Bruce Springsteen's musical hometown Asbury Park revived by 'all-star' architectural team

by Kim Megson | 11 May 2016

US real estate developer iStar has detailed its ambitions to reinvigorate the struggling New Jersey town of Asbury Park, the economic plight of which has been documented in song by Bruce Springsteen.

The firm has announced “a multi-billion dollar redevelopment plan” to transform a 1.25-mile stretch of the park’s waterfront with new public realm, hotels, cultural facilities and residencies.

The town was once a popular beach resort, but has fallen on hard times over the last few decades. It is considered the musical hometown of Springsteen, who has often performed there and who penned the song My City of Ruins about its “boarded up windows and empty streets.”

iStar have partnered with an “all star team” of architects, including Chad Oppenheim, Gary Handel, Melillo + Bauer Associates and project design director Anda Andrei to oversee the redevelopment, along with lifestyle designers American Leisure.

In total, iStar’s project will add more than 2,100 homes and 300 hotel rooms to the town, “strengthening Asbury Park’s tax base, employment opportunities, and economic backbone.” It is partnering with businesses, cultural institutions, entrepreneurs, artists and community groups to further redevelop the town.

Overall, there are 20 planned development projects, including:

• The Asbury, a 110-key independent hotel designed by Stonehill & Taylor Architects set to open at the end of May in a long-vacant former Salvation Army building. It will feature 110 guestrooms, an outdoor swimming pool, indoor- and outdoor-event facilities, bars and a rooftop garden. Hotelier David Bowd, creator of the SALT hotels brand, will manage, programme and oversee development of The Asbury. It is the town's first new hotel in more than 50 years.

• Monroe, a “stylish and sophisticated” 34-unit condominium designed by Oppenheim, projected to open in Q3 2016.

• Asbury Lanes, a renovation to a music and bowling venue that will host concerts, burlesque nights and bingo.

• 1101 Ocean, a mixed-use hotel, condominium and retail project designed by Handel, beautifying one of the Jersey Shore's tallest buildings; “a concrete eyesore” vacant for more than two decades.

• Beach-themed landscaping by Melillo + Bauer to create new areas of public realm that reference the town’s past as a popular holiday resort.

“We believe in Asbury Park’s potential as a one-of-a-kind place to live, work, visit, and invest,” said Jay Sugarman, iStar’s founder and CEO. “We’re excited to harness its character, beauty, and heritage to build a future full of promise and we’re eager to share it with the world.

“The opportunity to design almost a mile of oceanfront land almost never comes along, and to have that opportunity in a place with as rich a history, as beautiful a setting, and with such iconic venues and architecture as Asbury Park, gives us a chance to do something really special. I know everyone on our team is committed to making that happen.”

Andrei, formerly director of design with the Ian Schrager Company, added: “Asbury Park has a soul that makes it unique in America. There’s a love for that behind this project. We’re mining the incredible history and one-of-a-kind character to amplify what’s already here.”

Asbury Park  iStar  architecture  design  New Jersey  My City of Ruins  Bruce Springsteen  
US real estate developer iStar has detailed its ambitions to reinvigorate the struggling New Jersey town of Asbury Park, the economic plight of which has been documented in song by Bruce Springsteen. The firm has announced “a multi-billion dollar redevelopment plan” to transform a 1.25-mile stretch of the park’s waterfront with new public realm, hotels, cultural facilities and residencies. The town was once a popular beach resort, but has fallen
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Asbury Park is the musical hometown of rock icon Brice Springsteen / Craig ONeal
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