Owners of the Jersey Apartments, a spanish style 1924 apartment building, who were prevented from completing restoration of the building because the City seized the property under its Eminent Domain rights, took their argument to a jury, which awarded them $2 million plus interest.
The City's plan is to use the land the 21-apartment building is currently occupying, on the second block of Second Avenue, for use as a possible cartway for a later phase of condo developments planned for the block behind the Jersey.
The jury award concludes years of court room battles during which the Jersey's owners, Vince Gifford, Richard DePetro, and Marshall Sigman argued against the City, while tax revenues on the 21 potential condos went unrealized.
Also during this same period, the Asbury Park City Manager, who city councilmembers lauded for orchestrating this redevelopment plan, Terrance Weldon, was charged with and sentenced for extorting bribes from developers in his dual capacity as Ocean Twp.'s mayor. Weldon was one of the first officials ensnared in the FBI's Operation Bid Rig, which made the news again this week with the arrest of 48 government officials in NJ.
Note: Asbury Park Mayor Ed Johnson, who took office last month, has most often voted against Eminent Domain and has frequently stated his opposition to uses such as the Jersey situation. click here for photos of the Jersey http://www.asburyradio.com/JerseyApts.htm
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