Demolition Planned in Toms River
The Washington Street building in downtown Toms River that was gutted by fire in May, leaving 14 small businesses and a charity without offices, will have to come down. The real estate group, 27 Washington Street Associates that owns the building, was recently notified following inspections by engineers, township construction and fire officials.
"It's been deemed to be be structurally unsafe and at this point they have issued an order for the demolition of 27 Washington Street", said one of the group's principals Attorney Jim Gluck.
Gluck adds that they'll be moving quickly to get the building demolished for public safety reasons.
"Our concern is for the safety for the general downtown areas so that the town can move forward with the events that they're having."
However, when buildings are as close and as large as the Washington Street structures
are, demolition will have to be done very carefully.
"There's going to have to be a lot of efforts that are going to have to be coordinated for downtown with this demolition,, including street closures and traffic safety and pedestrian relocation," said Gluck.
There's also been no decision on what will be constructed in the building's place, he said.
"We're not sure what potentially could be built back on that. We're we're in preliminary negotiations with the town and with doing some concept drawings to decide what might fit back within that footprint."
Inspectors ruled the fire as accidental on May 15, ignited in an electrical box in the ceiling of East Coast Gamers on Robbins Street. Gluck said 27 Washington Street Associates owned the building since 2005 and had already put a lot of work into the building to get it nearly leased to capacity.