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10th District Legislators Urge State to Buy Surf Club in Toms River

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10th District Legislators Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and Dave Wolfe are requesting the state utilize the Blue Acres Program to purchase the Joey Harrison’s Surf Club, a former nightclub in Toms River that was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. The beachfront club suffered irreparable damage from the 2012 hurricane and has not been purchased by a developer. The legislators believe Toms River should have the opportunity to purchase the land through the Blue Acres, a program the 10th District introduced 20 years ago to dedicate funds to conserve flood-prone land.

Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and Dave Wolfe are asking the state to utilize the Blue Acres Program to purchase the a former nightclub in Toms River that was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. (SenateNJ.com)

“The structure was completely demolished in Superstorm Sandy and now the state has the unique opportunity to purchase this property and utilize the open space for the public,” stated Holzapfel. “As an original sponsor of this landmark legislation, it is programs such as this that not only benefit the community but preserve the beauty of our coastline.”

Original appraisals of the nightclub came in at $6.3 million but the seller’s attorney had a new appraisal and is seeking $8.3 million. Since the current owner has increased the amount they are seeking for the property, there is not enough money to cover the purchase. At this time, the legislators are requesting a larger amount from the Blue Acres Program, specifically an extra $1.3 million dollars.

“We have written to Governor Murphy on behalf of our residents who have contributed to this open space tax for years with little to no return on their investment. They are adamant about acquiring this land to revitalize the area, and we will fight to get the funding that is needed to restore our shore,” added McGuckin.

Toms River Township is dedicating $2.3 million for improvements to the area, such as a new boardwalk, parking lot and demolition of the current structure. The 10th District Legislators have written to Governor Murphy to urge him to commit more than $8 million from the Blue Acres Program to cover the costs of the purchase.

“The Blue Acres Program was introduced by our office and this is the perfect example of how our taxes can be put to use for our residents and our environment,” said Wolfe. “While we understand that this beachfront property is costly, the Surf Club has sat vacant for seven years with no real plans for development. This is one way that the state can give back to a community that has suffered so much since the storm.”

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Jim Holzapfel

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Assemblyman - District 10

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