Well, it is finally happening. The 9,000 sq. ft. Acme in Sea Isle City is being torn down and a new 26,200 sq. ft. Acme will replace it. Who can say it isn’t needed? Sea Isle is a tourist town and tourists, more aptly known as vacationers or shoobies, need to grocery shop. And, I would be remiss not to say that most of our summer friends are property owners who pay taxes although they are not year round. As much as we all love the Sea Isle City of yesteryear, it has to change and is changing all the time. You’ve come along way baby! Not everybody wants it, but it is inevitable.
A small majority of the summer inhabitants are year round including myself. I’ve also been vacationing in Sea Isle since I was a kid so I don’t want to see Funtown Arcade go no more than anybody else. It saddens me that it will soon be just a memory. Even if they find another location, and I hope they do, it won’t be the same. But let’s think positive. The new Acme will be built above base flood elevation which is required by FEMA, our building codes enforce it, and it affects flood insurance rates. (That’s a fact that not only affects this commercial property but the building of new residential properties as well. This fact connects this post to my last post of 7/6/15 about the “monster high” duplexes and the reason behind higher building heights.) Another plus is that it is really crowded in our tiny Acme in the summer time and the parking lot is crazy. It feels like the odds are against you so you prepare yourself for a fender bender or crane your neck in every direction to avoid one. It is very true that we don’t need a bigger store after October or before May but again, what made property values climb collectively over the years? Our summer guests had a lot to do with it, so let’s accommodate them as they deserve and make it safe.
I applaud the representative from Acme who listened to nearby small business owners at the City Council meeting on 8/4/15, and told City Council there would not be a large sign (it needed a variance.) saying “Beach Shop” at the new shopping center. I have a hard time seeing how that would be an appropriate sign anyway. Acme is not a beach shop. Neither is Uncle Oogies pizzeria or Rick’s Breakfast Place (the two existing businesses that will move adjacent to where they currently are now into commercial properties and will be part of the new Acme Shopping Center.)
Lastly but not least, being the foodie that I am, I look forward to more varieties of food, not necessarily more varieties in terms of brands, that awaits us year rounders and will help enhance those quiet winter nights. Even though Sea Isle has certainly grown and changed over the years, it is still loved and enjoyed by families and friends that have vacationed here or lived here for several generations and growing.