The winter of 2018 delivered winter weather right up through early April. After a chilly December, an early January snowstorm dumped up to 17 inches of the white stuff. Not to rub it in, but we were in Florida then and avoided that event.
February was cold, with a two day 74 degree reprieve that only teased us. March lived up to its reputation as being worse than February. It was cold and rainy, mixed with a little snow. Yuch!
So here we are in April. The forsythias are blooming, as are the daisies. The hostas and clematis are peeking through the soil, as are many other spring guests. One indication of the cold March is that the ornamental grasses are still completely dormant and at least 10 days behind normal sprouting time.
With spring comes the reopening of the restaurants, shops, and the Boardwalk and piers are open for business. So get out your walking shoes and take a stroll on the Boardwalk for a slice of pizza or ice cream cone. Ahhh, … springtime!
There have been two changes in ownership at Cape May County golf courses. The biggie is 27-hole Sand Barrens in Swainton. It is now the Union League National Golf Club. The 227 acre venue is now a private club and only open to its Union League members.
The change in ownership took place October 16 to little fanfare. They closed at the end of the year for renovations and will reopen soon. Folks driving down Route 9 will notice that Sand Barrens’ signature sand traps at the entrance have been removed and are being replaced with a more contemporary look.
The Wildwood Country Club changed ownership in December and has been renamed The Shore Club. Wildwood CC was having money problems and after much research and hand wringing decided to bring in some investors/partners and restructure the club.
Built in 1916, the course’s claim to fame is that it was Arnold Palmer’s favorite layout when he was stationed at the US Coast Guard base. The club is private, members only and will continue that way. New membership options are available that are family friendly. It is expected that most of the current members will stay on board.
The Shore Club has contracted Morningstar Golf and Hospitality, based in Princeton, to run the operations. Most of the present staff will be retained. The club is planning moderate renovations and improvements to the clubhouse, ballroom, lobby, grounds and gold course.
One side effect of the storms of the last year is that North Wildwood’s beaches and dunes have taken a beating.
Even if you live out of the area, local news stations from Philly and beyond seem to flock to Third and Fourth Avenues at the beach at each storm to offer live footage of the waves breaching the dunes and walkway.
Some of that may change as North Wildwood has secured a $6.7 million grant from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. That amounts to 75% of the rehabilitation costs, with the city responsible for the other 25%, which will come from the capital fund.
The project will extend the seawall which originates at Kennedy Boulevard and Second Avenue all the way to Fifth Avenue, and possibly Sixth Avenue if funds permit. Unlike most of the shoreline in the Wildwoods, the beach is very narrow in that section due to the proximity of Hereford Inlet just to the north.
It doesn’t take much in a storm for the waves to quickly wash out the small beach and dunes, then come barreling over the sidewalk onto the street. Hopefully the remedy is at hand.
The Nature Conservancy has pulled off a huge land acquisition that will help in the battle to ensure freshwater runoff can recharge our aquifers.
Partnering with other agencies, the Conservancy bought the largest privately owned tract in the Cape May County peninsula, a 477 acre parcel in Green Creek. The cost was $1,332,500 and it was the culmination of 10 years of effort.
The land, which is now officially part of the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge, will offer outdoor recreational opportunities and increased migratory bird habitat. Located less than a quarter mile from one of the Delaware Bay’s saltwater marshes, it also affords the marsh the ability to migrate inland.
Winter and spring traditionally bring on a flurry of road projects and this year is no different. In fact, it seems to be the most ever. Locals, and now visitors, are finding it very difficult to get from Point A to Point B without a detour or three. And we’re hearing the usual, “Don’t worry, we’ll be done before Memorial weekend.”
It is a good time to get into the Cape May County real estate market. For sellers; prices are slightly increasing and demand is way up. You’ll be going to the bank before you know it.
For buyers; there is sufficient inventory so that family legacy you’ve always dreamed about is out there waiting for you to pull the trigger.
I love to talk about real estate and our island. I am always glad to share my insights, observations, and visions.
I am still involved in real estate 365 days a year. It’s my passion. I will gladly handle listing your property, give you a free market analysis, or show you a wide variety of properties that may suit your needs.
Stop by our office at 5602 New Jersey Avenue and chat. Or give me a call at 609-780-7131. I answer my phone 8am to 9pm EVERYDAY and you always get a real, live person. That’s service!