By MaryAnn Spoto
Seaside Heights (NJ) — When Robert Matthies of Seaside Park and William Akers of Seaside Heights look toward the southern end of the boardwalk that straddles their towns, the two mayors see a blank canvas.
In the year since a fire destroyed nearly 60 buildings and an amusement pier along a three-block stretch of boardwalk, few businesses have returned. But rather than lament what was, the mayors and several business owners are embracing what they say is a rare chance to build anew on old memories.
The boardwalk, a hodgepodge of decades of kitsch, is going through a complete overhaul. After Hurricane Sandy destroyed most of the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, the town had a new wooden promenade by last summer.
Akers said the community took advantage of the need to rebuild to install more attractive light poles and other fixtures and upgrade the façade of the time-worn lifeguard headquarters.
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