Danielle Buccellato in her new fitness studio, Renaissance Pilates. Below, the facade of the long-empty Love Lane Tuxedos is about to get a makeover. (Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Pretty much equidistant from the northern end of Broad Street in Red Bank, two new businesses are revitalizing long-dormant storefronts on East and West Front Streets.
To the east, Renaissance Pilates has taken a chunk of space in what used to be Kislin’s Sporting Goods.
And on West Front, a decade of disuse and dilapidation is being reversed for the Red Bank Design Center, a furniture-and-finishes showcase to serve the interior design trade.
The former Love Lane Tuxedos space is being gutted. (Click to enlarge)
Renaissance Pilates is the brain-and-body child of Danielle Buccellato, a Holmdel native who, like many others working on Wall Street, saw her life take a sharp turn after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
“There was a lot of hurt,” Buccellato told redbankgreen’s Retail Churn. Having gone straight from college to the New York Mercantile Exchange, she decided to make a career change that put her lifelong love of athletics, yoga and fitness to work. So she opened a fitness studio in Hoboken, where she was living at the time.
First, though, she looked for space in Red Bank, a town she loved. But she couldn’t find the right fit.
That was a decade ago. Now, 39, with her Hoboken studio having upsized twice – it’s thriving next door to a W Hotel – Buccellato decided to listen to friends who wanted her to give Red Bank another try. She found what she was looking for at 8 East Front, where Kislin’s reigned for a century before closing its doors in 2005.
“I’m always trying to evolve my programming,” said Buccellato.
On the other side of Broad, at 25 West Front, a team of contractors has been swarming the former Love Lane building, which had fallen into such disrepair that there were reports it was unsafe to walk on the floor.
A group led by Nima Nili bought the building for $550,000 a year ago, taking it off the hands of a speculator who paid three times that amount in 2007 and never did a lick of work.
Now, quite contrary to worries voiced by Mayor Pasquale Menna that the building could sit idle for more years to come, it’s getting a total gut job – new floors and facade included. In fact, the structure will be open for business by the end of summer, said Gregory Grobstin, a graphic designer who doubles as spokesperson for the Red Bank Design Center.
“It’s realistic,” he said of the timetable.
The center will cater to interior decorators, including Amy Manor, who has a design atelier just across West Front Street and will have a presence in the center. The space will employ the “shop concept,” in which individual manufacturers set up simulated room displays to show off their wares, Grobstin said.
Off-the-street consumers, meantime, will be welcome at trunk shows, launch events, educational lectures, and charity galas, Grobstin said.
In other Churnings, Broad Street has two new vacancies in the area of the Harding Road/Reckless Place intersection.
• Poor Cat Designs is moving from 65 Broad, but not, as one might expect, into the new home of Goldtinker just up the street, at 24 Broad (both jewelry stores are owned by Joe Romanowski, who’s consolidating Goldtinker stores from Deal and Rumson into the former Jersey Shore Apparel space).
• The giant office supply store Staples closed last Saturday after less than four years at the location. The company recently announced that it was closing 225 stores across North America.
• Just across Broad Street from Staples, Monmouth Mattress last month bailed from the former Surray Luggage space it had occupied for barely a year and a half. By the looks of things, the business beat a hasty retreat, leaving behind bed frames and displays.