A newly-established group calling itself Save Asbury Park’s History has been established in an effort to see that the Convention Hall complex in Asbury Park, which includes the Paramount Theatre, is restored and enhanced with more creative uses.
The Board of Directors includes Emmy Award winning New York news journalist Ernie Anastos, former Asbury Park beachfront redeveloper Henry V. Vaccaro and real estate redeveloper Carter Sackman, who began investing in the city in 2001 and purchased and restored the landmark Steinbach building on Cookman Avenue.
None of the board members will receive compensation.
The ambitious goal of the group, according to the mission statement, is “either assist the owner Madison Marquette in restoring the Convention Hall Complex or for our Non Profit to purchase and restore it. By establishing a Non Profit for this purpose, we will have access to funds from sources not available to a public or privately held corporation such as Historic Federal and State grants, donations and endowments and tax incentives for private investors.”
Currently parts of the Convention Hall and the Paramount Theater are closed to the public due to safety concerns.
In addition, the group plans to establish an advisory board made up of local volunteers chosen for their expertise in various fields. An accredited accounting firm, an architectural firm, an established law firm and publicity and marketing companies will also be retained.
In a press release the group said, “ At this time we are seeking grassroots help and support to aid our commitment. We welcome everyone’s involvement to do what’s best for Convention Hall and our beloved City by the Sea.”
The group has set up a Facebook Group Page www.facebook.com/groups/1074590596447732.
Also on the Board of Directors are Bruce Belfer, president and CEO of Belfer Lighting Inc., who has worked on projects including New York City’s Grand Central Terminal and the newly-completed Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center in Orlando, Fla.; Charles Lada, a CPA and chief financial officer at Clayton Companies of Lakewood until 2004 and Philip Michals, CEO of Alliance Global Partners, a full service investment banking and financial services firm. His grandfather started Michael’s Seafood Restaurant and Lounge on Ocean Avenue in Asbury Park. The Michals family were also early pioneers in the nursing home business.
Also, Elizabeth Stavola, founder and CEO of Stavola Medical Marijuana Holdings, who successfully established the Health for Life brands and has been featured in Forbes magazine. She grew up in Wanamassa and graduated from Ocean Township High School. If you have driven to Asbury Park you probably drove on highways and roads paved by the Stavola Company.