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.
Rendering by Binyan Studios
After over a decade in the works, the Jersey Shore is getting its first five-star boutique hotel. The Asbury Ocean Club, a 17-story hotel-condo, will open this June in Asbury Park, a hip beach community with working-class roots known for its flourishing foodie and surf scene, as well as its Bruce Springsteen connection. Opening this summer, the 54-room beachfront hotel occupies the building’s entire fourth floor and sits next to the pool deck, which offers water views. With its proximity to New York City, the Asbury Ocean Club Hotel hopes to attract New Yorkers looking for an oceanfront oasis. And the prices even mirror Manhattan, with rooms starting at $295 per night. Reservations officially launch May 1.
In just 70 minutes, you can drive from Manhattan to Asbury Park, New Jersey, and escape to one of the state’s most up-and-coming areas (think Williamsburg meets Bruce Springsteen-land meets Venice Beach). And if you want to do this pretty regularly, the town’s mega-developer, iStar, thinks it has found the perfect balance of urban luxury and beachfront living at their new condo/hotel the Asbury Ocean Club. Ranging from $900,000 one-bedrooms to two $6 million penthouses, the pricing is certainly more NYC, but on a recent visit, it was clear that the artsy vibe, live music scene, and booming foodie culture is uniquely Jersey Shore.
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