Will a New Performing Arts Center Anchor Asbury Park’s West Side?

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Rendering by Shore Point Architecture

After decades of decline, Asbury Park is starting to rebound in a big way. It’s not hard to see why; from its rich arts scene to its dining and eclectic destinations, the city that inspired Bruce Springsteen to write “My City of Ruins” is starting to rise to its former glory.


In a move that can only be described as massively appropriate, the home of the Stone Pony might be getting another performing arts venue. Plans were recently revealed for a new theater called Asbury J.A.M.S., which would have been located at the intersection of Springwood Avenue and Memorial Drive. The J.A.M.S. endeavor, short for Jobs, Arts, Music and Science, would have constructed a three-story, 200-seat theater totaling 60,000 square feet, including a museum-quality gallery space, a public green roof, and a restaurant intended as part supper club, part theater.

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Rendering by Shore Point Architecture

Designed by Pennsylvania-based Shore Point Architecture, the project aimed to “provide both a visual gateway to the Springwood Avenue Corridor and serve as a destination for people coming to Asbury Park to experience the city’s vibrant Arts and Music scene.” The development, spearheaded by a group called Interfaith Neighbors, had gotten some press attention recently, but it appears it won’t move forward in its current incarnation.

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asbury park jams art center
Rendering by Shore Point Architecture

Patrick Durkin, Director of Real Estate Development at Interfaith Neighbors, confirmed to the Asbury Park Press that the project has been on hold since February following a meeting the company had with the city. Durkin claimed that the city did not express a lot of support for the project as currently designed, and Mayor John Moor later confirmed that the J.A.M.S. project is indeed on hold.

However, Durkin did state that the city intends to put out a new Request For Proposals in regards to the potential performing arts center in the future, and added that Interfaith Neighbors will submit a new application when the time comes.

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Rendering by Shore Point Architecture

For now, the property remains a mostly vacant parcel just a short walk from Asbury Park’s train station. The city was recently granted transit village designation and major efforts will be made starting next year to revitalize the areas near the station, which includes almost half-mile sections of Main Street, Cookman Avenue, Memorial Drive, and Springwood Avenue. While the future of the recently revealed performing arts center remains fluid, it looks like Asbury Park will be making an effort to include their musical heritage in one project down the pipeline.

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