.

Code Enforcement Action Coming On Beachwood Shopping Center?

Officials toured Route 9 site last week

Township officials went behind closed doors at the Oct. 23 Township Council meeting to discuss possible actions against the owners of the battered Beachwood Shopping Center.

Township Council President James J. Byrnes and Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr. declined to discuss just what action would be taken during a break before going into executive session.

The owners of the site on Route 9 South are going to "get a letter," Byrnes said.

"I think it's an unsightly structure," Brynes said.

Byrnes, Amato, Township Councilwoman Judy Noonan, Councilman John Bacchione, Township Administrator Fred Ebenau, Township Engineer Alan Dittenhoffer, and construction, code enforcement and fire officials toured the site last week to review the conditions and the buildings, the mayor said.

The massive, dilapidated shopping center has long been a headache for more than one township administration.  The state Planning Commission in July approved the township's long-sought redevelopment plan.

Developer Donato Donofrio is the redeveloper of record, but has yet to sign a contract with the owners of the site.

The 142-acre site is still currently owned by Priscilla Oughton, daughter of the late James E. Johnson, who built the shopping center decades ago.

Estimates to clean up the asphalt plant behind the defunct shopping center, remove asbestos from the buildings and raze the site have ranged as high as $50 million, Amato said.

"Removal will be costly," he has said.

Amato said Tuesday that Byrnes had spoken to D.J. Donofrio, son of developer Donato Donofrio and was told the family still had an interest in redeveloping the site.

