Photo of Asbury Park’s Convention Hall by Acroterion / Wikimedia Commons
If you lived along the Jersey Shore in the ’80s and ’90s, Asbury Park was not a place you went. After getting its start in the late 1800s as a summer escape for wealthy residents of NYC and Philly, the 1.6-square-mile town boomed again in the ’50s and ’60s as a grungey, artsy hangout. But after the race riots in the 1970s, the town fell into disrepair and was forgotten by local stakeholders. Fast forward to today, and Asbury is booming–we once aptly described it as “Williamsburg meets Bruce Springsteen-land meets Venice Beach.”
Like many gentrifying/revitalized areas, the change can be attributed to a developer with foresight. In this case, the team at iStar realized the opportunity nine years ago. They now own 35 acres of land in Asbury, including 70 percent of the waterfront, and are investing more than $1 billion in the town. Their projects include the luxury condo Monroe, the renovated Asbury Lanes bowling alley/performance venue, The Asbury Hotel, and, most recently, the Asbury Ocean Club, a hotel-condo hybrid that made headlines for its $1,050/night suite. Unsurprisingly, iStar has received its share of criticism, but that hasn’t stopped New Yorkers from flooding the seaside city in the summertime. Ahead, we delve into the social and cultural landscape of Asbury and talk with iStar’s Brian Cheripka about the lesser-known politics behind their plans, why they decided to invest in Asbury Park, and what we can expect to see in the future.
Photo by Nikolas Koenig
A slice of New York City luxury moved to the Jersey Shore last week. The Asbury Ocean Club, a 17-story hotel-condo, officially opened its doors on the boardwalk of Asbury Park, an evolving seaside community in Monmouth County. The 54-room hotel occupies the building’s fourth floor, overlooking both the ocean and pool deck. Marketed as just a 70 minute-drive from NYC, the Asbury Ocean Club hopes to attract New Yorkers with its proximity and its prices. During peak season, rooms start at an introductory rate of $425 per night and go up to more than $1,050 per night for a penthouse suite. In the winter, rooms are offered as low as $195 per night, according to the hotel’s website.
Renderings courtesy of Triple Five/ American Dream
The mega-mall that has been in the works for over 16 years officially has an opening date, as NJ.com reported. On October 25, American Dream, the three-million-square-foot venue with an indoor water park, amusement rides, and ski slope, will finally open its doors, developer Triple Five announced Wednesday. New Jersey first signed a deal in 2003 with developers for the Met Life Stadium-adjacent site, but financial issues halted construction on and off for more than a decade.
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Photo via Flickr cc
Jersey City is getting ready to celebrate its sixth annual Fourth of July Festival, an epic full day celebration from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Exchange Place Plaza. The free event, called 50STAR FIRESHOW, will feature a carnival, beer festival, and a concert headlined by Jersey City’s own Akon and rapper Pitbull, before culminating with the largest fireworks display in the state.
Just 35 minutes from Manhattan, one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s three remaining New Jersey homes just hit the market for $1.2 million. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom property in charming Glen Ridge is a stunning example of the architect’s midcentury Usonian style of flat-roofed, streamlined homes made of natural materials and incorporating many connections to the outside. Built out of cypress wood, brick, and glass, the home is notable for its hexagonal floor plan formed entirely by 60 or 120-degree angles with not a single right angle.
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Photo courtesy of Victor Recchia
The New Jersey home of fictional mob boss Tony Soprano and his family has hit the market for $3.4 million, the New York Times first reported last week. The 5,600-square-foot North Caldwell mansion served as the backdrop for many scenes of HBO’s “The Sopranos,” a drama starring James Gandolfini that first aired in 1999. Fans of the series frequently visit and take photos the iconic property, especially the long driveway where Tony, clad in a white robe, picked up the morning paper.
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The opening of the mega-mall next to Met Life Stadium in New Jersey is delayed again, the developer announced on Monday. American Dream, a huge three-million-square-foot venue with an indoor ski slope, water park, amusement rides, and ice rink, will open this fall instead of the spring, as originally promised. But what’s a few more months? The project has been in the works for more than 16 years, plagued by financial and legal problems.
Audible, the audiobook company owned by Amazon, opened new offices on Friday in a restored historic cathedral in Newark. The company, which has been located in New Jersey’s largest city since 2007, restored an 80,000-square-foot 1913 church and modernized it with open workspace, a four-lane bowling alley, and cafes. Dubbed the Innovation Cathedral, the new offices on Washington Street will hold 400 employees.
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New York City has some great local beaches, like the Rockaways, Coney Island, and Brighton and Orchard Beaches. But when you need a short break from all the spots you can hit via the subway, it’s worth remembering that there are some great beaches just a quick drive or NJ Transit/Long Island Railroad-ride away. Here are some of our favorite day beach trips from the city, from up-and-comer Asbury Park and Long Branch in NJ to long-time favorites like Fire and Shelter Islands.
A mansion in New Jersey once referred to as the “White House of Englewood,” is back on the market after a major price cut of $29 million. Located at 83 North Woodland Street in a suburb less than 10 miles from Manhattan, the home is asking $9.99 million. In 2013, the property was listed for $39 million, one of the most expensive listings in the state at the time. Built on five acres of land in 1926, the 24,000-square-foot home boasts a Mediterranean-style design and contains eight bedrooms, a home theater, an infinity pool, and a private lake, all enclosed by a 10-foot-high wall.
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