LONG BRANCH: Another Broadway building has been demolished; this time it's Montalvo's barber shop.
The barber shop was one of the last operating businesses in the city's Broadway Arts Center (BAC) redevelopment zone and was open earlier this year. The owner recently moved the business to the Upper Broadway area near Homestead Pharmacy in anticipation of the demolition.
The barber shop was one of the eight buildings remaining on the north side of the street that were tabbed for demolition by the city and developer. Every building on the north side of Broadway from the corner of Second Avenue to Liberty Street, including the vacant Cafe Lapa building, will be demolished in the coming months.
The BAC encompasses the area east of Liberty Street to Memorial Avenue and from Union Avenue south to Belmont Avenue, with Broadway running through the zone. Diversified Realty Advisors, operating as Long Branch Partners, LLC acquired this stretch of Broadway in June, 2014 and had preliminary plans to build approximately 800 units of different types of multifamily housing and 80,000 square feet of retail space for the area. The group also paid over $400,000 in back taxes for the properties.
The group now has ownership over 51 properties, but in 2015, liens were placed on the properties after Long Branch Partners did not pay approximately $350,000 in 2014 taxes on the properties. A September tax sale resulted in the sale of 18 of the liens to the third parties and the city placed liens on the remaining 33 properties. However, the group has now paid all the back taxes, which total just over $1 million.
In late March, the developers demolished the original Siperstein Paint Store, Stars and Bars, an old laundromat and the cabinet making business on the corner of Second Avenue and Broadway. Long Branch Business Administrator Kevin Hayes has said the next step is to demolish the Paramount Theater and the building in front of the radio tower. Those buildings will likely take a bit longer to demolish as they are both unsafe and need more planning before they are knocked down.
Mayor Adam Schneider has said the vacant lots created by demolition could be used as temporary paid beach parking for this summer.
Long Branch Partners are expected to present their new plans to the council and the public in the coming months as the city works toward a final redevelopment agreement with the group.