LONG BRANCH: One of the city's vacant buildings in the Lower Broadway redevelopment zone will soon have a new tenant and some big improvements.
The developer, BKD Development, is hoping to transform the former Shore Institute For Contemporary Arts (SICA) building into a mixed use project appeared before the Long Branch Council on Oct. 10.
The building, located at 20 Third Ave., has been vacant since SICA left for Asbury Park in 2011. The new owner of the building, which also once housed the Lincon Can Manufacturing company, is Darren Davis. Davis also owns Celtic Concepts, John Guire Company and several other properties in Long Branch.
The developer's attorney, Martin McGann, said the plan is to turn the first floor into about 5,000 square feet of retail and the second floor into 13 1-bedroom apartment units with lofts.
The parking lot on the side of the building will also be resurfaced, restriped and landscaped and will be shared with the Greater Long Branch Chamber of Commerce. The council will give the developers the OK to share the lot with the chamber.
The next step is for the owners to reach a redevelopment agreement with the Long Branch Council; something that will likely be done at the next meeting on Oct. 24. They will then have to seek site plan approval from the Long Branch Planning Board. That hearing will take place in November as there is nothing concerning the SICA building on the Oct. 17 agenda.
The developer will need also need a waiver from the city's parking requirements because the lot will be required to have 53 spaces and only 37 are proposed.