Most Margatians know that back bay storm surge causes the most damage to Margate properties. Failing and too low bulkheads were the real reason that Hurricane Sandy caused so much damage, not the front beaches.
But finally, Downbeach homeowners are finally getting some real storm protection, in the form of a new, Amherst Ave bulkhead.
A few more steps remain to finish this portion of the project.
On Aug. 16, the 3 Margate Commissioners OK’ed a contract to replace a 1,250 length of rotten Amherst Ave bulkhead that could fail in a major storm.
Earlier this year, the city blocked parking in this popular area that features destinations like Cafe Lamberti and Sofia Restaurant. There were concerns that the bulkhead could collapse. Engineers ultimately deemed parking was safe for now, but bulkhead replacement needs to happen asap. Various issues have delayed the rebuild.
Here’s the latest:
The City of Margate will pay the Arthur W. Ponzio Co., $94,700 for planning and engineering services. They will design the new bulkhead and pedestrian promenade. Residents question the attractiveness of an Amherst ‘promenade.’ It’s essentially a thin strip of concrete between parked cars and the bulkhead. Sidewalk is a better description, say local residents and visitors. Nonetheless, the upgrade is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
Casa Lamberti Restaurant, on the border of Margate & Longport, leases 315 ft of bulkhead from the City of Margate, and are required to replace it. That bulkhead is also in danger of collapse. The lease requires that the tenant maintain the bulkhead, otherwise they could be in default. Work could start by late September, 2018. Funding for the bulkhead will come from borrowing / bonding.
Margate plans to handover approximately 7 parking spots along Amherst Ave to property owner, Barbary Coast Marina. In exchange for this land swap, they’ll replace and maintain 175 feet of Margate-owned bulkhead, and will extend the so-called pedestrian promenade. The cost, paid by Barbary Coast, will be $443,681.70. The bulkhead is almost complete, ahead of schedule.
The owner, Leeds, will build an office with two residential apartments up top. This former site of Integrity Marine, will have new piers and ramps.
Residents along Amherst Ave have complained and threatened legal action, over issues related to traffic, parking, safety and loss of view. Rumors of an ‘aqua park’ or floating water park in this area, has also drawn the ire of neighbors.