Next Stop for Victoria Rose Project: Land Use Board

May 30, 2018
File Photo by: Ryan Morrill

At a special meeting last week, the Beach Haven Borough Council adopted an ordinance approving the old Beach Haven bank building as a site for redevelopment.

The next step for the development known as Victoria Rose will be hearings with the land use board. As of Tuesday, it was uncertain if it would be on the agenda for the Monday, June 4 meeting.

Earlier this year, partners Terry Moeller and Tom and Joan Bertussi announced plans to tear down the building and transform the site into a retail/residential complex. The complex would contain 22 residential units, each covering 1,200 square feet. Five apartments would be set aside for affordable housing.

The development would also include five yet-to-be-named retail businesses, covering less than 40,000 square feet.

Located at the corner of Bay Avenue and Sixth Street, the brick structure was built in 1963 as the headquarters for the old Beach Haven National Bank. Over the years, it became the home of several different financial institutions, with the most recent being Sovereign Bank.

James Maley, an attorney who specializes in redevelopment law and serves as a consultant to the borough, said that by adopting the ordinance, the council does not endorse any particular plan for the site but agrees that the area is in need of redevelopment.

Maley said to qualify for redevelopment status, the building had to meet one or more statutory conditions or requirements. One of them was “areas with buildings or improvements which, by reason of dilapidation, obsolescence, overcrowding, faulty arrangement or design, lack of ventilation, light and sanitary facilities, excessive land coverage, deleterious land use or obsolete layout, or any combination of these or other factors, are detrimental to the safety, health, morals or welfare of the community.”

Another condition was “a growing lack or total lack of proper utilization of areas caused by condition of the title, diverse ownership of the real properties therein or other similar conditions which impede land assemblage or discourage the undertaking of improvements, resulting in a stagnant and unproductive condition of land potentially useful and valuable.”

Sherry Mason, borough manager/clerk, said the redevelopment designation gives the borough better control over what is built on that site.

“We have had ongoing discussions with the borough,” said Moeller. “We’ve been working closely with them.”  —E.E.




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