Kids aren’t the only ones heading back to school in Red Bank this week.

The nine employees of S.O.M.E. Architects are moving into the former Public School 5 on Drs. James Parker Boulevard.

The firm, having outgrown rented space on Monmouth Street, bought the building from the Community YMCA for $1.3 million in December and began renovations in April.

Among the changes: eliminating a drop ceiling and increasing the size of the windows.

Firm principal Mike Simpson gave redbankgreen a sneak peek yesterday. Most of the furniture hasn’t yet arrived, and there are lots of boxes yet to be unpacked. But the 2,800-square-foot second floor space is open, sunny and playful, with raw brick walls and cozy cubicles.

The move, to a block that just saw the departure of the Count Basie Learning Center, isn’t primarily about reinvigorating the business climate there, says Simpson, a former chairman of Red Bank RiverCenter. Nor, he says, is it about gentrification.


Rather, it’s a business decision based on economics, one that he hopes to help inspire further investment nearby.

“I don’t know that we went to change the face of Drs. Parker,” Simpson says. “We just want to help give it a boost.”

The first floor has yet to be rented out.

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