Seaside Heights has hired an auctioneer to broker to sale of three properties that are currently under public ownership, and ratified the recommendation of the planning board earlier this week to declare a parcel containing three motels a redevelopment area, clearing the way for a modern 180-room oceanfront hotel to take its place.
The auction house Max Spann, a private firm that specializes in selling or auctioning off publicly-owned properties, will handle the sale of 229 Franklin Avenue, the odd “house-motel” property that was purchased by the borough earlier this year. It will also handle the sale of two lots on Dewey Avenue zoned for single-family homes.
The Dewey Drive lots are owned by the borough but are physically located within a sliver of Toms River Township that extends to the south side of the Route 37/35 corridor that serves as the entrance to the island. Recently, the Toms River planning board decided one large lot may be divided into three smaller lots – two for single-family residences and one tiny parcel that is home to the “Welcome to Seaside Heights” sign visible from Route 35’s southbound lanes heading into town.
The property at 229 Franklin Avenue is a densely-packed property in a residential zone that, for decades, has been developed with both a traditional rental home and a multifamily motel and apartment complex in its backyard. Both portions of the property deteriorated significantly over the years, having become blighted with myriad code and health violations plus frequent calls to police for various disturbances.
The parcel was purchased for $1.1 million using state grant funding aimed at ridding the borough of blighted properties.
Over the summer, a $55,000 demolition contract was approved by the borough, with work expected to begin soon now that the summer season has passed.
Max Spann will announce auction dates or deadlines for bids to be submitted in the near future. The council voted to slightly modify the redevelopment plans for both properties to reflect that the winning bidder will be responsible for paying the auction house’s fee.
Earlier this week, Shorebeat reported on the decision rendered by the borough’s planning board to formally declare an area near Ocean Terrace and Lincoln Avenue as being “in need of redevelopment,” a designation that allows the municipal government to clear the way for underutilized or blighted pieces of land to be redeveloped rapidly under prescribed specifications.
On Wednesday, the borough council concurred with the findings of the planning board and voted unanimously to adopt their decision on the redevelopment area designation. The swath of land includes the sites of the Surfside, Glendale and Dry Dock motels. Another small lot in between two of the properties was also recommended to be formally declared part of the area, since its location makes it necessary for redevelopment to occur.
A Boston-area developer is expected to propose a major hotel spanning the property in the near future. The hotel may have as many as 180 rooms, and is also expected to host a large banquet facility that can host weddings, corporate meetings and civic events.