Christine Dwight October 24, 2012 at 11:52 AM
They won't do anything and the mess will sit for another 10 years or till someone gets hurt. It's a shame that's the first thing you see coming into Berkeley township.
Sandra October 24, 2012 at 01:30 PM
I blame the owner because she is dragging her feet worse than her father who owned the land before her. It is dangerous but she still collects rent from several vendors there. She should have the Vendors removed (unfortunately for them) because they are the ones who attract people to the property. Sectioning off the land does nothing and a letter will do nothing too. She needs "daily" summon's that will mount up so much she will have no choice but to lean on her contractor. If it were my home I would have had the same. Is someone being paid off over there to let it go "this far?". Like the asphalt company, Berkeley did nothing. Lazy Berkeley is light on land crime. (by the way, I am from Beachwood twenty five years and 90% of those years the place is a dangeous dump. Beachwood has had enough of your letters and such to the owner of this land. Do something constructive for a change over there.
barb October 24, 2012 at 01:32 PM
what took them so long? if this was a homeowner they would have had more than just a letter long ago. better now than never I guess.
gene smith October 24, 2012 at 02:09 PM
knock it down. Send the owner the bill for it. Use the Township workers to do it. If a few street signs and other projects are put on hold for a month so be it.
Betsy Huhn October 24, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Hit the Johnson family in the pocketbook....only thing that will get her going....and maybe sign papers.....and if the buildings are that bad..hoe can the few stores at the end dtill be there. Unfortunately for them... condemn the whole thing...make them move and fine her big time....then see what happens..
kelley October 24, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Code enforcement in Bayville? how novel
Sandra October 24, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Oh by the way, there is a underground garage under the old Wicker Store/Woolworths area. I would think the upperground is sectioned off because it is ready to collapse in. I can recall the big "Boo-Hoo" the lady Johnson handed to Beachwood at a meeting after her father died. She promised to address the big mess and she was all appologies then. We did not believe her then and we don't believe her today. Like her father she lies all the way to the bank. Berkeley Township stinks for allowing this to go on for so long. And yes I agree send her the bill and fix it up Berkeley. Just like you sneaked in to look it over, go IN and tear it down. Use the township resources and SEND HER THE BILL!
CallingBS! October 24, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Sounds like a bunch of naive, uninformed people making comments. That property cost $90k in taxes a year. You don't think the owner wants to unload it? You think the two places paying rent are really helping that cost? Did you read the cost to clean that place up? $50M. Donafrio backed out because of that cost, he's also the one who redeveloped the shopping center on rt. 9 n 37. So, now he's definitely not buying that property. Going to be hard trying to find a buyer that is willing to spend that money just to clean it up. Pretty sure Priscilla would b willing to give that property away and avoid paying those taxes. Ive lived in Bayville for 30 yrs and couldn't agree more that something needs to be done ASAP. But don't be so quick to point the finger at the owner.
Irina October 24, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Why behind closed doors? So they can pretend to be doing something about this eyesore. REMEMBER THIS ON ELECTION DAY FOLKS!!!!!
Irina October 24, 2012 at 11:52 PM
@CallingBS! Wanna restate your numbers....There is NOTHING on that road paying 90K a year in property taxes. Highest is $26K. http://www.njactb.org/ CHECK IT OUT YOURSELF....so who is BS'ing who? Your friend is a sow holding onto this eyesore for the best buck and letting someone else foot the clean-up bill and your lying so who is BS'ing who!!!!!!
Sandra October 25, 2012 at 02:46 AM
So what your are saying (callingBS) is that POOR PRISCILLA was dumped a lousy inheritance and is stuck with the land. I guess her daddy must have hated her guts to leave that dump to her then. She must have been on the bottom of his love list then because it had been a dump long before he kicked off.
Mike October 25, 2012 at 12:02 PM
...and if the owner doesn't pay the bill?
gene smith October 25, 2012 at 01:06 PM
if she really wanted out she could donate the land to the county. She didn't. She's greedy. period.
dniece68 October 25, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Cheap to destroy ....a match! If our grass in this town gets high the town comes out to tell you to cut it or get a fine.....but $ talks..it makes me and others real sick,,,Try treating us as equal... Use some of the lazy ass workers from the township to take down the building and send the bill to the Johnson, who sits back and laughs at you Berkeley. She will keep it til she dies and all this BS will go on and on....
Sydney October 25, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Maybe the storm coming will level it. That's probably the only way that place will come down in our lifetime.
Keeping whats mine October 25, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Maybe line the front of the building with billboards at ground level. Get an artist to paint good looking buildings on them. Probably the best you can hope for. And affordable.
bayville rich October 25, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Even if the site is cleaned what company would want to be here? Everything goes out of buisness, Wendy's, Food Town, Burger King, etc....
DOMINICK PETERSON October 26, 2012 at 06:09 AM
This is not a major issue. This is an issue of holding on for the most amount of money for the land value . During the reign of Jimmy Johnson, Eugene Johnson, and Grady Toughill , You have to realize the monopolies That Jimmy had made for himself. Jimmy was the most entrepenural person I have ever met in my life . He came up ferom Mississippi with a load of lumber on his truck and spent everything he had on getting it up to New Jersey. He sat on that load , on the side of the road and sold that lumber to local builders . And when I say sat on it I mean just that ... He sat on top of that truckload of wood so that no one would steal it out from under him. He made another trip and did it again, and one more time . He bout that land when land was dirt cheap in Beachwood. There was a time when you got an acre of beachwood proerty with subscription to the newspaper! Thats the truth! check it out.
DOMINICK PETERSON October 26, 2012 at 06:14 AM
part 2. He bought that land and opened up his first business. Eagle Lumber. He did well ...Why... because he had vision. He then realised that this area was set to explode with new homes, and that he was poised to sell most of that lumber to the contractors that were going to build them . He bought a bunch of second hand trucks , bulldozers graders etc.. and he and his crew carved the streets that these new homes would be built on . Like I said he was a man on top of his game . Country dumb he played and smart as a fox he was. He now had a reat deal of money and so he built a bank , the First National Back of Bayville , and He loaned himself the money (THINK about that) To build the water tower and drilled the well that supplies thousands with the water they take for granted . He dug the sewers and layed the piping throughout Beachwood and Bayville . He opened an asphult plant in his backyard and made the asphalt that paved the roads , and the driveways of thousands of homes throughout ocean county. He opened a newspaper , the Ocean County Observer,and built the areas first bowling alley. This small man that stood maybe 5' 6" tall skinny scrawney scrapper , wouldnt take shit from anyone .
