70 New Condo Units on Track for Neptune City

By PETE WALTON

Work could begin this fall on 70 new residential condominium units in Neptune City.

The borough signed an agreement last summer with Mark and Nicholas Walsifer, who own the property on the south side of Fifth Avenue between Memorial Drive and Steiner Avenue.

Mayor Robert J. Brown says he is in regular contact with Mark Walsifer, who was elected as mayor of Belmar in November.

Brown said after this week’s Borough Council meeting that recovering from a legacy of financial challenges in Belmar has kept Walsifer busy, but plans for the Neptune City project are advancing.

The council unanimously approved the redevelopment agreement with the Walsifers last August.

“The building part will be easier than what we have gone through so far,” Mark Walsifer said at the time, noting that the property line between Neptune City and the Township of Neptune had to be redrawn to make the project possible. “It’s really going to enhance that area of Neptune City.”

In lieu of building affordable housing units at the site, the developers will put $350,000 into a fund to provide low-interest loans for improvements to homes in the borough.

The money is to be set aside over time as units are sold, according the agreement. The loans will be awarded to residents based on an income formula. If homeowners stay in their houses for a certain length of time, the loans will be forgiven, according to the agreement.

The developers will also put $50,000 toward equipment and upgrades for the borough fire department, first aid, police and public works departments.

Amenities at the complex will include a clubhouse, an indoor pool and a gym. On-site parking will be provided.

Unlike some redevelopment projects, Brown said the condos will be taxed normally and not utilize a “payment in lieu of taxes” (PILOT) concept in which taxes are only paid to the municipality and county and not the school system.

At the time the agreement was approved, Brown said the property was assessed at $750,000 and that after redevelopment, the total value of the units could be $18 million or more.

Also at this week’s meeting, Council President Pamela Renee announced that this year’s National Night Out activities in Neptune City would take place in Memorial Park on Tues., Aug. 6 beginning at 5 p.m.

National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships. Millions of neighbors take part in National Night Out across thousands of communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide on the first Tuesday in August. Texas and several other states hold events on the first Tuesday in October due to the summer heat.

The first National Night Out Day was organized in 1984 by the Pennsylvania-based National Association of Town Watch, which expanded it across the U.S. and Canada with the help of law enforcement organizations.

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