SEASIDE PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Rebuilding is slow one year after a fire devoured more than four blocks of boardwalk and destroyed more than 50 businesses in two New Jersey shore towns.

The boardwalk that was lost on Sept. 12, 2013, has been rebuilt between Seaside Heights and Seaside Park. But the Seaside Park section remains mostly vacant of the businesses that once served residents and tourists alike.

The blaze started under a Kohr’s frozen custard stand and the Biscayne Candies shop and raged for eight hours. Investigators determined the boardwalk fire started in aged wiring that had been compromised by salt water and sand during Superstorm Sandy.

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The private corporation that owns the Seaside Park section of the boardwalk is composed of 18 business partners that must agree on a reconstruction plan, Berkeley Sweet Shop owner Berent Hage told the Asbury Park Press Friday. Then there is the cost because of new storm-related federal guidelines that seek to mitigate catastrophic damage.

“Mostly, the price of things has just gotten totally out of whack,” Hage said. “If something cost you $2 million to build before, now it’s $41/2 to $51/2 million for the same thing. You can understand why they’re hesitant.”

Hage said the rent might be too high for most boardwalk business owners.

Hage reopened his store in a temporary stand during the summer, but he will have to take the stand down by Oct. 15. He hopes to be back.

“I’m a survivor,” he said.

Seaside Heights town administrator Chris Vaz said he knows there’s a lot of work left, but looks forward to the future.

“We’re very optimistic,” Vaz told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney. “Good things are on the way.”

Mike Loundy, director of community improvements for Seaside Heights, agreed.

“There was a perception going into this summer after the fire that we were burned out and we were somehow not fully functional and not open, and that is not the case,” Loundy told 1010 WINS. “This is a glass half full story for us, not a glass half empty.”

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