Redevelopment Proposed for Neptune City Site

The property is located in an industrial zone and residential use will not be considered

By PETE WALTON

Neptune City officials will soon solicit proposals to redevelop the former East Coast Ice property on Steiner Avenue.

The borough took possession of the site following a sheriff’s sale last month.

According to the 2000 update of Richard F. Cottrell’s history of Neptune City, the business ceased operations in the early 1990s.

The last known owner could not be reached and property taxes were no longer being paid. Use of the building as a fuel depot indicated that environmental testing and treatment would be needed.

Former mayor Thomas A. Arnone, now Monmouth County freeholder director, and the Borough Council obtained grants to test the soil and begin cleanup of the property.

The building was demolished due to unsafe conditions.

The council and Mayor Robert J. Brown began legal proceedings aimed at taking over the property due to the unpaid taxes. Brown pointed out that it was not in the borough’s best interests to be responsible for the site until the cleanup was complete.

Once the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Environmental Protection gave their approval, the way was cleared for the sheriff’s sale on Sept. 10. No one came forward to claim ownership and the deed declaring the borough as owner of the property was recorded several days later.

Brown said the land is located in an industrial zone and that a residential use will be not be considered.

Seaboard Ice Company, which later became Seaboard Service Fuel Oil Inc., was founded in 1928 by a group of Rhode Island businessmen who bought and merged a number of ice manufacturers in eastern Monmouth County. With a main office in Asbury Park, the company built a plant at Steiner Avenue and Rosewood Place in 1933.

In 1946, the company’s name was charged to Seaboard Service as it diversified into coal, oil and heating equipment.

As ice sales declined, the emphasis of the business was changed to heating oil distribution.

The ice portion of the firm was sold in 1974 and renamed East Coast Ice Company, while Seaboard retained the offices and garage areas until it stopped operating.

Mayor Brown said he hopes the property will be sold by the end of the year.

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