Debris from Ocean Grove Fire Scheduled for Removal

Debris from a spectacular April 13 fire that destroyed an historic building on the Ocean Grove beachfront is expected to be removed within two weeks.

In his report at this week’s Township Committee workshop, Business Administrator Vito Gadaleta said that debris from the fire will be removed along a route at the southern side of the Casino, in Asbury Park, slightly to the north

“We have a plan that also allows people to safely traverse the boardwalk. Hopefully we will see things moving in the next two weeks,” he said.

The crowd-drawing Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner.

Gadaleta said debris will be removed and holes from pilings will be filled with crushed concrete.

“This should help maintain stability and allow heavy equipment,” he said.

A spectacular fire destroyed the iconic, 100-year-old Pavilion building last month, sending thick, dark plumes of smoke down the Asbury Park boardwalk and into northern Monmouth County.

Firefighters from Monmouth, Ocean, and Union counties responded to the call. The Monmouth County Fire Marshall’s Office and the county Prosecutors Office are investigating the fire.

The Pavilion was part of a much larger plan to redevelop the entire North end of Ocean Grove.

Gadaleta said final site plans for the North End project are being prepared for the Planning Board but that language in the redevelopment agreement needs to be finalized first. He said he expects the final application will go to the Planning Board in June.

The North End is three acres of property near he boardwalk, just south of the Casino building in Asbury Park. The land is owned by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. The site once boasted a pool, a large 255-room hotel, and retail establishments on the boardwalk and along Wesley Lake. It also once had a carousel, a theatre, and bowling alleys. It was destroyed in a 1974 fire and has remained vacant ever since. Many consider it an eyesore in the historic district.

The new proposal calls for a hotel, residential condominiums, and commercial units. Twenty surface parking spaces would be provided and another 144 parking spaces created in a subterranean parking area.

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