Seaside Heights officials last week voted to auction off two parcels of land – one that has garnered attention as, perhaps, one of the oddest properties in town – and another that technically is in another town altogether.
The borough council voted unanimously to sell at auction two properties – one at 229 Franklin Avenue and one on Dewey Drive that does not currently have a common mailing address.
The Franklin Avenue property is well known and has already been declared an area in need of redevelopment. It has become known as the “house-motel” property since it has a single-family home facing the street and a motel or similar style multifamily unit in the rear. After years of complaints of unsafe or unsanitary conditions, as well as a heavy history of police activity, the building was purchased for $1.1 million using state grant funding aimed at ridding the borough of blighted properties.
Last month, a $55,000 demolition contract was approved by the borough and officials said they expect the building to be razed sooner rather than later now that Labor Day has passed and there are fewer cars parked on local streets.
The date of the auction has not yet been set. Bidding will start at $300,000 and increase in $500 increments. The buyer must assume any ancillary costs of the sale.
Two properties located on Dewey Drive, which runs roughly alongside the Route 35 corridor toward the borough’s CVS store but it separated from the highway by a buffer zone and curbing, are located in Toms River Township. Yet their are both owned by the Borough of Seaside Heights.
The most recognizable portion of the property is the large, white “Welcome to Seaside Heights” sign surrounded by a garden that can be seen by motorists when entering the town from the north. An electronic billboard behind the welcome sign is privately owned. The “welcome” site will be retained by Seaside Heights and will not be sold as part of the auction. The borough has owned the properties for an extended period of time.
Unlike the Franklin Avenue property, the Dewey Drive property is not a designated area in need of redevelopment, so the general zoning regulations for the neighborhood would apply to the developer who makes the purchase.
The Dewey Drive property’s minimum bid will be set at $250,000 for each lot – $500,000 in total. Likewise, bidders will increase bids in $500 increments and take on the ancillary costs of selling the properties. An auction date has not yet been set.