Hopefully, the worst of winter has passed and the longer days will also yield warmer days. We may get a little more snowfall, but it seems to melt quickly in March.
The wind is another thing. It’s blowing most every day, whether off the ocean or from the west. It makes it feel ten degrees colder than it actually is. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “When the wind finally stops in April, we all tip over.”
We’re keeping our eyes out for the spring plants to send out buds, followed by blooms. And with baseball preseason in full force, can 70-degree temperatures be too far behind?
TOWNSEND INLET BRIDGE
The Townsend Inlet Bridge, which links Avalon to Sea Isle City, closed for repairs September 17 and it’s tentatively scheduled to reopen May 22.
The project started with the demolition of seven of the 27 southern-most spans on the 1,373’ bridge. Built in 1939, the seven spans were in tough shape.
The $8.6 million rebuild was financially more cost effective than rebuilding the entire bridge. Hopefully, this will put an end to the frequent closings, such as last year when traffic was excluded from April until almost July.
NEW LOOK IN SEA ISLE
The entrance to Sea Isle City will be transforming in the near future. The landmark LaCosta Lounge, at the corner of JFK Boulevard and Landis Avenue, has been sold for $7.3 million. The sale included the parking lot, Coast Motel, and Casino Pizzeria.
After demolition, a three-story building called “The Ludlam” will offer 26 luxury suites and 20 apartments on the upper two floors. Ground floor will be two bars, one of which includes outside seating. The complex will have 96 parking spaces.
The Springfield Inn, located at 43rd Street and Pleasure Avenue, and listed for $6.7 million, is reported to be replaced by a complex containing condos, a restaurant, and outside bar.
The project that affects everyone who enters the city is Sea Isle Boulevard. After four long years of on again off again construction, the 1.7-mile road that links Sea Isle to Garden State Parkway Exit 17 is finally complete. The causeway is now raised about four feet, making it less susceptible to flooding.
In an item that doesn’t directly affect our readers, the new Cape May County Correctional Facility opened in January. The $37 million institution is located at Exit 11 of The Garden State Parkway and it replaces the outdated county lockup.
There is a development scuffle going on at the old Ponderlodge property in Villas. Being contested is a 21-home subdivision in a Conservation zone. Let me explain.
Ponderlodge, also known to locals as Beer World since the owner had a well known Philadelphia brewery, went through bankruptcy in 1997. One of its debts was paid in the form of conveying a lot in the northwestern-most corner of the property to a private entity.
The NJDEP bought the remainder of the old golf course from bankruptcy court in 2005. In 2009, Lower Township’s new master plan designated the area as a Conservation Zone, thus prohibiting any development.
However, they overlooked the fact that the large lot was privately owned. They incorrectly included that lot in the new Conservation Zone. They would have had to pay the owner compensation for the loss in value, but it all fell through the cracks.
The owner recently went to the Zoning Board for a Use Variance, raising the question of if they even needed a use variance since its previous zone prior to 2009 allowed the development. Access to the neighborhood, which borders half of Shawmount Avenue, would be from 4th Avenue off McKinley Avenue.
How this dispute is settled will be interesting considering the opposition has lined up environmental groups to speak of the fragile nature of the lot. Stay tuned, we’ll do a follow up in the future.
MORE BRIDGE REPLACEMENTS
The Middle Thoroughfare Bridge has seen better days. Built in 1939, it is the vital southern link between the Wildwoods and Diamond Beach to Cape May on Ocean Drive.
The county Freeholders have done a replacement study and the consensus is that an 80’ high fixed span is the best alternative. That would allow fishing boats, which dock at Two Mile Landing docks, easy access to the ocean and their fishing grounds. It also eliminates the current 45’ high drawbridge, which causes annoying vehicle traffic backups in the summer months. Now the big challenge is to raise the money to pay for it.
NOW’S THE TIME
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 8 am to 9 pm EVERYDAY and you always get a real, live person. That’s service!
Click the link to view Joyce’s latest Featured Listing MLS #186318