Is The Beachwood Shopping Center Redeveloper Losing Interest?

No news since State Planning Commission approved township's plan in July


Berkeley officials rejoiced in July when the State Planning Commission gave its long-sought okay to the township's massive redevelopment plan.

The plan approval meant that Donato Donofrio - the redeveloper of record - was free to iron out a cleanup agreement with the owner of the dilapidated Beachwood Shopping Center and get started on the redevelopment.

But nothing has happened since then. Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr. said after tonight's Township Council meeting he plans to call Donofrio to see if he still wants to proceed.

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 said.

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. While Donofrio is the developer of record, he has not signed a contract to purchase the property.

Berkeley's redevelopment plan includes the other three redevelopment areas in the township, also known as "nodes." But the Beachwood Shopping Center is ground zero in the township's redevelopment plan.

The shopping center area is part of the Town Center 1 receiving area, and runs along the highway from the township line near Mizzen Avenue in Beachwood to the C.B. Huntington restaurant, according to a real estate market analysis by Philadelphia-based Urban Partners submitted to the township.

The Town Center 2 portion of the plan includes the ShopRite shopping center and the Shar-a-Dee apartment complex.

The third portion of the project is an extension of a light industrial area along Hickory Lane. The fourth section involves more intensive mixed use development of 73 parcels along Route 9 near Harbor Inn Road, according to the report.

Come back to Berkeley Patch soon for more information on this developing story.

Marina October 11, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Oh come on....Think before you post. DD doesn't want to pay $50 million dollars to clean up this toxic mess. Would you? I would bet the property owner Priscilla Oughton wants a mint and stiff anyone possible with the clean-up costs. I'll also bet Berkeley would've taken the property via eminent domain long ago but they also don't want to be stuck with the clean-up costs either. Something tells me there is something political, a back door deal with Priscilla Oughton and the township or this would've been a done deal many many years ago.
Marina October 11, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Yes blame Varano, yes blame Amato and YES blame every mayor since the 60's to current. They all should share the blame for allowing this eye sore to continue to stand. Then jail Priscilla Oughton for being the criminal pollutor.
Patricia A. Miller October 11, 2012 at 11:28 PM
No summonses have been issued yet. If and when they are, we will write about it.
Joe October 14, 2012 at 09:57 AM
The enitire JOhnson family has been very difficult to deal with over the years.
Keeping whats mine December 20, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Varano was too far up the Holiday City butts to care anything about "Bayville". Say what you will, the truth has hurt this town.


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