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Talks Progressing Between City, Broadway Arts Developers

LONG BRANCH: Mayor Adam Schneider has said that talks between the city and the developers of the Broadway Art Center have been progressing over the last few weeks.

"Approximately two weeks ago, Councilwoman (Kathleen) Billings and Business Administrator (Howard) Woolley went down to owner of Lower Broadway property along with their consultants, which includes and architect and retail consultant and substantial progress was made," Schneider said. "Our position is that we are not compromising the plan, it has to be a retail-based development project and based on our conversation with DRA, who owns it, we've made substantial progress with them in getting them there."

Diversified Realty Advisors (DRA), LLC is planning on building approximately 800 units of different types of multifamily housing and 80,000 square feet of retail space for the area of Broadway from Second Avenue to Liberty Street. DRA's web site states that plans include building an urban grocer and pharmacy in the 10-acre parcel.

The litigation concerning the original owners of the property, Broadway Arts Center, LLC, has been resolved and that DRA has paid $412,000 in back taxes and have owned the property since March.

DRA will likely redevelop the area in phases and begin with the sections that need the least amount of environmental cleanup.

Schneider said redevelopment in Long Branch is taking shape and that what started along the Oceanfront is now working its way west.

"The biggest problem has been that for the last 40 years, the property was in foreclosure and was not going anywhere," Schneider said. "If Pier Village 3 gets built, you also have the CVS that is currently under construction and the beer garden that is also under construction, so you have a lot going on and its moving across the street."

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