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Wildwood Continues to Weigh Back Bay Development Plan

Wildwood is considering whether it wants to remediate a contaminated 26-acre site on its back bay

By Shay Roddy

WILDWOOD – Plans could be changing for development at former Wildwood landfill. 

After initially accepting plans from developers for the 26-acre bayfront site, with the plan to give the land to the developer with a vision best suiting the city, Mayor Peter Byron said he is reconsidering that strategy, in light of new information that surfaced during proposals. 

Byron said the city received two proposals and interviewed both developers. While he said neither made a cash offer for the site, the city originally accepted that reality due to the extensive remediation work that would need to be done, to gain environmental approval, and saw it as worthwhile to let someone develop it anyway because of the potential revenue stream new ratables would create for the city. 

“One had more of a commercial and residential, and the other had more of a residential flavor,” Byron added. “We don’t want dreams. We want reality. Both developers had similar insight.” 

Scarborough Properties, with offices in Marmora, and Back Bay LLC, owned by Mike Young, who was favored to get the project under the prior administration, made presentations to the city, Byron said. 

While the mayor didn’t elaborate on specifics, he said things came to light during those presentations that made him wonder if the city would be better off remediating the land and putting the property out to bid.  

“We did meet with them, and they both gave a nice presentation. We’re just taking our time in evaluating the process. This is important for the future of the town,” said Byron. 

After hearing the presentations, Byron assigned city engineers to investigate the cost to get the plot either capped or completely remediated and ready to build. After getting that information, the city will circle back with the developers, he said. 

“We may wind up just putting it back out to bid again, especially if the city decides to remediate it themselves. I think there would be a whole lot more developers interested in it at that point,” said Byron.  

Young did not immediately respond to a voicemail requesting comment, and Sean Scarborough, a partner with the other firm, responded he is away and would be open to a future interview about the proposal. 

“It may have opened our eyes to other city possibilities. It may have given us more options because both developers did bring a couple of twists, each different, and it caused us to take a step back and think about where, maybe, it might be in the city’s best interest to just remediate it ourselves,” said Byron. 

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