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Jewell Real Estate Agency Newsletter - Summer 2014

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The weather was generally warm and dry this spring, breaking the grip of the cold, snowy winter-to-forget. The near perfect conditions on Memorial Weekend are taken by locals and business people as an indicator of an upcoming nice summer, devoid of long wet periods. That will make everyone happy, except the farmers.

While we did get some rain in the spring, it seemed to fall mostly during the night. The plants, lawns and vegetables got watered, while mostly sunny days gave us ample opportunity to complete our yearly outdoor spring tasks.

The hot 10 weeks - roughly June 15 to August 24 - gives us the chance to enjoy the beach, boardwalk, and summer nights. All the restaurants and amusements are open, and it's a great time to take a boat ride or dip in the ocean.

Enjoy your summer here in Cape May County. It's brief, but worth the wait. And of course there's nothing like September and October at the shore.


If you haven't been to Cape May County since last summer, you're going to notice a lot of changes.

There has been plenty of new asphalt laid down, most notably on the causeway into Wildwood and over the George Redding Bridge. You also see new pavement on parts of Park Boulevard and New Jersey Avenue, plus many smaller cross streets. Be glad you missed the inconvenience the locals faced of lane closures and detours.

The big construction project, of course, is the Garden State Parkway. The three southbound overpasses in Middle Township are taking shape, with completion of that side of the road scheduled for this November. Then they'll switch to building the three northbound overpasses, with the entire operation set to wrap up in November, 2015. While we appreciate getting rid of the traffic lights, we can't help but feel a little sick to our stomachs with the cold, stripped atmosphere left in the aftermath of clearing 24 acres of trees. We've lost our "South Jersey, pine barrens feel".

You'll notice new restaurants in the Wildwoods, and some that have undergone facelifts, name changes, and/or ownership changes. That means new menus and new treats to taste.

In Middle Township, the former Four Seasons Diner (across from Rio Station) burned down in October and it was recently demolished. The woods have been cleared for a new dollar store across from Home Depot, and a barbecue place has taken over Joe's just up Route 9.

Still noticeably vacant is the former Sonic in front of Lowes. And two prominent restaurants with liquor licenses - Rio Station and Atkinsons - are still for sale. Two restaurants that did sell are Chef Ted's and Karen & Rei's, although the uses are changing.


On a sad note, the Cape May County Zoo lost its infamous lion, Brutu, in May. Sixteen year old Brutu was suffering from arthritis and spinal cord issues and had to be put to sleep. We personally will miss the roars of Brutu, which we heard at our home in Swainton most mornings around 6am when he apparently was calling for his breakfast.

No word on whether a new lion will be obtained, but we expect a new king of the beats will be acquired.


Local municipal and state legislators are calling on the New Jersey Department of Transportation to add rumble strips down the center of Route 47. While too many accidents occur on Route 47, we do not feel that rumble strips are the answer.

Local activists suggested an alternative in 2010 to relieve traffic congestion. It included adding a second lane in both directions at each traffic light for a distance of one-third to one-half mile. This would allow twice as many cars to get through each green light and keep the slower drivers to the right prior to the merge area. This would cut down on impatient drivers who make ill-advised passing decisions that sometimes end in serious accidents.

Will it end all traffic fatalities? No. But you can't fix stupid and no matter how much they are warned, people will still drive drunk or when they are over-tired.

Still, the double lanes at traffic lights idea is a relatively low cost solution that could be done in the off-season and is definitely worth a try.


Cape May County has a lot of stuff that families can do in the summertime, no matter what the weather.

Several barrier islands offer a boardwalk with plenty of amusements, retail shops, arcades, amusements and every kind of fun food under the sun. The most famous boardwalk stretches from 15th Street in North Wildwood south through Wildwood to the Crest border.

Miniature golf venues are in every town, and for a real challenge the county offers a dozen full-size golf courses. A good beginner course that the kids can try out is a par-3 located near Menz's Restaurant.

There are dolphin and whale watching tours, plus plenty of half day and full day fishing boats. You can also find party boats, dinner cruises, and even parasailing boats.

On a cloudy day, try out the free Cape May County Zoo. For easiest access, enter from the back gate located on Court House-Dennisville Road. There's also bowling alleys and movie theatres in most towns. Enjoy yourself at the Jersey shore.


We love to talk about real estate and our island. We're always glad to share our insights, observations, and visions with you.

Stop by our office at 5602 New Jersey Avenue and chat. Or give Joyce or Douglas a call at 609-729-8505. We answer phones 6am to 9pm EVERYDAY and you always get a real, live person. That's service!

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