Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘The saga of the Whitfield Hotel’

Signs of life at the Whitfield. August 4, 2016 ©

Signs of life at the Whitfield. August 4, 2016 ©  Paul Goldfinger photo, Blogfinger.net

Jay Rummell asks,  “Do you have any updates about the Whitfield Hotel as of 7/29/2016 ?”

A commenter  from that Surf Avenue neighborhood responds on 7/30/16:

“The latest news I’ve heard, which appears to be credible, is the demolition process should begin in September. There are about a dozen individuals still legally residing. It appears they have gotten extensions to delay vacating for one reason or another. If they know nothing else, they know how to work the system.”
“Unfortunately, we’ve noticed other individuals who appear to be squatters who just come for a place to crash. Because there’s no supervision, they come and go at will. There have been an increasing number of incidents lately where the police needed to be summoned.
“I had a conversation with one of the owners. He was here serving some papers to some residents who have since left. He stated it’s been a real struggle placing these individuals. He was reluctant to say if they had a buyer for the property but did hint it may have to be boarded up first. This conversation took place back in May so that may have changed.”

MYCHAEL DANNA and BOMBAY JAYASHRI

“Pi’s Lullaby”  from the film The life of Pi

Read Full Post »

Whitfield Hotel.  Blogfinger file photo c. 2013.  ©

Whitfield Hotel. Blogfinger file photo c. 2013. ©

By Paul Goldfinger, editor @Blogfinger

It was in the summer of 2013 that a hearing was held by the HPC to decide about demolishing a wreck of an unsavory 130 year old hotel in Ocean Grove. The Whitfield  sits on 4 lots at the intersections of Surf, Beach and Bath Avenues.    Testimony about the Whitfield Hotel, a 54 room residential facility, revealed that all criteria for demolition were met. In addition, experts testified that the property had no historic significance. After that hearing, Code Enforcement issued a demolition permit.   We wrote a detailed article about the history of the Whitfield and about that hearing (see link below). 

https://blogfinger.net/2013/08/30/the-hotel-whitfield-a-nightmare/

The neighbors were ecstatic to hear that the hotel would be torn down, hopefully to make way for four single family homes. Many called it a “seedy flea bag.” It was said to be a place where people who had criminal records lived.  Social agencies often sent offenders of various types to stay there for short periods, but sometimes those characters were sent back again and again.  The police were often called to the location.

The HPC hearing dealt with the demolition application, but it was not going to get involved with the fate of the tenants.  Some Blogfinger readers expressed concern about that. There are 37 comments there, and they make very interesting reading.  Here are two:

Doubting Thomas said,  “It is sad because of what it represents. Every derelict building represents the lives of people, and we should view tear-downs (as with the Sampler) from that perspective.

“And speaking of that perspective, where was the Home Owners Association special committee on derelict housing? Why weren’t they there offering an opinion? What exactly do they do besides not showing up for a demolition hearing?”

Wisher said,  “Most, I love the move-ahead, clear, and most-certainly Germanic tone of this post. It is as though no humans lived in the structure, and it is an abstract real estate construct. Maybe that is appropriate for New Jersey – dead communities. Spring Lake – dead, Deal – dead. Ocean Grove?”

After the Code Enforcement awarded the demolition permit, the tenants received assistance to find comparable affordable housing.  NJ law requires that tenants be given 18 months eviction notice, and that was done in March 2014.

So the demolition of the Whitfield cannot be implemented until at least September, 2015;  however the end is in sight.  After that, the owner will be able to develop the property, but condominiums will not be permitted.  Evidently only single family homes will be allowed to replace the Whitfield Hotel.

When that happens, the neighbors ought to have a block party, because their home values and quality of life should go up.

We hate to see authentic historic buildings torn down, but sometimes it is necessary, and Ocean Grove has lost many such buildings over the years due to fire and/or neglect. The idea is to solve the problem of derelict and deteriorating historic houses in town.  It is an uphill battle, but one that requires a team approach by those who care in Ocean Grove.

LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III  (from Boardwalk Empire)

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: