Arty and affordable, Asbury Park is now NJ’s summer-home spot

Arty and affordable, Asbury Park is now NJ’s summer-home spotMore than a decade ago, architect Matthew Berman heard that Asbury Park, NJ, was emerging as an “up-and-coming” summer retreat.

But when he paid a visit to the Jersey Shore town best known for launching Bruce Springsteen’s career at The Stone Pony, he recalls the place was blighted.

“There were no pavilions, there was no boardwalk,” says Berman, partner at New York-based architecture firm workshop/apd, “and Cookman Avenue, downtown, was boarded up.”

At the time, Berman and his partner, who now have a 6-year-old son, were also considering a second home in Phoenicia, in the Hudson Valley, or Fire Island, but the former was too far from New York City and the latter too expensive.

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