The revitalization of the Old 4th Ward has been an ongoing priority for the City for the past several years. In 2004, the Hapeville Development Authority began acquiring lots south of South Central Avenue and east of Atlanta Avenue. The City teamed up with Interciti Partners to complete the buyout and lead the redevelopment of the area. The project has witnessed significant changes since it was first conceived. Not only was the redevelopment area's name changed from College Square, to Olde Towne, and finally Asbury Park, the numbers of housing units and square footage of neighborhood retail has dramatically shifted.
When the project was first conceived, the adjacent Ford Motors Plant was still producing the famous Ford Taurus. The closing of the plant brought with it a unique opportunity. Under the terms of the sale of the Ford plant, Jacoby agreed not to include any residential development on the site. This left the development a large commercial activity center without a residential component, and an opportunity to transfer the residential density from Ford to the Asbury Park district.
Interciti Partners, recently reorganized into Interciti Development, was happy to increase densities in their project to accommodate the lack of residential development next door. The residential component is critical to the success of the Ford redevelopment, providing the necessary jobs-housing balance. In addition, the Asbury Park and Ford/Jacoby projects are reflective of the "smart growth" development model encouraged throughout the region and the country. This model concentrates high densities of commercial and residential development in a pedestrian-focused activity center, providing alternative transportation options, in a true live-work-play environment. This is good for the economy, reduces impact on traffic and emission of greenhouse gases, and allows for more efficient service delivery and lower infrastructure cost.
The newly reformulated 25-acre Asbury Park District will provide 1,357 condominium units, 58 townhouses, 689 multifamily apartments, and roughly 70,000sf of ground floor neighborhood retail. Phase One, consisting of 58 townhouses and 269 apartment units, should be complete in 2010, and final buildout for all phases is expected by 2015. In addition to potentially doubling the population of the city, Asbury Park will bring roughly $410 million dollars in new investment, and approximately $2.7 million per year in City property taxes.