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POINT PLEASANT, NJ – When Meridian Health System wanted to shut down its smallish Point Pleasant Hospital and move its functions to other area locations, this Jersey Shore community agreed to buy the 12-acre site and its existing buildings for $3 million. Now, the community has made a cool $2.25 million profit on just seven of those 12 acres — Hackensack, NJ-based Lancaster Group outbid a half-dozen registered bidders to buy that acreage at a public auction.

Only one other bidder, Wemrock Holdings, actively pursued the site, for which bidding started at $4.5 million. The remaining five acres not acquired by Lancaster will be used for recreational purposes, and the community will use most of its newfound profit to facilitate sitework for that conversion.

Lancaster officials won’t say what they will do in terms of redevelopment of their acquisition, although the existing hospital buildings are expected to be razed to make way for mixed uses. Town council members have said they want at least 70 residential units as part of the mix.

As far as the auction proceedings, “we certainly got a lot more money than I thought we would get,” according to Mayor William Schroeder.

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