Report: Residents of Asbury Park, NJ are NOT happy with iStar Residential

Superblock developer iStar Residential has been facing lots of opposition with their projects in Asbury Park, NJ. Different than the two buildings proposed here, iStar has ambitions to load this historic New Jersey beach community with townhouses galore [see: asburyparkwaterfront.com].

Steven, editor from the local blog Asbury Pulp, gave me a rundown on why so many are upset with this plan:

“The biggest issue is one part of the development: 16 townhomes along a stretch of waterfront that has long been a popular spot with surfers and fishermen – referred to as North Beach, where Deal Lake meets the ocean. Many want iStar to let the county buy this parcel at market value with Green Acres funding. But as of now, iStar still plans to build the townhomes.

Elsewhere, some feel the aesthetics and scale of proposed other buildings do not fit the character of Asbury Park. Their project here stretches along the entire boardwalk and goes several blocks in. Already, some buildings that many felt had historical value have been demolished to make way for new condo buildings. This also hasn’t been popular with a lot of people.

In some ways this is different than what we’re worried about here: The historical building on our superblock has been long gone. Aesthetically, the superblock is pretty damn ugly as it is. We do have overdevelopment fears in common. That being said, it’s interesting to see another nearby beach town deal with iStar, development and the future of their beloved community.

SBTC is a Long Beach blog, so I won’t go into the specifics of this Asbury Park/iStar opposition, but here are some of the greatest hits:

Petition Against the Bradley Cove Townhouses: We the undersigned stand in opposition to the Bradley Cove Development on the North Beach of Asbury Park as currently proposed due to its encroachment on Green Acres land, its violation of Coastal Zone Management Rules and its negative impact on environmental justice issues which include decreased access to public beaches and Green Acres land.We are in favor of the creation of an oceanfront park to preserve open space, maintain Green Acres, safeguard environmentally sensitive coastal ecosystems, and protect public access. [petition site]

ISTAR WON’T ENDORSE GREEN ACRES APPLICATIONREFUSAL CALLED FATAL IN EFFORT TO OBTAIN GRANT FOR BEACHFRONT TRACT [Asbury Park Sun]

Show your support & help put a stop to illegal coastal development on Asbury Park’s Waterfront. [saveasburypark.org]

[Asbury Pulp] ASBURY PARK, NJ – Some Asbury Park supporters have a clear message for iStar – and it’s not a good one. The redeveloper’s marketing ploy of placing surfboards at future residential sites along the waterfront redevelopment zone in Asbury Park – which paid off in slavish local media coverage – has backfired. Today, those boards weren’t advertising square footage. As seen in these photos, those opposed to iStar’s efforts – no doubt spurred on by its determination to proceed with oceanfront condos on Asbury’s North Beach – have a clear message for the company:
istar3

(photo from Asbury Pulp)

iStar continues to use surfboards to mark their private development sites in Asbury Park, co-opting surfing culture for corporate profits. [Save Asbury Park]

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ISTAR REMOVES SURFBOARD AT BRADLEY COVE SITE – REDEVELOPER SAID BOARD WAS REPEATEDLY VANDALIZED [Asbury Park Sun]

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18 thoughts on “Report: Residents of Asbury Park, NJ are NOT happy with iStar Residential”

  1. In other words, there are a handful of angry, miserable wackos in Asbury Park sort of like the Mandy Hessions who post nasty negative comments on Facebook all day.

  2. As groundskeeper of seabythecity, I usually give warning before I either delete, censor or lock comments. And that is usually when somebody is blatantly being racist, sexist or downright a-holes.

    I’ve seen Mandy’s comments that are deleted and they are none of those. They are deleted because she is merely just questioning city policies and asking the questions which others don’t, just like any normal American should.

