The southeast corner of Broadway looking west along Broadway
The northwest corner of Broadway and Liberty Street
The corner of Union Ave and 2nd Avenue looking south on 2nd and west on Union
The corner of Belmont Avenue and 2nd Avenue looking north on 2nd and west on Belmont
LONG BRANCH: The plans for Long Branch's Broadway Arts Center (BAC) redevelopment zone are coming together.
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 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 began demolishing several buildings and now only 4 remain.
Diversified Realty Advisors Managing Partner Nicholas Minoia said the demolition of the remaining buildings should be completed by June 26; one of the conditions set upon his firm by the city when they were conditionally designated as the redeveloper for the area. Minoia said it will be a major landmark for the future of the project.
"It's an amazing site and will be the bridge between the projects on the ocean and the rest of Long Branch," Minoia said. "It's the connecting piece."
Minoia said his group has a concept plan that has been endorsed by the city. The plan calls for 590 multifamily rental units, two parking decks and 97,000 square feet of "main street type retail."
"We own three liquor licenses so we feel that will be very effective in getting the type of tenants we are looking for," Minoia said. "Retail is currently under pressure from online shopping options so food and beverage will be key."
Minoia said about 18,000 square feet of the retail is proposed to be a "specialty grocer and/or food court-related use."
Broadway would also be widened into a boulevard which supports foot traffic and pop up shops.
The project would be built in phases starting with the northeast corner of site and each phase would bring another 25,000 square feet of retail.
Minoia said his company is working with the city's professionals toward a financial pro forma and draft of a final redevelopment agreement. The plans will be presented to the council and the public in the coming weeks and if a redevelopment agreement is reached this summer, Minoia said Long Branch Partners could be before the planning board for site plan approval in September or October with construction beginning in the spring of 2018.