Margate Development Deals Under Fire From Local Taxpayers

margate bulkhead leeds downbeach amherst ave litigation
Margate is Changing. Again.

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.

Ocean City McCrosson Margate
Pic: Cape May County Herald

See questionable activity by Dottie McCrosson & Ocean City here. Spotlighted by taxpayer group, FIT, Fairness in Taxes.

Margate Amherst Ave Parcel Valuation

Margate Barbary Coast
Amherst Ave

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.

Lamberti's Margate
Lamberti’s and Margate Bulkhead Work

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.

11 thoughts on “Margate Development Deals Under Fire From Local Taxpayers”

  1. Bulkheads cost 1,000 / LF. Someone needs to investigate and find out why this one cost 2,500 /LF. Someone is not telling the truth

    1. Do we have access to that cost information? Who has replaced bulkhead recently? Who can share what the actual cost is, versus what Leeds is claiming?
      Do you think something stinks here?

  2. What is relationship of Bill Gormley, his son, Margate officials, and developers of this stretch of real estate? Sounds to me, we need more transparency and a cease to continue, until public is in full understanding. Silence is agreement Margate residents. So you can only blame yourselves if this continues unopposed.

  3. Just more out of control traffic and dangerous speeding on Amherst Ave. No one cares and even when someone is killed, they will do nothing about it. Margate is circling the drain!

  4. When you can’t find a parking spot and start going off island, as we did last summer, where prices are better and service is better, the restaurants will find out how foolish this was.

  5. I have a summer family home on Amherst Avenue. Our grandchildren cannot be on Amherst Avenue alone. Very heavy traffic and speeding. Friday night looks like a car race. Speed bumps are needed along the street and a light at Monroe& Amherst Avenues is needed. . We sit out on our deck just waiting for an accident. The parking is a major fiasco. We have to call the police often. People park in front of our driveway to go to Lamberti’s, and double park to leave and pick people up. The Monroe parking lot seems to be too far for people to walk. The people at the other end of Amherst Avenue will have similar problems or much worse. Their is absolutely no concern for the well being tax paying citizens. JAR

    1. City officials and the Police don’t care. They know exactly what the issues are relating to traffic and speeding on Amherst Ave and they won’t do a thing about it. The fear is if they give speeding tickets or have any type of traffic control, people won’t come to the restaurants so they let the residents suffer. It’s so counter-intuitive but as they say, “stupid is as stupid does”!!

  6. I have a summer family home on Amherst Ave. Our grandchildren cannot be on Amherst Ave alone; due to the high volume of traffic and speeding. Friday nights resemble a car race. Speed bumps and blinkers are needed; also a traffic light at Monroe and Amherst Avenue. That is a fiasco. We have called the police often due to people parking in front of our driveway. They do not want to walk to Monroe Ave parking lot. They also double park to drop and pick up people at Lamberti’s. It is just an accident waiting to happen. These things will help along with more police presence. Now this same situation, maybe worse, will be at the other end of Amherst Ave. There is no concern for the tax paying citizens at all.

  7. I am a year round resident living in Marven Gardens. We had a recent tear down. I understand houses get old or damaged and must need replacement. However, the replacement house has under house parking and will be story higher than the adjacent houses. No notifications were sent to the neighbors because Margate zoning claims the house meets all zoning regulations. I’m guessing a variance was still granted for the under house parking. The house absolutely does fit the historical character of Marven Gardens. What is the long term development vision for Margate? Right now, it seems anthing goes and the developers rule. I’m very disappointed with the current administration and city officials.

  8. MK wrote. I guess we will just have to see how the voters react to all these
    things in the May 2019 municipal elections. We will get the government we deserve by how many of us % of the legal registered voting citizens actually turn out to vote. We don’t have to worry about the thoughts or opinions of second home owners, they have no say , voice , or vote. We tell them shut up & pay your REAL ESTATE TAXES.

  9. It’s ironic that this area is known as the “Barbary Coast,” or at least was known as that some years ago. The original Barbary Coast was in North Africa in the late 18th and early 19th century. Some of the Barbary pirates attacked and pillaged American ships in the area, so much so that Jefferson and Madison both sent U.S. Marines “to the shores of Tripoli” to put a stop to the madness. But it was only when all the European nations joined with the U.S. as a united front that the pirates were completely defeated.

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