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Historic Long Branch School Slated For Residential Development

LONG BRANCH: The Long Branch School District has turned one of its historic properties over to a developer.

The district sold the Church Street School for $550,000 after a successful auction last year.

"They have closed on the property, we have turned the keys over and have already received payment," Long Branch School District Superintendent Michael Salvatore said.

The building, located off of Atlantic Avenue on Church Street, was sold to Jemals Church Street LLC, which intends to reuse the building for residential development, Salvatore said.

"I believe they will be building high-end townhomes while preserving certain elements of the the building," he said.

The building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1891 so the developer is bound by not just local zoning laws but several layers of bureaucracy for projects at historic sites such as this.

The 16,634 square-foot building, on a 1.45-acre lot, was previously the home of Long Branch Primary School No. 3, but has been vacant for some time.

The family behind Jemals, Salvatore said, is associated with a 9-million-square-foot portfolio, much of which is the renovation of historic properties in the Washington, D.C. area such as the Wonder Bread Factory, Woodies Building and the Coliseum.

Douglas Jemal, currently has two historic buildings from the former Takanassee Beach Club site at his home at 900 Ocean Ave., Long Branch. He is restoring the Captain's House from the 1870s and the 1903 Port Huron House.

Salvatore has said the $550,000 the district earned from the sale will likely go toward capital improvements in the district, namely the parking lot at the George L. Catrambone School and phase 2 renovation of the old high school.

Read more from: Long Branch

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