Oceanport project earns 2018 Merit Award

The Monmouth County Planning Board presented four organizations with their 2018 Planning Merit Award at their Dec. 17 meeting.

One of the sites was in Oceanport.

“These honorees are recognized for their significant, creative contributions to Monmouth County that makes it one of the best places to live and visit,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Planning Board. “The Planning Merit Awards honor the exceptional examples of planning in Monmouth County, and inspires others to pursue the same level of planning achievement and excellence.”

The 2018 Merit Awards were presented to:

East Gate, Fort Monmouth, Oceanport, in recognition of outstanding adaptive reuse of historic housing and economic development. East Gate is the first residential component to be introduced in the Fort Monmouth redevelopment. Former military housing for officers has been remodeled to create new two- and three-story homes with luxurious amenities and a high level of style and comfort.

The redevelopment is comprised of 68 fully restored early 20th century homes that blend the nostalgia of simpler times with modern Monmouth County lifestyles. East Gate takes the most ideal characteristics of a traditional neighborhood-walkability, quality architecture, a central outdoor area, and combines them with modern amenities.

Asbury Lanes, of Asbury Park, in recognition of outstanding adaptive reuse, economic development, and social programming. Asbury Lanes, an 18-lane bowling alley built in 1962, was purchased and renovated by iStar, who kept the site as a bowling and live music venue. The new interior has a large performance and event space, a diner, 6 bowling lanes with a unique pin setting system, an American flag made of red, white, and blue bowling balls, and a bowling shoe rental counter constructed from wood salvaged from the original bowling alleys.

NY/NJ Baykeeper, in recognition of an outstanding public-private partnership project to enhance shoreline protection and restore aquatic habitat in Raritan Bay. This project, part of a public-private partnership between NY/NJ Baykeeper and Naval Weapons Station Earle, is a living shoreline consisting of artificial reef using live oysters and oyster castles, providing a substrate for oysters to grow on. Located in the Raritan Bay at Naval Weapons Station Earle, the reef is providing valuable data to determine how a living shoreline can fortify the nearby shoreline, improve water quality, and create aquatic habitat.

T. Thomas Fortune House, in recognition of an outstanding public-private partnership for the adaptive reuse of a historic structure and preservation of community character. The T. Thomas Fortune House (also known as Maple Hall), is one of two National Historic Landmarks in the State of New Jersey that is significant to African-American history. It was constructed in the late 1800’s and was the home of Timothy Thomas Fortune from 1901-1908. T. Thomas Fortune was born a slave and became a journalist, a civil rights activist, a writer, an editor, and a publisher. Roger Mumford of Mumford Homes, along with French & Parrello Associates,

developed plans to preserve the structure and honor Mr. Fortune by rehabilitating the home as the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center. The development consists of the restoration of entire property, along with an entry plaza with benches and a monument commemorating Fortune, parking areas for visitors, internal walkways circulating the site, and an apartment building at the rear that incorporates the French Mansard style of Maple Hall.

Established in 1984, the Monmouth County Planning Board’s Planning Merit Award Program recognizes those plans, projects, programs, individuals, municipalities, businesses, community leaders, and stakeholder organizations that have made a significant contribution to the advancement of planning and planning outcomes in Monmouth County.

For more information, visit the Monmouth County Division of Planning section of the Monmouth County website at www.VisitMonmouth.com or call 732-431-7460.