iStar, Toll Bros., Somerset Development and K. Hovnanian continue momentum of Asbury Park revival with new development projects

Developers iStar, Toll Bros., Somerset Development and K. Hovnanian Homes, some of the largest names in commercial real estate, announced Thursday that they are leading the next round of building in Asbury Park.

iStar, which has been the engine of revival for the Jersey Shore town for the past decade, said it entered into a series of agreements to bring several of the nation’s most well-known and successful developers to power the redevelopment forward — an investment forecast at another $300 million.

Led by CEO Jay Sugarman, the company originally acquired 35 acres in the city and has spent more than $300 million on its efforts to transform a 1.25 mile stretch of Asbury Park oceanfront. It has carefully curated residential, hotel and infrastructure projects to solidify Asbury Park as one-of-a-kind place to live, work, visit and invest.

“We have always believed in the city of Asbury Park,” said Brian Cheripka, senior vice president, iStar, who spearheads all land and development in Asbury Park on behalf of the company. “Our first several projects showcased a new standard for the oceanfront, curated exceptional experiences and introduced an effortless lifestyle for new residents. With the oceanfront now providing a solid, and growing, economic foundation for the city, we feel comfortable accelerating our efforts to complete the redevelopment by bringing in best-in-class development partners who share our vision.”

Current developments underway include projects by award-winning firms Toll Bros., Somerset Development and K. Hovnanian Homes. When completed, these three oceanfront developments will create $3.6 million of new tax revenue, which is equal to approximately 15% of the total municipal share collected by the entire city in 2021. The projects also will contribute $1.9 million of annual special assessment payments to fund the installation of new public infrastructure in the waterfront redevelopment area.

Additionally, Toll Bros. will be developing a luxury townhome community along Wesley Lake, between Cookman and Lake avenues. Still in the early planning stages, the community will consist of five buildings with a total of 62 townhomes ranging from two to four bedrooms. This will be the company’s first development in Asbury Park, although it has been building in New Jersey for nearly 40 years.

“We are excited to partner with iStar to bring Toll Bros. luxury to Asbury Park. Our discerning homebuyers can trust our commitment to an extraordinary experience. From floor plans designed for today’s buyers and unrivaled personalization options through our national award-winning Design Studio, we continue to offer our residents the best in luxury living in the most desirable New Jersey neighborhoods,” said Craig Cherry, division president, Toll Bros. New Jersey.

No stranger to Asbury Park, K. Hovnanian, which previously introduced the successful townhome community South Grand, is currently developing the Cove at Asbury Park, which opened in July 2021 and has already sold out. The community features 48 contemporary townhomes with prices from the $900s to over $1 million. The Cove is located just blocks from the city’s oceanfront, boasting open floor plans, outdoor terraces and configurations of up to four bedrooms with an average of 2,916 square feet.

“Our buyers have shared that our prime location between the beach and Cookman Avenue helped make their decision to move to Asbury Park an easy one,” said Michael Weisslitz, northeast division president, K. Hovnanian Homes. “Our location, which is a short walk to the water, with modern design and tasteful interior selections, makes our large homes a preferred alternative to a similar-sized single-family home, without the maintenance.”

Somerset Development, the team behind Holmdel’s BellWorks, the 2-million-square-foot redevelopment of the former Bell Labs property, and the third developer entering Asbury Park, will be expanding its growing footprint in the residential space.

“The Asbury Park waterfront represents one of the Jersey Shore’s best-loved destinations and is increasingly becoming known as more than just a beautiful place to visit and vacation, but also to call home,” said Ralph Zucker, president, Somerset Development. “We’re thrilled to partner with iStar and leverage our commitment to creating thoughtfully designed, leading-edge spaces, to bring a beautiful new luxury residential community to Asbury Park. Our shared vision for what is already a truly vibrant, dynamic neighborhood will provide a place for future residents to enjoy what Asbury Park has to offer.”

iStar’s notable projects in Asbury include the town’s namesake hotel, the Asbury, now managed by Sage Hospitality Group, restoration of legendary bowling alley-turned music venue Asbury Lanes and the redevelopment’s crown oceanfront jewel, Asbury Ocean Club Surfside Resort and Residences — the long-awaited luxury residences and boutique hotel. Asbury Ocean Club has sold 80% of its condominiums at record breaking prices to date.

Taking the title of one of the nation’s most ambitious urban-revival initiatives, iStar’s approach to development extends beyond buildings, however: The master developer has spearheaded a major overhaul of area infrastructure, which includes an $8 million extension of the boardwalk, new landscaping, sidewalks, street lighting and added parking along the oceanfront. As city officials and local businesses have worked together throughout the community, the city has seen an 300% increase in tourism since 2010.