So, the OGHOA, which supports all of this, would agree that for a wedding reception to be held in the Pavilion during the summer, the guests can park on Ocean Avenue or use the meters in Asbury Park or Bradley Beach. Of course such situations will produce increased need for on street parking at our North End.

This scenario actually could come true if the State awards Neptune Township the parking and streets exemptions which they are currently seeking.

Blogfinger readers need to learn about these issues so that they can be knowledgeable when it comes time to demonstrate and speak up in large numbers, not only about the North End Plan but also about the application to the State RISS Board. The Home Groaners Ass. continues to be incompetent in their assessment of this situation.

BARRY MANILOW with music like we will be hearing from the new North End Hotel and the Banquet Hall in the Pavilion on the beach  (aka “Asbury Park South.”)


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The great white whale looms ahead to the north of Ocean Grove. Blogfinger photograph. June, 2015 ©

The great white whale looms ahead to the north of Ocean Grove. Blogfinger photograph. June, 2015 ©


View of the Pavilion Building looking back from the Casino. Blogfinger photo. It is rumored that another restaurant will be opened there. ©  Blogfinger photo.

View of the Pavilion Building looking back from the Casino. It is rumored that another restaurant will be opened there. © Blogfinger photo.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger and Jack Bredin, Researcher @Blogfinger.

The saga of the North End Redevelopment continues and has more loose ends than a Calcutta brothel.  One of those unresolved issues relates to the fate of the great white whale at the North End of the OG boardwalk.

Did you ever wonder about the large white building on the boardwalk’s North End?   You know, the one that used to house a restaurant and then, recently, a store that sold beach balls, suntan lotion and dollar stuff.   That place is called the Pavilion Building and it is all that remains of the former North End Hotel Complex.

Like a spy with multiple passports, the white whale is also known by other names including Block 1.01, lot 3 on the Neptune Township Tax Map.

But let’s step back in time:

The Pavilion Building was built in 1909 right on the beach, before there was any zoning. It was a two story building as it is now and it was quite legal then since its usage was incidental to the recreational use of the beach.

The Ocean Grove beach is under the protection of the State of New Jersey Legislature, via the NJ DEP. The Camp Meeting Association manages the beachfront and may charge admission to cover beachfront costs.

At some point over the years, the Tax Assessor revised the Tax Map to show a tax parcel for the Pavilion Building. This was not a subdivision. It was for the purpose of sending a tax bill to the owner. The tax assessor assigned a street address in the tax book—-#4 Boardwalk.

The Township Committee has no jurisdiction to zone the beach, which is reserved for recreation by the State, without permission from the DEP.  According to Township records, the lot (block 1.01, lot 3) was never subdivided and no such permission was ever given.

Although the Township Committee has been treating that parcel as a subdivision and applying a zoning designation to it, it appears that what they are doing may be illegal.

Another problem with that zoning designation is that #4 does not front on any street.   The boardwalk is not a street, and all lots in any town or city in America must front on a street. The Roman Empire invented this approach, and every town planner and engineer knows this.

In 2006 the Township Committee passed a resolution to study the North End property as “an area in need of redevelopment.”  The Planning Board recommended that the Township Committee designate the subject properties as an “area in need of redevelopment,”  and that area included the White Whale   (Blogfinger’s nickname for the building.).  The Committee agreed.

To create that conceptual design, the planners used the official tax map that showed the North End to consist of 6 lots including Block 1.01, lot 3.

The Committee wrote the NERP into law in 2008. They included the White Whale lot in their NERP, and their planning consultants considered the lot to be subdivided and zoned when it legally is not.

Among the supporters of that ordinance was the OG Homeowners Assoc  (OGHOA.)

The Committee then zoned the “White Whale tax parcel” that was and still is reserved for recreation, to a mixed-use commercial and residential zone. The zoning for that building was essentially unchanged from before, although the NERP contained other parcels with major zoning changes.

Thus, #4 can be used for any of 140 kinds of businesses, essentially the same flexibility that exists for the Main Ave. commercial area. Officially the zoning is “Historic District Business mixed use.”

So now, with the recent introduction of a NEW NERP concept design, the WAVE developers and Randy Bishop want to turn #4 into a 4 story building with condos, banquet hall, and businesses .

When someone challenged Bishop at last Monday’s Committee Meeting regarding #4 becoming a 4-story building with residential units on the top stories, he said “That was a mistake.”

However, the new plan was prepared according to the zoning for the HD-B-1 Zoning District that states the following: “This Zone District also acknowledges the suitability of residential uses located at upper stories of mixed use buildings…” Mr. Bishop may have been mistaken when he said “that was a mistake.”

This would make a great skit on Saturday Night Live if it weren’t for the Monday night Committee schedule.

So, let’s consider some #4 loose ends:

a. Who are the owners of the great white whale? Supposedly it is the Maplewood Ocean Grove Assoc. Inc, and what relationship does it have to WAVE? Since the NERP includes #4, then where are the owners of #4 in all this? Are they keeping quiet because they see the money to be made with a 4 story Pavilion Building?

And we are told that WAVE is the contract purchaser of the NERP site; does that purchase include #4?    Are the owners of #4 and WAVE one and the same?

When do we get the needed disclosures of who are involved in financing this ill- conceived plan?  Randy Bishop promised that information recently. And what happened to the signed Redevelopers Agreement? That was also promised.

b.  When the owners of #4 rebuilt after Sandy, did they rebuild according to new construction standards for 100 year floods? A photo shows how low the back of the building is to the beach—-it’s less than two feet. What, no elevated pilings?

Low clearance above the beach.  this photo was taken at the back of the building where reconstruction was done post-Sandy. Blogfinger photo.

Low clearance above the beach. This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago at the back of the building where reconstruction was done post-Sandy. Blogfinger photo.  ©

Is the work done on #4 post-Sandy legal? Does that re-construction create a hazard for the building’s owners and for future residents if the building is developed with the now permitted residential units on the top floors?

c.   The NEW NERP “concept plan” shows the original 6 lots turned into one; is this another illegal subdivision?   And what official map did the planners follow? The new tax map with the new lot and block numbers (check your tax bill) is “to be used for assessment purposes only,” not for designing a NEW NERP plan.

And isn’t it true that only the Planning Board can create a new subdivision?   Does the Planning Board know that it will soon be sucked into another questionable zoning scheme ?

d.  Why was that new subdivision done and how will that help WAVE?  Do you think it might allow vehicular access to #4 which currently is not on a street?

e. Isn’t it time to challenge the conformity of the entire NERP plan?   Shouldn’t the Township Committee come clean and explain all the details to the citizens. After all, NERP is a public project.

Perhaps it’s time to dissolve the whole ill conceived plan before the cotton candy hits the fan? If Block 1.01, lot 3 is an illegal subdivision, then the whole NERP might be invalid.

f.  And don’t forget that the original NERP named the CMA and WAVE as joint re-developers, and that agreement is still in effect. So how can the CMA bow out of the process now?

g.  Finally, why is our Mayor keeping her distance from this entire process? In fact, only one Committee member seems to be involved.

The Plan may collapse under its own weight.

So if we set this topic to music it would be something like this ditty from New Orleans by Trombone Shorty, from the soundtrack of Tremé.

“I wanna tell you about ooh poo pah doo

They call me the most

Ooh poo pah doo

They call me the most, yeah

I won’t stop tryin’ till I create disturbance in your mind.”




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