By DONALD WITTKOWSKI
Berger Realty proprietor Leon Grisbaum, an avid pilot who has flown for almost 75 years, is donating $3 million to assist construct a brand new terminal at Ocean Metropolis Municipal Airport that may bear his names and of his spouse.
The donation was introduced Thursday night time by Mayor Jay Gillian on the identical time his administration unveiled a five-year, $146.2 million capital plan to fund a sequence of infrastructure enhancements throughout town, together with a brand new public security constructing.
One of many main initiatives proposed within the capital plan is an up to date airport terminal that can even home a restaurant and professional store for the Ocean Metropolis Municipal Golf Course. The town plans to mix Grisbaum’s $3 million donation with $5 million of its personal funding and authorities grants to assist construct the challenge in 2024.
The brand new facility might be named the “Leon and Elizabeth Grisbaum Airport Terminal” in recognition of the donation.
“I have been flying right here since 1948 and I need to see it proceed,” Grisbaum mentioned of the airport in a metropolis information launch.
Grisbaum is considered one of Ocean Metropolis’s most outstanding realtors. Berger Realty was as soon as a small, just about one-person operation on the nook of thirty second Road and Asbury Avenue within the late Nineteen Forties. Beneath Grisbaum’s management, the enterprise has expanded to incorporate the principle headquarters and 4 satellite tv for pc workplaces, in line with the corporate’s web site the corporate.
A licensed industrial pilot, Grisbaum flies his personal twin-engine aircraft and likewise makes use of it for his actual property enterprise. He’s a previous president of the Ocean Metropolis Airport Affiliation.
Amongst different facilities, the brand new terminal named in Grisbaum’s honor will embody higher facilities for pilots, an up to date communications middle and a brand new second-floor restaurant with views of the runway and surrounding bay.
“Our airport is a useful asset to Ocean Metropolis, not just for journey and tourism, however for emergency administration,” Gillian mentioned within the launch. “I’m extraordinarily grateful to Mr. Grisbaum for a present that may assist us construct a unprecedented facility and for his a few years of help of the airport. The airport has additionally been an essential a part of my life. My dad was a pilot and I flew out and in of Ocean Metropolis with him for a few years.”
Ocean Metropolis has conceptual designs for the brand new terminal. The town has submitted grant proposals to the New Jersey Airport Enchancment Program, Federal Aviation Administration and Bipartisan Infrastructure Act funding to assist finance the challenge.
The town can have blueprints for the brand new constructing accomplished in 2023. The blueprints can even set a value estimate and timeline for the challenge. The donation from Grisbaum might be positioned in escrow and returned to him if the brand new terminal shouldn’t be realized, in line with the discharge.
The airport opened within the Thirties and is the one airport positioned on a New Jersey barrier island. The terminal constructing dates to the Sixties and has reached the tip of its helpful life, town mentioned.
The town has mentioned plans to construct a brand new terminal in recent times. At one level, it tentatively deliberate to construct it in 2020 as a part of an earlier five-year capital plan.
In the meantime, the brand new $146.2 million capital plan unveiled Thursday night time throughout a Metropolis Council assembly is taken into account a complete plan for metropolis initiatives that might be constructed from 2023 to 2027.
“That is essential. It is some huge cash,” Gillian instructed the Council members.
The council is anticipated to vote on the capital plan at its Dec. 22 assembly. Later, the Council must approve funding for particular person initiatives and building contracts.
All the capital plan may be considered on town’s web site at ocnj.us/initiatives.
Highlights within the 2023 capital plan embody a sequence of road building initiatives all through town, drainage enhancements to cut back flooding, again bay cleanup, seashore replenishment and Boardwalk enhancements.
One other main challenge proposed for 2023 is a complete makeover for town’s playground and recreation complicated on thirty fourth Road. A brand new playground space, improved restrooms, 5 new pickleball courts and renovated basketball courts and tennis might be a part of the estimated $4.7 million challenge.
“The entire space wants a facelift,” Gillian mentioned of the playground and recreation complicated on thirty fourth Road between West and Asbury streets.
Richard S. Grimes Athletic Fields, one other hub for Ocean Metropolis’s sports activities and recreation neighborhood, is in line for a proposed $4.2 million makeover in 2023.
The complicated’s location in a low-lying space close to Bay and Haven streets between Fifth and Sixth streets typically ends in moist grass or muddy fields.
Metropolis officers plan to regrade and lift the fields to make them much less prone to rain or flooding. New tools can be into account, together with bleachers and higher bogs.
In whole, proposed spending on capital initiatives citywide in 2023 will whole almost $54.6 million. In 2024, the capital plan proposes $46.8 million in spending, then $15.1 million in 2025, $17.3 million in 2026 and $12.4 million in 2027.
Frank Donato, town’s chief monetary officer, instructed the Council that Ocean Metropolis would be capable to afford the plan. He mentioned the associated fee would quantity to lower than a penny enhance within the native tax fee every year over the subsequent 10 years.
“The power to deal with it’s there,” Donato mentioned.
The one most costly challenge can be a brand new public security constructing that will home the police division and price $25 million.
In 2020, Gillian proposed constructing a mixed headquarters for the police and fireplace departments at 550 Asbury Ave. The estimated price was $42 million. The council opposed the proposal, calling the worth too costly.
Donato instructed the Council that plans for a mixed police and fireplace division headquarters at the moment are useless.
As an alternative, the newest plans name for demolishing the prevailing police headquarters at Eighth Road and Central Avenue and constructing a brand new public security constructing on the identical website, Donato mentioned.
The town is proposing to spend $500,000 in 2023 to design the challenge and construct it in 2024 at an estimated price of $25 million.
Noting the controversial historical past of town’s plans for a brand new public security constructing, Gillian mentioned, “We preserve going spherical and spherical.”
The prevailing public security constructing, a former faculty, is greater than 100 years previous. Gillian mentioned the constructing is just too outdated to modernize.
“There’s nothing we are able to do with that constructing,” he mentioned.
The most important problem to growing a brand new public security constructing on the prevailing website can be discovering momentary quarters for the police division through the building section, metropolis officers mentioned.
Lately, town has thought-about shopping for the seven-story former Crown Financial institution constructing on the nook of Eighth Road and Asbury Avenue and presumably utilizing it for a brief police station.
Nevertheless, Icona Resorts proprietor Eustace Mita has supplied to purchase the Crown Financial institution constructing out of chapter for $6.5 million and remodel the downtown landmark right into a luxurious lodge.
On December 13, a chapter listening to was scheduled to approve the sale of the constructing to Mita. Gillian famous that town will monitor the chapter proceedings.
“As soon as it is achieved and ultimate, we’ll sit down with him and determine what we need to do,” Gillian mentioned of future talks with Mita.