LAKEHURST – Some said ‘good riddance.’ Others said it was past due and borough officials are happy that at long last, a structure that once served as a home on 6-8 Union Avenue is now gone.
The dilapidated building that was condemned months ago, based next to the borough public parking lot across from Borough Hall was demolished on the morning of July 12.
George Ford told The Manchester Times that “I lived there about a year. I was just born but my cousin and grandfather owned it. I hate to see it go but it’s an eye sore.” Ford lived there in 1962 – 1963.
“There was a murder there I believe in the early 70s,” Ford added.
A quick Google search didn’t turn anything up regarding that crime, but it might take more investigating.
Comments prompted by a photo posted by The Manchester Times to the social media site Lakehurst Neighborhood Watch had a solid consensus. “Finally,” Kimberly Calderone Pentz said.
Lillian Coulombe also had a family connection to the demolished structure. “Eyesore for sure. My parents lived there for years. I’m interested in seeing it come down.”
Ford and Coulombe weren’t the only ones to call it an eyesore. “Glad to see that eyesore go,” Bruce Margeson said.
Joe Morgan noted that it would be “pretty cool to see (it demolished) after all these years. I’m definitely going to go check it out.”
Kenny Jensen added, that the event warranted a celebration. “I should bring the barbecue grill, some burgers and dogs.”
“It’s about time it goes,” said Dot Winskey Leming Douglas.
Some expressed that it was 20 to 30 years overdue in being raised.
John Alberto of Alberto Property Management was on hand with members of the Borough’s Public Works Department and police officers who cordoned off the road during the time of the demolition.
Alberto said his uncle is the manager of the property and that a “new building will be built in its place. Some of the permits are in process. It is ongoing,” he said.
The structure was a two-story apartment building. Alberto noted that as it changed ownership, it fell into disrepair and had been vacant for years. “It was finally time to get it taken down it was an unsafe building.”
Borough Mayor Harry Robbins said months ago that he wanted to see the structure taken down as he feared parts of it could collapse and injure anyone near it.
Teenagers were seen running on Union Avenue sidewalk passing the building an hour prior to the start of the demolition process. A few residents stopped by to take photos and watch the bulldozer take down walls, doors and roof. There was discussion of salvaging a guardrail next to the building which might need to be in place when the new structure is built.
Alberto said he was not sure what the exact plans for the new building would be and whether it would be residential or would house a business.