The lighting is part of a streetscape program designed to make this barren stretch of Cookman more pedestrian-friendly.
There are now eight new streetlights, along with new sidewalks, in the vacant stretch of Cookman where dilapidated buildings were torn down in June. The streetlights are adjacent to a tract filled with wooden stumps.
The streetscape project started in the spring. Waterfront redeveloper Asbury Partners is paying for the improvements.
Before the project got underway, Brian Cheripka of Asbury Partners said this section of Cookman “[did] not encourage people to walk from the [downtown] central business district to the waterfront. Between the old buildings boarded up, and the general lack of upkeep, it [discouraged] people from making that connectivity.”
Meanwhile, at Cookman Avenue’s intersections with Heck Street and Monroe Avenue, additional plantings and evergreen-like material have been installed.
“The goal is to create visual focal points,” Cheripka said. “You then look down Cookman Avenue toward the waterfront and it becomes a more pedestrian-friendly environment.”
The project will cost Asbury Partners $500,000, Cheripka previously told the Sun.
Cheripka is vice president of land for iStar Financial, which took over Asbury Partners in 2010, after the former owners of Asbury Partners defaulted on loans made to it by iStar. The financial services company has installed Cheripka in Asbury Park to oversee the waterfront redevelopment project.