Wesley Grove at Asbury Park is a mixed residential and retail project in Oceanfront Asbury.

Years ago, it was referred to as the "Jewel of the Jersey Shore." First developed in the 1870s, Asbury Park, N.J., had become a firmly established resort in the early 20th century. Yet, as it has happened with so many other coastal, tourist areas, Asbury Park has long since lost its sparkle. Now, Asbury Partners LLC is working closely with the city of Asbury Park as a master redeveloper of the area to breathe new life into this historic city.

PermaLath can be installed quickly using a staple gun with approved staples.

Oceanfront Asbury is a 56-acre waterfront redevelopment plan that includes residential, retail and entertainment components, municipal services and urban empowerment initiatives. The project, which began in 2002, is expected to be completed in phases over 10 years. It is one of the largest tracts of developable land along the Jersey coastline and ultimately it will produce more than $1.25 billion in total economic redevelopment, according to the vision posted on the official Web site for the redevelopment.

Westminster Communities, one of the three sub-developers working on the redevelopment, is building townhouses, condominiums and first-floor retail at Wesley Grove at Asbury Park. The first building, The St. James, will be completed in the spring of 2007, and it will consist of town homes, duplexes and condo flats. Phase II of Wesley Grove will feature several hundred residential units.

A diamond without flaws

The developers of a project this size must consider everything-historical preservation, aesthetic appeal, mixed use design and of course, good construction. The selection of construction materials had to be based on not only an aesthetic appeal but proven performance for the climate and environment. As an ocean front city, corrosion of metal products exposed to salt spray would be an issue to consider.

The design for Wesley Grove, a mixed residential and retail project, called for stucco as part of the exterior cladding. In an effort to avoid the potential for rusting problems with the metal lath required in a stucco system, the contractor, ACIES Group LLC, worked with the project manager of Westminster Communities to substitute a new, non-metallic product.

A utility knife easily cuts through PermaLath.

"The non-metallic feature of PermaLath 1000 and the full stucco system warranty were the selling points," says John Rajski of ACIES Group. "We've used PermaLath before and know its benefits but for this project the lath's performance in corrosive salt air was the most important benefit."

In fact, once the decision was made to use the non-corrosive lath, other substitutions were made to ensure that the use of metal products was minimized on the exterior. None of the trim accessories are metal; all of the bead work, expansion joints and cornerbeads are vinyl, as are most of the flashings.

Having used PermaLath before, ACIES Group was eager to use PermaLath 1000 on the Wesley Grove project.

"PermaLath is much easier to work with," explains Mykhaylo Paranchak, general foreman on the project. "It doesn't cut your hands and it's quicker to install."

Stucco keys freely into PermaLath.

Another benefit of PermaLath 1000 is the reduction in labor on site.

"We see at least a 25 percent reduction in time using PermaLath vs. metal lath," explains Paranchak. "It is easier to carry and cut so we don't need as many laborers on site. With a high rise like this, you'd need people to take the material to the top. At only 31 pounds per roll, it's easy to pass the material to another worker on the next floor."

While PermaLath and PermaLath 1000 provide the same benefits, PermaLath 1000 was used because the stucco was required to be 3/4 inch thick on this project. PermaLath is used for stucco up to 1/2 inch thick.

A gem of a project

Thoughtful urban redevelopment considers long-term durability and aesthetics. The developers of Wesley Grove selected PermaLath 1000 because a glass fiber lath will last longer in the coastal area. Their decision to incorporate non-corrosive products in the stucco wall system will ensure that the exterior of these buildings won't have rusted lath causing a degradation of the stucco or a surface rust stain. The innovative materials used in the construction of Wesley Grove will play a large part in helping Asbury Park to become the "Jewel of the Jersey Shore" that it once was.