Is Margate development headed in the right direction? Are taxpayers getting fair value for their assets? Some MARGATE residents along Amherst Ave don’t think so.
In whats been called another dead-of-winter vote when few are around, Commissioners voted YES for ‘conveyance’, aka hand-over, of 7 bayfront parking spots to a private developer in exchange for the builder to replace the taxpayer-owned, 175 ft of bulkhead.
Local Amherst homeowners hired Atty Robert Baranowski to file a lawsuit to try and stop the deal.
Developer Jim Leeds plans on building new office space and residential properties at the former Integrity Marina location.
So far, Leeds has spent $400,000+ to replace that section of Margate bulkhead. Margate officials claim this is, at least, fair market value of the land.
Baranowski & Amherst neighbors say Margate City should replace the aging bulkhead, instead of handing it over to a private developer.
Did the City of Margate properly determine fair market value of the Amherst Ave land?
Re-authorization of Ordinance 21-2018 approved on Sept. 6, 2018.
- Transfer 25- by 75-foot strip of bayfront property land
- Deed held in escrow until litigation is complete.
Conflict of interest for Margate solicitor, John Scott Abbott. Dottie McCrosson from Ocean City fills in.
Interesting to note: McCrosson is involved with another controversial Real Estate deal. In Ocean City, this one involves Klaus Enterprises and a former Chevrolet dealership. Valuations, private negotiations, and procedural non-compliance under scrutiny.
See questionable activity by Dottie McCrosson & Ocean City here. Spotlighted by taxpayer group, FIT, Fairness in Taxes.OCNJ FIT - Press Release with Private Emails
Margate Amherst Ave Parcel Valuation
Margate residents believe the best way to price this parcel is to put it up for bid, as opposed to Margate privately negotiating this deal with developer Leeds.
Atty Baronowski not convinced City of Margate is actual bulkhead owner. Neighbors also questioned City’s claim that this area was rarely used for public parking.
Amherst residents say parcel in question is always in high demand during the summer. Unsafe traffic and parking conditions will be made worse if this deal goes thru. Over-development is a safety hazard for pedestrians, kids, and those on bikes.
Lately, business owners are more often given a pass on minimum parking requirements. Amherst Ave resident Fred Tursi thinks Margate shouldn’t be selling public parking spaces to a private developer.
With most Margate residents gone for the winter, Mayor Becker and Commissioner Amodeo voted YES and approved the controversial ordinance. Commissioner Blumberg was not present.
Lamberti’s Restaurant and Margate come to terms over bulkhead and bayfront property.
The bayfront restaurant has started to replace approx 588 feet of bulkhead adjacent to their property. As part of the deal, Lamberti’s will become owner of this premium parcel. They’ve been leasing this space from the City of Margate for many years.
Lamberti is now required to provide 24 public parking spaces at their lot on Monroe Ave, from 7a to 5p during the summer.