Lately, the demographic boundaries have been breached. Across the street, a one-story bungalow still caters to college kids. The pattern is repeated on other Belmar streets, including Ocean Avenue and 14th Avenue. Belmar has long been a magnet for partiers. By some estimates, as many as 1, houses were available as cheap summer rentals. Groups of somethings grabbed shares and packed them solid. Many visitors got out of hand. During his tenure, the town started to crack down on boisterous revelers and the owners of the homes they rented. Adding police officers on bicycles also helped contain rowdiness.
This summer, Belmar will have even more officers on bikes, says Doherty. Over time, the number of summer rentals has decreased significantly, to only about in A strong market for Shore property sales also has helped reduce the number of rental houses, says real estate agent Tom MacGowan of the MacGowan Agency in Belmar. Many owners took advantage of rising home prices and put their rental properties on the market.
People bought up ramshackle houses near the beach for a song, renovated them, or tore them down and built larger homes. Kathy Corless, a realtor from Oradell who has frequented Belmar since her college days, likes the changes she observed on a visit this spring. While most locals applauded Pringle for his mayoral leadership, his brashness at times embarrassed the town.
Pringle says he intended the newsletter—which attracted national attention—to help summer renters understand what was expected of them. He claims visitors modified their behavior as a result. Pringle chose not to run for reelection in Doherty, his successor, has continued his work—albeit with less controversy. He is trying to strike a balance.
The off-season population of 5, typically swells to 60, on summer weekends, the mayor says. Like nearby towns, Belmar tries to draw families to its wide beaches with special events such as an annual seafood festival to be held this year June 7 to 9 , 5K runs, volleyball tournaments, a triathlon and free movies on the beach.
A perennial favorite, the Sand Castle Contest, takes place this year on July With its large community of Irish residents, Belmar boasts the largest St. As of the Census, about Belmar is sometimes called the Irish Riviera for the immigrants who began summering there early in the 20th century; many eventually retired to Belmar. Doherty says the town has eight free playgrounds—more than any nearby town, he claims—and one of the most affordable beaches: Parking on the beach side of Ocean Avenue costs 50 cents an hour; all other on-street parking is free.
While there are no big amusement parks to draw families, as at nearby Point Pleasant Beach, Doherty says the affordability and accessibility of the beach has always attracted middle-class families. Houses are being snapped up, she says, though some were still available at press time. For those looking to buy, Sandy may have created some bargains. On Trulia, a real estate website, the prices of several Belmar listings have dropped significantly in recent months. Stephanie Devine, of Manalapan, has been making day trips to Belmar for the past 30 years. She likes the beach because it is clean and wide, and the badges are reasonably priced.
Both are gone for now, victims of Sandy, along with the oceanfront pavilions and the lemon-shaped lemonade stand that puckered up beside the Crab Shack.
The town is installing beachfront trailers with public bathrooms this summer until the pavilions can be replaced. Over the years, more restaurants have opened, replacing the fast-food joints that once held sway. Completed in , the building houses a hair salon, office space and luxury condos.
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Brandl, who lives in Belmar with his family, is thrilled with the changes he sees. It is being built to withstand fierce storms.
Ocean County, New Jersey - Wikipedia
New wooden pilings will be driven 25 feet deep to hold the boardwalk in place. Some of the previous pilings reached only eight feet into the sand. The municipally owned marina on the river is another hot zone for reinvention. A new marina restaurant, the 9th Ave Pier, opened last year on a pier that was formerly in ruins. A public-private partnership between the borough and Chefs International, the restaurant has an outdoor tiki bar, Adirondack chairs and sunset views to be enjoyed while dining on coconut shrimp and steamers. As part of its development deal, Chefs International built a miniature golf course at the marina.
The borough also built a new boat launch at the marina and will begin charging for access this summer—another new revenue source.
Ocean County, New Jersey
There are also plans to build an ice skating rink and roller hockey rink at Dempsey Park several blocks away. While the town will miss income this summer from leases on the beachfront pavilions and has had to absorb some of the expense of rebuilding after the storm, Doherty does not anticipate a municipal tax increase this year. Poutine on the Orient Express: An Irreverent Look at Travel. You Can Get Arrested for That. Las Vegas - City Travel Guide. Tips for First Time Cruisers. Discover the Best Sites of the Country. Nude Nuns and Other Peculiar People.
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