    Thank you and god bless Long Beach.
    – Groundskeeper Anthony

  3. I personally believe the city residents will come to rue the day that this was approved for our fair city. It is definitely out of sync with much of the other development along the shoreline; both in size and scale. And the notion that it won’t negatively impact the traffic and parking in the surrounding area is pure fantasy…

    Indeed, the entire meeting at city hall where it was proposed was surreal. Istar had all of their polished, and highly paid, representatives who, at best, were misleading regarding specific claims that were made. And ordinary residents didn’t even get an opportunity to begin speaking until nearly 11 pm; far too late for working folks to stay, especially those that had to work the next morning. Still many did stay, including Denise Ford, and spoke against the project. But astoundingly, the next thing we know it’s being green-lighted…

    Now I personally am the kind of guy that believes that a property owner should be allowed to do what they wish with their land; within a reasonable approximation of the zoning ordinances. But these folks took over this property knowing, a priori, that it had a development plan approved by the city already; they knew what they were getting into. And yet…and yet…

    Many of the current politicians and commissioners that are currently seated were, not surprisingly, against this kind of development when they were not in power. Somehow, being in charge has changed their tunes on this. And folks that decried the possibility of hotel space being on the superblock, or other commercial development along the boardwalk, seem to think this is just peachy. Which stinks, in my humble opinion.

    All I can say is that when, not if, the traffic congestion and parking headaches in an already congested region increase by orders of magnitude, the cheerleaders of this project better not be among those complaining. That, and I want to know how come, if iStar is paying the 6 mil owed the city as part of the deal, the amount that is pretty darn near what we’re endlessly told the city owes in debt because of the last bunch at city hall, how come our property tax isn’t being lowered back to the rate it was prior to the “emergency assessment”?

    My regards to all

  4. I know nothing about any of her posts that were deleted. I just see what is on there now. It is always negative. I wasn’t even sure if she was a real person and figured it was another Jimmy Hennessy pseudonym but I was told she’s the Republican Leader’s cousin which would explain why she hates the City Council so much.

  5. Residents of Coney Island have no great love for them either. It seems to be their business model to commit aesthetic rape in beachfront communities never making any effort to work with the locals they are dis-accommodating. Clearly they bought into the philosophy Greed Is Good.

  6. Questioning the actions of our City Government is my right as a citizen. As I’m a Birkenstock wearing hippie I wouldn’t put much into the “connection” you speak of. I prefer honesty and ethics in my government and Long Beach politics sadly lacks that no matter which party is in charge. I know all about you, learn about me before you attack me. Perhaps, you might look more into the work I did to bring thousands of dollars and resources into the City after Sandy. Learn about how I was the person actually communicating information about the situation on the ground to people who cared. There is a reason my Facebook page has 14,000 people and reached over 500,000 after the storm. It’s not a sign saying “don’t flush,” but it’s a much more impressive legacy. I do what’s right for Long Beach, you do what’s right for your daddy and your political chums. I sleep just fine at night, do you?

  7. I tried to respond earlier but the site wouldn’t allow my comment to register. The only thing you said that I know to be true is that I know nothing about you or your legacy as you put it. You know nothing about me too. My “daddy” passed away from lung cancer several years ago and I have no “political chums”. Congratulations on being a hippie. I’ve been called one too. The difference between us appears to be that I love long beach in the summer and am “happily” raising my kids here. I’m happy I bought a home here. I’m appreciative of what the government has done for our town since the hurricane, I wasn’t sure you were a real person because of the consistent trolling but I suppose you are? Why live here if all you choose to do every day is write bad things on Facebook? Maybe you should put the ipad down and take a walk on the boardwalk with your husband and your kids. Take in the beauty of long beach and stop trolling. I’ll end our conversation here and hope that you recognize what I was trying to say. I also sleep like a baby at night. Have a great summer….. Outside!

  8. Frank McRaid.

    Questioning 20% raises for department heads. Wondering about the true economic benefit of plastering our city with billboards. Pointing out the hypocrisy of taking credit for the private mini golf while saying they are powerless in the hospital situation. Trying to find accurate information about the 17 story and two 19 story buildings coming our way soon.

    These are things I ask about and things that are important to the future of this City. I choose not to keep my head in the sand and take everything at face value. That’s me.

    Many of the wonderful things that happened after the storm were due to the hard work and perseverance of the residents, often with very little if any support from the City. Magnolia Park, Thanksgiving 2012, Project Pay It Forward, 11561 are just a few resident produced projects and organizations that have directly benefited this city. My organization brought over $30,000 directly to local businesses. My Facebook page (audience 14,000+) brought in donations and volunteers who gutted houses, delivered supplies, brought food to town, checked on residents, reunited families and so much more in the weeks after Sandy.

    Before you try to insult someone and call out their (inaccurate) political connections you should really do your research. If you truly love this town pay a little more attention to the back door dealings that will change the way of life around here. Take your head out of the sand.

