A proposal to build a private pool facility along the Atlantic Ocean has finally been given the go-ahead despite generating a lot of controversy since emerging over two years ago.
During their June 7 meeting, Asbury Park’s planning board voted 5-2 to approve the Asbury Beach Club. The final greenlight capped a long process; the board first heard the application for the club in May of 2019 and testimony was taken on the project during a whopping 15 different meetings.
The club is to be built on a vacant parcel at 1500 Ocean Avenue located just east of the North Beach condominiums. The land is owned by a subsidiary of Manhattan-based iStar, who has built several local projects including the Asbury Ocean Club Hotel in recent years.
Handel Architects, who designed the two-story club, reworked several aspects of the project as the approval process went along. A wall set to face the Ocean Avenue side of the structure was once envisioned to be covered in ivy but will instead sport white stucco for a look described by Handel as “international modern.”
The portion of the facility that fronts Asbury Park’s boardwalk will sport a wood composite fence following a redesign. Renderings show several murals adorning the space in a nod to the city’s arts scene.
As for the interior, Asbury Beach Club will be perched about 18 feet above street level and feature a 25 X 100-foot swimming pool, cabanas for guests, and an observation deck plus food and drink service area. A sand “beach” portion is included on the side of the club that faces the ocean.
Much of the controversy surrounding the club came from a group called Save Asbury’s Waterfront. They argue the club’s ritzy nature represents the antithesis of Asbury Park’s inclusive history and aesthetic.
iStar has previously said that the club will be open to anyone who can afford it but has not released any details about what a membership or day pass at the facility could cost.
While the company has obtained the approvals, they have not announced when construction on the Asbury Beach Club will commence.