Volume 5/Issue 17

  • Christie, Booker, Menendez Commit To Working with Federal DOT on Gateway Tunnel Project
  • Asbury Park Waterfront Renaissance Continues Under The Direction of iStar

Christie, Booker, Menendez Commit To Working with Federal DOT on Gateway Tunnel Project 

Governor Chris Christie, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Robert Menendez and U.S. DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx met in Newark last week to discuss how to advance the Gateway Tunnel Project. 

The new Trans-Hudson crossing has received increased focus in the face of repeated calls to action by Secretary Foxx and multiple days of service disruptions this Summer. Amtrak Senior Executive Stephen Gardner recently testified before a state senate panel that commuters can expect frequent major delays for the foreseeable future if the Gateway Tunnel Project doesn’t commence soon.

Declaring that “…it is clear that something must be done, and done now, as commuters continue to endure serious daily challenges that come with an aging infrastructure,” the Governor, the Senators and Secretary Foxx pledged that they are “…committed to working together on a path forward on this critical project,” that they will work “to obtain a substantial Federal grant contribution toward the Hudson River tunnels,” and “other funding and financing options.”  The officials’ joint statement also noted the importance of funding the project equitably between all parties.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has displayed a public reluctance to pledge funding from his state.  In an official statement, the Governor acknowledged the positive meeting between the NJ officials and Secretary Foxx, but noted that New York U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer was correct to have “called for the federal government to recognize the tunnel as a national priority and stated that the federal government must contribute the ‘maximum amount possible’ to its construction.”

Asbury Park Waterfront Renaissance Continues Under The Direction of iStar 

Congratulations to our client, iStar, on the unveiling of its plan to redevelop 1101 Ocean Avenue in Asbury Park into a 16-story, mixed-use tower.  The property is being designed by New York-based Handel Architects and will feature 128 residential units, 58 hotel rooms, and 21,928 square feet of retail space.  The tower is to be built on the former Esperanza site, an unfinished concrete structure that was previously abandoned by two other developers.

As reported in the Asbury Park Press, Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn said, “We are really hopeful that this time around it’s going to be a success.  When people look at our waterfront, one of the first things you see is a structure that is not finished.  If this is built, I think that changes the narrative that people have of Asbury Park.”

iStar has built a reputation for delivering on the promises it makes to the City’s residents.  Since it became the master redeveloper for the Asbury Park waterfront in 2010, iStar has improved the waterfront’s landscaping, sidewalks and parking, built the Vive townhome project, and is currently building the 34-unit Monroe condominium project and The Asbury, a 110-key boutique hotel, which will be the first new hotel to the City in three decades.  iStar’s work was recently profiled by the New York Times.

Upon completion, the new 1101 Ocean Avenue tower will be one the tallest on the Jersey Shore and represents a potential investment of $178 million by iStar.  The developer submitted its plans to the City’s Technical Review Committee last week and is eager to move forward with the project as soon as it receives approvals from the City.

Jay Sugarman, iStar’s founder and CEO summed up the company’s commitment to the City, saying, “We believe in Asbury Park’s potential as a one-of-a-kind place to live, work, visit and invest.  We’re excited to harness its character, beauty and heritage to build a future full of promise.  And we’re eager to share it with the world.”