    Side note: The City has had me blocked from their Facebook page forever, they do enjoy the censorship thing. The only way you could see my comments would be if you were my Facebook friend, or if you ran their Facebook page. I find that interesting, as clearly we are not friends.

    Enjoy the beach and boards, I do constantly.

  9. Mandy, I’m not your Facebook nor do I run the lb page but I still see your comments daily. I won’t say that I agree with them or that I think it’s normal to respond to everything with that sort of attitude but you’re well with in your right. I think “frank” made a valid point and was not trying to discredit any of the good you’ve done in your life.

    My sense was that his point was just to stop trolling and take in the beauty of long beach with your family. I agree that city workers make a lot with all their six figure salaries, especially the cops, but I don’t let it ruin my life.

    I read this blog and don’t have my head in the sand but overall things are amazing here when you consider what we all endured. Don’t you remember October 29, 2012? Weren’t you fearing for your life here with the rest of us? Life is good. God is good. Kiss your kids. Hug your husband. Enough of the angry politics. You don’t have to defend yourself to anyone.

    Be happy and have a good weekend.

  10. Both Mandy and Fax have valid points and I lean more towards Mandys.
    The going ons at City Hall get my blood boiling I must admit.
    But I also try to savor the good things on offer here of which there are many.
    Keep in mind Fax that an apathetic citizenry will lead to all sorts of nefarious and damaging shenanigans by the pols and their cronies.

  11. You think Long Beach is bad the state far more corrut. Gov. Cuomo appointd a committe to report corrurtion in the State. When they investergated him he just obolished them. Rememger this in Noember

  12. Here we go again with the AH Surfers. I hope the Great white sharks would show up and get rid of these moron surfers’The Dunes would had been in place when Sandy hit if it wasn.t for the objection of Surfers

  13. Yes Jeff you’re right.it’s the corrut AH surfers that caused all the problems. They , these moron surfers, should all be fed to the sharks as you say, as the dunes would had been in place. Let’s obolish all of them by feeding them to those sharks. Everyone should rememger these posts of Jeff when assessing the value of his statements and opinions.
    Especially in Noember!
    Jeff , when was it that you dropped out of school , the 6 th or 7th grade?

  14. Jeff Dahmer – Most of the damage from Sandy (and every other significant storm) came from the bay side and the dunes would not likely have withstood the storm on the ocean side. And much more sand would have been pushed into beach side homes — worse than just water. That dunes helped in some areas is a consequence of many factors, including the beach topography and angles at that location, as well as other natural and man-made impediments. You don’t hear surfers or other “water-folks” complaining about the Acorps plan now not because they think it will be efficacious, but because they know that there are many of you out there who don’t care about the facts or science (and the ongoing cost and upkeep obligations — which under the prior proposal was on the City, not the Feds), and are just, justifiably, angry about the damage to our City and homes and wallets by Sandy. It is a public relations battle that cannot be won. I am a surfer and angler and swimmer and homeowner. My home takes precedence over my sports, but I have serious doubts the dune project will help based on the science I’ve read. I hope it does, of course.

  15. Bare: this topic has been beaten to death. Dunes do help. But they have to be nurtured and maintained which was NOT the case in LB. Nothing was ever done to replenish the damage done by Irene in the way of sand grass, Christmas trees, snow fencing etc. Large gaps existed in the existing dunes allowing the ocean to surge through. Along the boardwalk there was nothing separating the ocean and the streets.
    One need only look at other areas that sustained far less damage due to strong dune systems. Lido, Atlantic Beach, Nassau
    Beach for example.
    People with simplistic thought systems, incapable of grappling with complex issues, will grasp on to simplistic answers. In this case the entire calamity is laid at the door of “the surfers” and not where it belongs which, IMHO is the City for it’s shortsightedness and neglect.
    I was an opponent of the ACOE plan for an entire host of reasons . My house got severely damaged and I now reluctantly have come around to accepting the latest plan as being better than the status quo. But it won’t help those in the canals or on the north side.
    Also it’s coming up to the second anniversary and if we have another superstorm what has been done to prevent another catastrophe? Not very much.
    And a pile of sand is not a dune.

  16. Hi Mandy – I am a registered dem who voted Hennessey after the storm and that $45MM boardwalk (really, $20MM/mile?), I didn’t follow politics until after Sandy, when there was a lot of Patch information. I would love to support my party, but I do not like the decisions they are making. I have the greatest respect for your opinions. Many dems are feeling the same way.

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