Seaside Heights officials last executed contracts with the owners of two yet-to-be-developed properties on the northern edge of town, with a similar resolution to sell a slightly-more more high-profile lot is in temporary limbo.
The borough entered into a contract to sell two properties on Dewey Drive, which is set along the southern end of Route 35 at the entrance to the island, but is technically under the jurisdiction of Toms River despite having been owned by the borough. Now, new owners will take title to the properties, which are located next to the “Welcome to Seaside Heights” sign near Hiering and Central avenues. The “welcome” sign will be retained by the borough, which kept a small portion of the property so it could remain.
Borough Administrator Christopher Vaz said each of the Dewey Drive lots sold for $325,000, plus a 10 percent premium of $32,500 that is paid to the auctioneer. The plots were purchased by a developer known as Dewey OB Group, LLC.
The property that normally would have gotten the most attention upon sale – 229 Franklin Avenue – has not been transferred to a new owner quite yet. The oddly-developed lot was previously home to a free-standing multi-family home with a medium-sized motel-style building in its own backyard. The building has been used as a motel and apartment building over the years, eventually being purchased by the borough after years of repeated code violations and frequent police activity.
The borough’s redevelopment plan for the site calls for three townhomes to be built there.
While the auction did generate interest in the property, including written offers, it did not receive any formal bids, said Vaz. That has put the borough council in a position wherein its members have to choose how to proceed.
The council must decide “whether to initiate a new auction, or request negotiations with persons that submitted written offers,” Vaz said.
The borough received five offers for the property, ranging from $55,000 to $360,000.
The Franklin Avenue property was demolished several days before Christmas. The borough purchased the property last fall for $1.1 million utilizing state grant funding aimed at acquiring and redeveloping blighted properties.