Alan Fisher got his walking papers in late January.
After 25 years operating A.H. Fisher Diamonds at 10 Broad Street, Fisher was notified with just five days remaining on his lease that it wouldn’t be renewed.
Turns out his landlord, Keith Alliotts of Broad Street Realty Associates, has a client on the line who not only wants the storefront at 2 Broad, at the corner of Broad and West Front streets, but the entire 10,000-square-foot structure that stretches several addresses south on Broad.
Alliotts’ client is widely rumored to be Urban Outfitters, though neither the clothing retailer nor Alliotts responded to redbankgreen messages seeking comment.
Fisher says he knows nothing more than the rest of us about who the tenant will be. But the fact that his landlord told him the mystery tenant wants not just 2 and 8 Broad, but Fisher’s space and the private breezeway it abuts will only heighten interest in the prospective deal.
But that’s a story for another day. Today, our topic is Fisher’s decision, in spite of all the mutterings about Red Bank’s purported slide back to the days of ‘Dead Bank,’ to stick with Broad Street.
“I grew up here in town, so yes, this is a vote of confidence in Red Bank,” says Fisher, who in high school and college had a job that required him to wind the clock atop the former borough hall and police station at 51 Monmouth Street.
The business is now operating in the deep shadows of scaffolding being used to give the corner building a complete makeover.
“I feel most comfortable being in Red Bank and on Broad Street,” he says. “Anything else might be taking a step backwards.”
Fisher says that as word got out on the street about his situation, he was surprised at the number of landlords who approached him looking to fill vacant space. But within a matter of days, he’d settled on a 46 Broad, currently the home of a store in the Papyrus chain.
He signed the lease last week, and hopes to move to the building, at the corner of White Street, in May. (Alliotts is allowing him to stay until his new space is ready, he says.)
Fisher says the rent he’ll pay his new landlord, Warren Tockerman of Helwar Realty, is competitive with the market, but declined to be more specific.
The move means incurring some costs other retailers don’t have to contend with. Installing a walk-in safe, for one. Fisher’s current location was once the home of Red Bank Savings and Loan, and so already had a safe when he moved in. But its walls are made of 18-inch thick concrete, “so I won’t be taking it with me,” he says.
Fisher says he’ll also be creating private viewing rooms in the 2,025-square-foot store, where his son, Matthew, will join him upon graduation from the University of Delaware in the spring.