Groundbreaking ceremony to take place in community destroyed by fire, Superstorm Sandy

A groundbreaking ceremony will take place Saturday to start the rebuilding of an Ocean County neighborhood that was destroyed during Superstorm Sandy.

News 12 Staff

Oct 27, 2022, 2:23 AM

Updated 637 days ago

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A groundbreaking ceremony will take place Saturday to start the rebuilding of an Ocean County neighborhood that was destroyed during Superstorm Sandy.
Some of the homes were burned, while other flooded. And now 10 years later the rebuilding process will begin.
The Camp Osborn neighborhood is located in Mantoloking. The area has sat empty for a decade due to endless red tape and new flood rules.
"It was just a place where blue-collar folks that didn't have a lot of money could vacation. And it got handed down from generation to generation,” says Dan Redmond.
Redmond grew up in the neighborhood with his sisters. Their grandmother lived a few houses down. The bungalows were so close together, one could reach out and touch their neighbors’ windows.
But this is why a transformer fire during the storm spread and destroyed more than 100 homes.
Redmond says he was one of the lucky ones. His home near the bay only flooded off its foundation. He rebuilt five years later.
But the section that burned down has taken longer to be rebuilt.
“When everyone was here in a bungalow, you didn't know who had money, who didn't have money. It’s changing. The entire barrier island is becoming a playground for the rich,” says XX.
New million-dollar homes are being built.
The new neighborhood is set to go from bungalows to duplexes. About 70 homes will be built. Because it is a condo association, each owner was like a partner in the project. This is partly why it took so long to rebuild.
Redmond says about half the original owners will be back. The rest are new investors. Investors like Jessica Walker.
"We knew that it was such a tragedy that happened. We're just grateful that there's going to be something finally built,” Walker says.
But she's not a stranger to the area. Walker has had a home nearby since before Sandy. She saw the storm's wrath up close but is committed to this neighborhood.
"I don't necessarily worry about the next big storm, no. I know the dunes are there. I know Seaside Park did well during Sandy because of those dunes,” she says.
She says she is instead focused on preserving the family atmosphere. Osborn Dunes will reflect on the legacy of Camp Osborn.
A new buyer would have to pay $600,000 to $800,000 for a condo. It may cost more to be closer to the ocean. Redmond says when he bought his home by the bay 25 years ago, it cost $42,000.


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