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Oceanport Borough Hall To Be Demolished This Week

OCEANPORT: One of the borough's last reminders of Superstorm Sandy will soon be gone.

The old borough hall, which was flooded and severely and damaged by October 2012 storm, will be demolished this week according to Borough Administrator Ray Poerio.

Poerio said during the Dec. 14 Oceanport Council meeting that demolition permits were issued to Frank Lurch Demolition Company last week. The council selected Frank Lurch Demolition Company to handle the work and asbestos removal for $377,000 in October.

Poerio said demolition equipment will arrive on the property on Monday, Dec. 18 and that the work will likely commence the following day.

"It's something we're really excited about and it's progress," he said.

The old borough hall is located on the corner of Myrtle Avenue and Monmouth Boulevard, but has been empty since storm once a structural analysis showed that it was an unsafe structure. The borough's police department and department of public works have been working out of buildings on Fort Monmouth, and borough hall functions were relocated to the old wharf house on Main Street.

A new municipal complex is in the works for Fort Monmouth, but that construction has not yet begun.

Once the old borough hall is demolished, the land will be sold through a request for offers to purchase (RFOTP) process. The borough council recently adopted a redevelopment plan for the property after it was vetted and approved by the planning board.

The borough hall site is currently zoned R-3 which permits single-family detached homes, parks and playgrounds, municipal buildings, libraries and public schools.

Kendra Lelie of Clarke Caton Hintz, a firm hired by the borough to create a redevelopment plan, said a residential overlay zone will be created for the property. The R-3 zone allows for 12,000-square-foot lots and 3.7 units per acre.

"All the requirements from the R-3 zone apply to this residential overlay zone, however the caveat is that there is a preference that the density should not exceed 8 to 12 units on that parcel altogether," Lelie has said.

Mayor Jay Coffey said that designating the property as an area in need of rehabilitation will give the council more control of what will ultimately end up being built there.

Coffey has said that if the property is just put up for sale, it would just go to the highest responsible bidder. If it is named an area in need of rehabilitation, a request for offers to purchase (RFOTP) can be issued for the property which allows the borough to "dictate terms or have a much more broad scope available as to what can be built there."

"I think the intention is to have upscale homes," Coffey said


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