From the Asbury Park Press:
Asbury Partners, the city’s waterfront developer, has bought the unfinished Esperanza high-rise site from Capital One Bank, which had foreclosed on the project, a company official said Friday.
The beachfront site on Ocean Avenue between Third and Fourth avenues is considered a key development parcel and central to the overall waterfront landscape.
But it has been jinxed. For 17 years, the former unfinished high-rise known as “C-8” sat abandoned, a symbol of the earlier failed waterfront redevelopment of the 1980s.
Then, Metro Homes bought the site and imploded the skeleton highrise in the spring of 2006. The Hoboken developer set out to build the dramatic 224-unit Esperanza full of flair and wavy architecture. But the national mortgage crisis set in and in December 2007, Metro Homes closed down the construction site.
“This property is critical to putting the larger waterfront redevelopment back on track,” said Brian Cheripka, a vice president with iStar Financial Inc., which took over ownership of Asbury Partners in December 2009 when the former Asbury Partners’ principals could not repay $70 million in loans.
“I think it’s a great step forward and an exciting development, especially for that parcel of land which has just had so many false starts,” Mayor Ed Johnson said Friday. “I remain hopeful and confident that this is its final start, and we will begin to see development start on that site and throughout the waterfront.”