Say Goodbye to the Last Oceanside Cottage in Stone Harbor

The cute beachfront cottage we featured here in 2019 just sold for $10 million. The new owner plans to not keep it around.

stone harbor oceanside cottage sold street elevation

This house at 2 111th St., Stone Harbor, NJ 08242 is still as cute as it was when we featured it four years ago. But now that it’s been sold for $10 million, it will go the way of most of the rest of Stone Harbor’s past. / House photos courtesy Jack Vizzard, BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors; aerial photos via BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors

If the Jersey Shore had a historic preservation movement, the preservationists would probably have descended on this modest cottage right next to the beach in Stone Harbor already and saved it for posterity.

But it doesn’t, so it will disappear sometime in the very near future.

That’s because it finally sold — for $10 million, well above its asking price when it went on the market a little more than four years ago.

Built in 1954, this cottage is not only the last but also the oldest house of its type still standing on the Stone Harbor oceanfront — and the third-oldest oceanfront house overall. A similar but larger house built in 1960 still stands at the beach end of 90th Street.

stone harbor oceanside cottage sold jack vizzard in front of house

Jack Vizzard in front of the house

Jack Vizzard, the BHHS Fox & Roach agent who listed the house for its owner back then and handled the quiet sale after it was delisted, explained that the owner, who had summered here for 30 years, sold it because “the trip from Washington was getting too much for him. He is almost 80.”

The listing was removed when the COVID pandemic sent even the Jersey Shore real estate market into a coma. The buyers who acquired this house in a private sale intend to replace it with a larger residence.

stone harbor oceanside cottage sold view from the cottage deck

The view from the cottage’s roof deck. You can bet your bottom dollar that the new owners will have a similar deck, or more likely two, with this view: One for the main floor and one for the primary bedroom suite. / Image via BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors

The reason this little house fetched such a big price, Vizzard explains, is because of its location (surprise, surprise!). “It’s one of the best oceanfront views on the island because the convent across the street sits back 150 yards from the beach, giving the owner no neighbor to the south and sweeping 270-degree views.

“It’s actually a bargain at $10 million.”

aerial view of house and land to its south

Aerial view of the house (next to the dunes at the end of 111th Street, right center), the old Villa Maria by the Sea convent, and the convent grounds. The convent has since been replaced by a new retreat center; the land to its south and west has been subdivided and is being sold as house lots

Change is coming to this particular section of Stone Harbor because the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, owners of the Villa Maria by the Sea retreat on the other side of 111th Street, have built a new facility on the lot that contained the convent they had called home since 1937. In conjunction with that, the order has subdivided most of the rest of the land it owns around the new retreat center and put it on the market. A new 112th Street has been carved out to serve the houses that will rise on the plots being sold.

But according to Stone Harbor Borough property records, the land the sisters own immediately to the south of this house is in a flood hazard zone. It is not being offered for sale, most likely because that is the case. And the land to the south of the sisters’ plot is publicly owned. That means the new owners of 2 111th Street will still enjoy the views they just paid $10 million for even after they get a bunch of new neighbors just to their west and south.

Until demolition starts on the current cottage, you will still be able to see one of the few remaining fragments of Stone Harbor’s past. Even Vizzard, whose family has lived and worked on Seven Mile Island for four generations, admits to feeling some sadness over the loss of this bit of the island’s past.