The cornerstone building in Neptune’s plan to redevelop West Lake Avenue is scheduled to be auctioned off by the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office on Mon., Jan. 9.
“We would like to see this building remain open,” said Dianna A. Harris, president of the Midtown Urban Renaissance Corporation (MURC), a community-based nonprofit organization hoping to redevelop Neptune’s West Lake area, which becomes Springwood Avenue in Asbury Park.
The project, built through efforts of township officials, the MURC, and CityWorks Inc., received $20 million in state funding from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority for the project, which opened in 2008.
Founded in 2004, CityWorks was a nonprofit organization created to assist non-profit organizations in developing commercial and other non-residential real estate projects in economically-distressed neighborhoods throughout New Jersey. TD Bank, one of the mortgage holders, foreclosed on the property, at 1800 West Lake Avenue, after CityWorks, went out of business a few years ago.
“They are putting it up for sale but we are having discussions with other interested parties to possibly have a direct sale of the building before the auction,” Neptune Business Administrator Vito Gadaleta said.
Gadaleta said that he cannot release, at this time, any details about who potential buyers might be.
As a result of CityWorks going out of business, Gadaleta said the township is interested in seeking developers to improve other lots along West Lake Avenue or the entire area.
“We are continuing that process now and meeting with potential developers to redevelop the area in parts or as a whole,” Gadaleta said.
Tenants currently in the building are the 30,000-square foot Jane H. Booker Family Heatlh Center facility, a pharmacy, and a state Division of Taxation office.
According to Gadaleta, the bank is trying to recoup its $10.8 million mortgage on the building.
A solar farm and a parking lot to the east of the building are included in the sale.
“Hopefully, whoever is interested in the building, we would like to meet with them, even prior to the sale. We would be interested in knowing who they are and certainly like, at some point, to meet with the purchasers to discuss future redevelopment,” he said.
Harris said the building is about 90 percent occupied right now.
“We would like to see it remain open and the medical clinic was part of the plan from beginning. It has been very much accepted by community and used people- so it is a shame to let it go,” she said.