A plan for Toms River to purchase the former Joey Harrison’s Surf Club property in Ortley Beach for use as a public beach and recreation area has hit a snag over price.
Toms River Township Administrator Don Guardian said Tuesday night that there have not been any new developments recently, and that the would-be deal is stalled over what it would cost the township, with help from the state, to buy the valuable oceanfront land.
Guardian said the property was appraised at a market value of $6.3 million, with the state recently agreeing to increase that figure to an even $7 million. Numerous state regulations govern the purchase of private properties by public agencies, with little latitude given to pay what an appraiser would consider above-value. Toms River is hoping funding from the state’s Green Acres or Blue Acres program could be utilized to turn the former nightclub property – destroyed in Superstorm Sandy – into a public beach, expanded boardwalk and more parking for beachgoers. Ortley Beach residents have heavily lobbied for the township to make the purchase, especially in light of multi-million dollar purchases in North Dover and western portions of the township in recent years.
Guardian has previously said that an attorney representing the Barcelona family, which owns the Surf Club property, had been trying to up the price of the land. The $7 million figure, however, appears to be the highest price on the table.
“That is the final offer and they asked for the owners to proceed,” Guardian said.