The extremely mild winter didn’t really give us a lot to complain about, but nevertheless everyone seems happy to see spring come early and in full force.
February was the fourth warmest ever in southern Jersey and worldwide it was the warmest February on record. In Cape May County we had a total of maybe eight inches of snowfall all winter, with the largest storm(Jonas) ending as pouring rain which erased most of the early accumulation.
Now the daisies are out, the forsythias are blooming, the trees are awakening from dormancy, and the spring peepers greet us with a chorus every dawn and dusk. Can summer be far behind?
The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission office moved February 26th from its former Rio Grande location to 3305 Bayshore Road in North Cape May.
The new, larger Breakwater Shopping Plaza locale will be conducting the usual MVC services – driver’s licenses, vehicle registrations, and surcharge and restoration payments.
The move to Rio Grande was hailed nearly two decades ago after locals were forced to travel to the then MVC location in Sea Isle City. With no SIC exit on the northbound Garden State Parkway, residents found that venue quite inconvenient. We haven’t yet received local feedback on the new North Cape May site, but surely there will be grumbling about losing the popular and convenient Rio Grande location.
The Borough of West Wildwood is exploring the possibility of constructing a “living shoreline” near 26th Street on the backbay. The town suffered $5 million in damage from Jonas and this possible fix would help protect the forty or so properties on the canal.
The living shoreline concept involves biological enhancements such as biodegradable fiber logs that would be placed along the water’s edge as habitat for mussels. This would catch sand and encourage vegetation growth and turn around the loss of one to three feet of land each year.
Other options to reach that goal include planting evergreens along the peninsula’s edge and perhaps even a reef system made with rocks and other natural materials. A positive side effect might be increased ecotourism, including kayaking and bird watching.
While still in the brainstorming stage, the Stevens Institute of Technology has offered free engineering work – saving $30,000. No word yet on the total cost of the project and who would fund it.
The project, if undertaken, would be a model for the rest of the state to emulate.
A triumvirate of the Greater Wildwood Tourism Improvement and Development Authority (GWITDA), the City of Wildwood, and Cape May County are working together to create a new, updated and enhanced Rio Grande Avenue entrance into Wildwood.
The project would involve changes from the base of the George Redding Bridge roughly three blocks to Park Boulevard. The most important would be raising the area around the intersection of Susquehanna Avenue, a site of frequent and lengthy flooding closures during storm-fueled high tides. Adding a pumping station will also help minimize that problem. The county would be handling the majority of this phase.
GWITDA has the lead on the aesthetics portion of the project. So far they have kicked in over $20,000 for architectural design work to enhance the visual appeal of the island’s main gateway.
Before construction can begin, the project needs to acquire some adjoining properties. Also, with eight current or former gas stations within the zone, there may be leaky tank issues. Some utility lines – both above and below ground – would have to be relocated. Another concern is that raising the road might cause worse flooding nearby, which has to be addressed and solved.
Once all the myriad of hurdles are cleared, construction could commence as early as 2018.
The site of the former Stop and Shop in Rio Grande is getting a much-needed new grocery store – an Aldi’s. While the Aldi’s will use just half of the existing space, it gives food shoppers an alternative in a county that is dominated by Acme’s.
Rio Grande, the shopping hub of the county, also hosts a ShopRite and Sav-A-Lot. But since the demise of the SuperFresh chain a few years ago, Acme has ruled the roost. Aldi’s has promised to offer plenty of organic produce and gluten free and natural lines of foods.
If you haven’t been to the Jersey Shore in Cape May County since last summer, you’re going to see a lot of changes the next time you visit.
At the terminus of the Garden State Parkway, the so-called Exit 0, work continues on reconfiguring the interchange. It’ll be completed before summer. All around the county, roadwork is hurrying to completion by Memorial Weekend.
Many restaurants and motels have undergone a change in ownerships, which will reflect in new signage and updated interiors. In the Anglesea section of North Wildwood, both the Coconut Cove Restaurant and LampPost Diner have been knocked down, each to be replaced by condominiums.
I love to talk about real estate and our island. I am always glad to share my insights, observations, and visions.
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!