Local Opposition Defeats Plan to Condemn Famous Music Venue for Redevelopment
Asbury Park is redeveloping its waterfront under a plan put together by the City and private developer Ocean Front Acquisitions. Under the $1.25-billion plan, Ocean Front would divide a 56-acre area into parcels, selling or leasing most to other builders to develop in phases over the next decade. Its developers claim the new waterside enclave will contain 2,500 new condominiums, 500 renovated units and 450,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space.1
Asbury Park’s redevelopment threatened to displace the Stone Pony, a seaside rock ‘n roll venue that was once the stomping ground of such New Jersey icons as Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny and Bon Jovi. The City wanted to condemn the Stone Pony and relocate the club to a new entertainment district south of the new waterfront development. However, local citizens started a massive letter-writing campaign arguing that the original Stone Pony was an important part of the City’s heritage, and should be incorporated into the City’s revitalization rather than forced out by it. Under a revised plan unveiled in February 2002, the Stone Pony and its outdoor beer garden will stay put. Other businesses nearby were not so lucky.2
1 Rachelle Garbarine, “A New Plan to Revitalize Asbury Park Waterfront,” The New York Times, Mar. 3, 2002, at K7.
2 Andy Newman, “Just Up the Road from E Street, a Rock Landmark Stands Its Ground,” The New York Times, Feb. 25, 2002, at B1.