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The company that owns the Steel Pier in Atlantic City is considering opening an amusement park on a former landfill in the northern end of Sea Isle City.
Mayor Leonard Desiderio said Atlantic Pier Amusements approached the city with plans for an amusement park on a chunk of city-owned land on Landis Avenue between Fifth and Sixth streets.
The concept is still in an early stage, Desiderio said.
Building there would require several state environmental approvals, as well as the support of residents and the three-member City Commission, he said.
“I told them (the company) an amusement park would help with tourism and would be a welcome business to any tourism community,” Desiderio said. “Of course, we have to go according to what the public has to say, and especially the public in the north end, and what they're thinking (about) entertainment in this area.”
About six years ago, the city lost a popular summer recreation spot for families.
Fun City was a small amusement park that operated near 32nd Street and the beach for nearly 30 years, but it was sold to make room for duplexes, taking with it its Tilt-A-Whirl, Merry-Go-Round and Scrambler. It also took away one more family attraction from the resort town.
Desiderio said the city is preparing a list of possible uses for the former landfill. What the city doesn't want there, Desiderio said, are houses.
Desiderio said he supports keeping city ownership of the land and perhaps leasing it long term. That way, down the line, the property cannot be sold to build more condominiums or duplexes.
Carmen La Rosa, an architect for the amusement company, said the site is about 14 acres, about half of which is buildable.
“The main thing is to go to the state and see what we can get approvals to build over a landfill,” he said.
La Rosa said the amusement park would include a roller coaster, Ferris wheel, other rides and the potential for a water park.
There isn't much available land is Sea Isle City, especially for an amusement park, so the former landfill seemed a good site, Desiderio said.
Over the years, people have proposed using the area as a golf course, but it wasn't large enough, Desiderio said.
So now, we have theme parks being built on top of trash. Good job New Jersey! You try to change your image, but you can't...
It's a common pratice in more places than our lovely state. Developing on former landfills is actually not that bad. Usually the dump isn't open for a number of years, so the grass and other plants end up breaking down any of the garbage that would be troublesome, and there is no smell. Plus, since it's flat, it's easy to build on.
Plus, anyone's who'se ever been to Jersey knows the only trashy/smelly part is the Turnpike outside of Linden/Elisabeth where the oil refineries. I just find it funny that the "trashy/smelly" reputation comes from a strip of highway that's maybe 3-5 miles long.
Normally I would be excited about a new park but considering it's from the Steel Pier owners, I am not that optimistic. For those who have never been to the new Steel Pier (new in that there was an old one that was around in the early part of the century to the 60's or 70's), it almost seems like a run down carnival more than an amusement pier. There are skill games all over before you even walk in with the game booth workers asking everyone walking by to play and the games are rigged (oval rim for a basketball game). It's very expensive at $6 for 1 ride on the Crazy Mouse and the rides don't look like they are in the best shape. And who can forget the incident last summer where they ran the log flume without water in the trough which caused 4 or 5 riders to be ejected from the ride. Even though I spend most of my summer less than 15 minutes from Steel Pier, I don't even have the credit there because I don't feel safe going on rides there.
I'll stick with Gillian's Wonderland Pier and Playland (both in Ocean City) and Morey's Piers for my sea shore park trips.
Parts of Sea World in San Diego are built on top of an old Landfill. When they were building the Polar Bear exhibit for Wild Arctic, they kept having problems with old tires rising up to the surface that they would have to remove. This type of development is actually going to become very commonplace, and it can be done safely with all the new technology that has been developed to remediate landfill sites.
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