OCEAN GROVE, NJ-This oceanfront community doesn’t have the complex redevelopment issues of its neighbor to the immediate north, Asbury Park, but it does have a prime 3.2-acre site that has sat vacant ever since the 250-room North End Hotel was torn down in 1980. Now, the site is apparently ready for redevelopment.

The trustees of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association have approved a plan by Wesley Atlantic Village Enterprises LLC, or WAVE, to redevelop the site with a combination of a hotel, condos, retail and other commercial space, a parking structure and a pool. The approval culminates a several-year process during which some 50 developers showed interest in the project, according to Scott Rasmussen, president of Ogcma.

The project still has a way to go before ground can be broken, according to William Gannon, a local attorney who heads the WAVE partnership. The New Jersey DEP has to sign off on it under the Coastal Area Facility Review Act, and additional approvals have to come from the Monmouth County planning board and the Neptune Township zoning board and historic preservation committee.

Ocean Grove was founded by a Methodist group in the 1860s as a Christian meeting camp, and was governed by that group until the 1970s when the community was folded into Neptune Twp. One of the largest collections of Victorian structures in the world, the whole community was put on the National Register of Historic Places more than 30 years ago. While it is no longer self-governing as a municipal body, the association still owns all the land in the community and residents lease the land on which their homes sit. In the case of the WAVE project, the association has agreed to a 99-year renewable lease, the terms of which were not disclosed.

Specifics of the project’s size and scope haven’t been released yet because “plans are still in the early stages,” according to Gannon. The developer and local officials both say its design will be consistent with the community’s Victorian flavor.

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