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Stalled Lower Broadway Project Granted Extension

LONG BRANCH: The developers of a lot on the corner of Third Avenue and Broadway were granted approval by the city planning board to have their site plan approval extended another year.

The developer, PAX Construction Company, received approval on Jan. 20, 2009 to construct a multi-use residential/commercial complex on the east side of Third Avenue and Belmont Avenue.

"They want to build a new structure and it's back on an old lot that we owned that used to be the home of Independent Fire House," Long Branch Business Administrator Howard Woolley said. There were some environmental issues there, we kind of worked our way through that and we'll be able to convey the property to them."

The developers said the extension was needed because the project was held up due to a required environmental analysis of the fire house property.

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.

The exact timing of when the construction will begin is unknown but Councilwoman Kathleen Billings said during the Dec. 17 Greater Long Branch Area Business Meeting that PAX is "hoping to move forward with the plan."

Read more from: Long Branch

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