For sale as of 9 a.m. Tuesday morning: U.S. Coast Guard station on quaint oceanfront town to the highest bidder.
But if you’re thinking of buying the property on the Shark River close to the beach in Avon-by-the-Sea, Monmouth County, it will cost you at minimum $5 million and probably a lot more.
The station on the first block of Washington Avenue spans 1.4 acres with waterfront access to Shark River, which spills into the Atlantic Ocean. It is being sold as part of a federal government station consolidation effort, according to the bid notice.
Representatives for the U.S. Coast Guard were not available for comment when the property went up for sale, but a notice said there is no time frame on the bidding.
Shark River station was built in 1871 and most recently used as a satellite station to support the station at Manasquan Inlet, according to its official U.S. Coast Guard history. The property was shuttered in 2020 after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) cited it as serving a no-longer-needed overlapping purpose. This GAO recommended the closure as part of the consolidation of eighteen boat stations.
The station was improved over the years and still contains two large buildings, including a single-story, 4,735-square-foot structure built in 1967. It has a maintenance and storage shed, all of which would likely be razed by the winning bidder.
There is also a boat basin and pier, an observation platform, sea wall, and communications tower. A paved driveway leads to a parking lot.
A February 2020 federal notice stated the station was one of many established at a time when boats lacked engines and were powered by oars and paddles. So there had to be many in close enough proximity to key areas to perform rescues. Now modern, high-speed boats equipped with GPS can respond to calls for Coast Guard help much faster than when stations like Shark River opened.
At the same time, the number of rescue calls has dropped because of boating safety improvements throughout the nation.
In short, the Shark River station became redundant.
The borough has zoned the Coast Guard property as suitable for single-family homes. Under borough code, a home requires 7,000 square feet of land, so it’s possible up to eight homes could fit on the site.
Single-family homes in the area sell for up to $5.8 million, according to a Zillow search.