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Oft-Delayed Lower Broadway Construction Project To Begin In Long Branch

LONG BRANCH: A plan to redevelop a lot in the city's Lower Broadway redevelopment zone is finally coming to fruition.

PAX Construction Company received approval on Jan. 20, 2009 to construct a multi-use residential/commercial complex on the east side of Third and Belmont Avenue and is finally moving forward with their project. The developer has had their site plan approval extended by the planning board several times in order to keep the approvals from expiring.

Long Branch Business Administrator Kevin Hayes said last week that the the city expects to close with the developer on the property "in the next few weeks."

The empty lot once housed the Independent Fire House, which was owned by the city. There were environmental issues at the site, but the city was able to remediate them and is now in the process of selling the property to PAX.

The site plan for the 35,620-square-foot property includes 22 residential rental units, up to five of which could be designated affordable, a corner restaurant, seasonal rooftop cafes and gardens, and retail stores built onto four floors and two buildings with enclosed bridges for navigating. A portion of the rentals will be live/work units where a work area will be on one floor and a residential area will be on the second floor.

The existing Brent Good Building on the southeast corner of Broadway and Third Avenue would be renovated. A new 4-story building will be built on the northeast corner of Third Avenue and Belmont Avenue with and underground parking garage that has 96 spaces.

A new 2-story structure would also be built on Broadway that would include a bar/restaurant on the first floor and a loft on the second floor.

PAX was approved as the developer for the property in 2008 by the Long Branch Council. The property is located in the Lower Broadway Corridor Redevelopment Zone, so anything built there needed the approval of the council and planning board. The Lower Broadway Corridor is separate from the Broadway Arts Center redevelopment zone, which is owned by Diversified Realty Advisors.

Read more from: Long Branch

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