The Spring 2018 issue of Context offers a few interesting perspectives in the broad and complex topic of housing. 

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November 10, 2017
Member News

Absecon NJ Community Repositioned for Success by L&M Design LLC

Mi-Place™ at the Shore, Absecon, NJ

L&M DESIGN LLC Architecture, Planning and Urban Design of Radnor, PA, has breathed new life into a once-stalled Absecon residential development, now known as Mi-Place™ at the Shore. Owner Fernmoor Homes of Jackson, NJ worked with L&M DESIGN to revive and reposition the community to offer housing alternatives to both local residents and those in need of easy access to Atlantic City.

Fernmoor purchased the land and the 42 existing homes after the economic downturn in 2008 caused the previous builder to abruptly abandon plans in 2009 for a 264-unit age-restricted community. As far back as 2004, L&M DESIGN partners, Laura Staines Giardino, AIA, PP, LEED AP, and Michael Giardino, AIA, PP, were hired as land planners by J&M Land for the original community, and were subsequently hired to design the age-restricted community, which was eventually taken back by Amboy Bank in 2012.

According to Staines Giardino, “Working in conjunction with Jeffrey Fernbach, President of Fernmoor Homes, Amboy Bank, and Steve Patron of Paradigm Realty Alliance, the new community of 442 rental apartments doubles the density of the project and removes the age restrictions on the majority of the homes, aligning more closely to the current economic environment.”

“In addition,” says Michael Giardino, “we’ve maintained existing roadways and infrastructure, as well as the building footprints, with only a modest increase in storm water management requirements.”

As proposed, the new community, when completed, will consist of fourteen new 3-story and ¾ split elevator serviced apartment buildings. Of these, two buildings will be reserved for age-restricted units, one for affordable units and one for senior affordable units. Private- entry stacked townhomes over flats will complete the remaining five buildings. All will complement the 42 existing homes with attached garages. Two of the new apartment buildings are fully leased and one is scheduled for pre-leasing this month.

The open floor plans of both the new and pre-existing apartments include one-, two-, and three-bedroom residences ranging from 650 to 3,055 square feet, each providing luxury features at affordable prices. The newer units include stainless steel kitchen appliances, granite countertops, 12 x 12” luxury vinyl-tiled bathroom floors, carpeting, and full-sized washer/dryers. All apartments are energy efficient and the newer ones feature tankless gas hot water heaters.

L&M Design’s renovation of the former 12,000 square foot clubhouse included removal of an indoor pool and replacing it with a 5,000 square foot resort-style outdoor pool and expansive patio with a barbeque and lounge area. Laura and Michael redesigned the remaining 7,000 square feet into a spacious two-story multi-purpose area complete with fireplace, billiards, kitchenette, storage lockers, and a state of the art fitness center with a separate room for exercise classes.

A Spring 2017Ribbon-Cutting ceremony at Mi-Place™ was attended by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong, Fernmoor Homes President Jeffrey Fernbach, and Stan Koreyva, COO and Executive VP, Amboy Bank. “Fernmoor communities are known for their vibrant lifestyle, and Mi-Place™ at the Shore will continue this tradition of fun,” said Fernbach, referring to the many amenities offered by the pet-friendly community.

Mi-Place™ at the Shore is conveniently located to Atlantic City as well as all the South Jersey beach and boardwalk destinations. With easy access to Route 9 and the Garden State Parkway, the community is attractive to professionals who work in Atlantic County and to those attending Stockton University. The Absecon Station is served by New Jersey Transit’s Atlantic City Line trains, with east-west service between Philadelphia and Atlantic City. For more information, visit

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