DOMINICK PETERSON October 26, 2012 at 06:21 AM
.part 3. and like most ... He was connected ... wiseguy style.. He had judges and lawyers in his pocket . Thats just the way things got done back then.. Today everythings politically correct, and everthing gets clogged in the bureauracy. He rarely ever bought anything new. his biggest thrill was to buy something second hand that was worth a fortune, and buy it at an auction for peanuts. Government auctions , county auctions , garage sales , estate sales . He was unsuspecting to the average person who would never suspect that he was a multi millionaire, when our money was worth something. His death and Eugenes death left the remainder of his family in a terrible mess.ll everyone sees is that he must have left a fortune to the his heirs... NO .. what he left them was a headache . Imagine if you will ... Trying to live up to the image of your father if your father was Benjamin Franklin , or Thomas Alva Edison . Or your father was Statavarius the greatest violin maker in the world , and you cant play a friggin note! Or you havent the slightest idea what makes electricity work or how it does what it does ... you just use it ... Many of you own a modern aotomobile and yet you cant fix it ... it takes special training . Jimmy Johnson was no different and possibly more important to the developement of Ocean County, more than any single individual in the history of ...well History itself!
DOMINICK PETERSON October 26, 2012 at 06:24 AM
He bought that land and opened up his first business. Eagle Lumber. He did well ...Why... because he had vision. He then realised that this area was set to explode with new homes, and that he was poised to sell most of that lumber to the contractors that were going to build them . He bought a bunch of second hand trucks , bulldozers graders etc.. and he and his crew carved the streets that these new homes would be built on . Like I said he was a man on top of his game . Country dumb he played and smart as a fox he was. He now had a reat deal of money and so he built a bank , the First National Back of Bayville , and He loaned himself the money (THINK about that) To build the water tower and drilled the well that supplies thousands with the water they take for granted . He dug the sewers and layed the piping throughout Beachwood and Bayville . He opened an asphult plant in his backyard and made the asphalt that paved the roads , and the driveways of thousands of homes throughout ocean county. He opened a newspaper , the Ocean County Observer,and built the areas first bowling alley. This small man that stood maybe 5' 6" tall skinny scrawney scrapper , wouldnt take shit from anyone . and like most ... He was connected ... wiseguy style.. He had judges and lawyers in his pocket . Thats just the way things got done back then.. Today everythings politically correct, and everthing gets clogged in the bureauracy.
DOMINICK PETERSON October 26, 2012 at 06:27 AM
He rarely ever bought anything new. his biggest thrill was to buy something second hand that was worth a fortune, and buy it at an auction for peanuts. Government auctions , county auctions , garage sales , estate sales . He was unsuspecting to the average person who would never suspect that he was a multi millionaire, when our money was worth something. His death and Eugenes death left the remainder of his family in a terrible mess.ll everyone sees is that he must have left a fortune to the his heirs... NO .. what he left them was a headache . Imagine if you will ... Trying to live up to the image of your father if your father was Benjamin Franklin , or Thomas Alva Edison . Or your father was Statavarius the greatest violin maker in the world , and you cant play a friggin note! Or you havent the slightest idea what makes electricity work or how it does what it does ... you just use it ... Many of you own a modern aotomobile and yet you cant fix it ... it takes special training . Jimmy Johnson was no different and possibly more important to the developement of Ocean County, more than any single individual in the history of ...well History itself.
DOMINICK PETERSON October 26, 2012 at 06:39 AM
please prdon my typing . i made a few typos... His death and Eugenes death left the remainder of his family in a terrible mess!! Everyone sees is like he must have left a fortune to the his heirs... NO .. what he left them was a headache . Imagine if you will ... Trying to live up to the image of your father if your father was Benjamin Franklin , or Thomas Alva Edison . Or your father was Statavarius the greatest violin maker in the world , and you cant play a friggin note! Or you havent the slightest idea what makes electricity work or how it does what it does ... you just use it ... Many of you own a modern automobile and yet you cant fix it ... it takes special training . Jimmy Johnson was no different and possibly the most important person in the developement of Ocean County, more than any single individual in the history of ...well History itself. That scrawney little man, who had so much contempt of court, he bit a Judge right before my eyes. Why ..Because He was right and the Judge was an asshole and Jimmy couldnt take the logic of an educated fool! I dont think Jimmy went passed the seventh grade.
DOMINICK PETERSON October 26, 2012 at 06:45 AM
I read every post ... yes the shopping center, that once had a Foodfair , where I won a spaghetti eating ,and met Chubby Checker. is falling apart. Nobody likes it ... The property has a great deal of value just the way it is . and 50 million dollars sounds like a lot of money ... but our money aint worth shit anymore and the Dollar buys what 50 cents buys now . The property WAS worth a lot more before the USA took a dump and the economy bottomed out . Now most of you cant sell your house , because you bought it for X amount and now its worth 40% less... Well there you go... Simple as that .. Your not selling... You dont want to take a loss... Why would Jimmys daughter do anything less. Even if she didnt have any of Jimmys street smarts for any of his holdings . The timing isnt right for the sale . She may surprise you all one day and knock it all down , and , build a newer bigger better Mall . Bigger and better than the Ocean County Mall . Or . Just clear the land ... and sit on it . The value of the scrap steel alone would cover most of the demolition , the parking lot could be crushed into aggregate for roads , more recycling. My point is even if Jimmy Johnson wasnt your cup of tea ... the man was a genius . A raw uneducated man that could out smart the best of them!
Irina October 28, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Google Pricilla Oughton.....She lives in Ft Lauderdale and Islamarada (Keys) Florida. Belongs to the Ft Lauderdale Yaught club. Owns 4+ businesses. Although NOT a NJ resident she donates alot to the NJ GOP.
KFRY November 28, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Heard of the Johnsons, who is Toughill?

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something