UPDATE AUG 24… A long-rumored, Margate Aqua Park along Amherst Ave, is more than just a cool idea. It’s more than just talk.
Tongues started to wag after Action News TV weather dude, Adam Joseph, mentioned that a ‘water-park’ could be in Margate’s future. This was mentioned while the weather-caster was doing a live broadcast from Stone Harbor recently.
On Thursday afternoon Aug 23, DownbeachBUZZ was contacted by Maggie Day. She’s connected to the popular ‘aqua park’ in Stone Harbor. Whereas a water park is land-locked with fixed slides and lazy rivers for tubing….. an ‘aqua-park’ typically features water-bound inflatables. Think: blow up slides and trampolines that float in the back bay waters. Ocean City also has this type of popular attraction, albeit managed by a different vendor.
Maggie Day is the owner of a waterside parcel of land at 9420 Amherst Ave. in Margate. She took ownership of that parcel on March 29, 2018. Purchased for $365,000. The site is approved for a JET-SKI MARINA.
- In April of 2009, this parcel was purchased by Penny Lane Associates LLC for $75,000.
- In May of 2016, Penny Lane Associates LLC sold it to 9420 Amherst LLC for $150,000.
- In March of 2018, Amherst LLC sold it to Maggie (Margaret) Day for $365,000.
Ms. Day is also President of the Stone Harbor Chamber of Commerce.
Day tells DownbeachBUZZ that while she certainly has interest in expanding her aqua-park attraction to other shore towns, including Margate, there are currently NO applications filed with the City of Margate. No approvals. No paperwork. No nothing.
Maggie Day admits though, there are plenty of hoops to jump thru in order to launch an amusement like this. Local, State and Federal. As is true with most new projects (miniature golf course for example), design & application procedures take quite a while.
Tom Tice is the owner/operator of Island Water Sports, operating in Stone Harbor for the past 30 years.
Current status: Tice & Day are in the very early, preliminary stages of a potential Margate project: design & approvals. But they will soon be submitting those applications.
Island Water Sports wants to open a 50,000-square-foot Aqua Park for Summer 2019. On the bay, along Amherst Ave in Margate
Reports suggest this idea has been batted around for the past 2 years. Looks like city commissioners and the planning board were well aware of the idea, but that’s all it was. An idea. But this idea is now evolving into something much more concrete.
Development would need the approval of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), among many other approvals. No structures are being built. Just inflatables floating in the water.
The 9420 Amherst Ave property includes 275 feet along the bulkhead and includes riparian rights.
Maggie Day says they’re preparing an application for the DEP, but have yet to file for permitting.
In early 2018, Margate revised its zoning maps in this Waterfront Special District. This now allows for substantial redevelopment of two former marinas.
Note: Margate did deal with developer. City gets 175 feet of new bulkhead. Leeds will build a sizable office with two apartments at this former Integrity Marine site.
All three Margate commissioners have said they won’t allow new development in these areas, where buildings do not currently exist. Hmmmm. But what about floating stuff?
Amherst resident Ed Berger, who’s also President of the Margate Business Association, is in a tough spot. Should Berger support and encourage new business like a restaurant with limited parking, or fight to stop over-development in front of his Amherst Ave. home?
Observers suggest Berger thinks the current Margate City zoning ordinance may have been written with too much wiggle room baked in. Berger doesn’t seem to be a big fan of Margate conveying public land to developers. There’s a real concern that city leaders could provide more land to future developers along the waterfront.
Berger is baffled, bewildered and befuddled. He can’t make too much of a stink though. The City of Margate (and it’s taxpayers) subsidizes his Margate Business Association to the tune of $95,000…and we think that’s annually.
LISTEN > Solicitor & Commissioners OK $95,000 for Margate Business Association.
Commissioners Amodeo, Blumberg and Mayor Becker have said they will never allow development along that strip, but can’t prevent current structure owners from being raised or expanded.
The city wants to build a promenade along the waterfront.
‘There’s nothing going in there in the future’, said Margate’s Mayor Becker. Commissioner Maury Blumberg also shared a well-measured, politically correct statement. “if there’s not a building there now, there never will be a building there.” But what about floating stuff, Maury? What about current structures being dramatically expanded?
This Amherst Ave neighborhood is likely to look very different in the next few years. New marinas, businesses, restaurants and who knows what else. The Margate Planning Board will play a major role here.