staples-broad-stThe big-box retailer will lease a space less than a quarter the size of its average store at 137-139 Broad Street.

Rcsm2_010508Staples Inc., the big-box office supply retailer, is coming to Red Bank.

But the giant seller of everything from pens to desktop computers won’t be opening one of its warehouse-sized stores here. Instead, it’ll be trying out a relatively new micro store, dubbed Staples Copy & Print, that will feature the services of the print shops in the big-box Staples plus the top 1,000 items available on their shelves.

Jay Herman, principal of site owner Downtown Investors LLC, tells redbankgreen that Staples has signed a lease for 4,000 square feet at 137-139 Broad Street, three doors up from the intersection of Harding Road.

herman-fusionJay Herman shows off an architectural plan for the Pizza Fusion restaurant he’s building at 95 Broad.

The securities brokerage Scottrade plans to take the remaining 2,000 SF, moving across town from its present address in English Plaza, Herman says. Both are hoping to move in this autum after refurbishments, including the replacement of the facade with a classier red brick look, he says.

The building, which in the recent past has been tenanted by financial service businesses, has 30 parking spaces out back, accessible via Clay Street.

Landing Staples was something of a coup for Herman’s operation. At the end of 2008, Staples had 18 such stand-alone copy centers in North America, out of 1,835 total stores. The average Staples is 18,000 to 20,000 SF, according to company documents. It’s nearest one is just a couple miles south on Broad Street, in Shrewsbury’s Treasure Island shopping center.

“They tell me its the one they’re most excited about,” he says of the Red Bank location.

It’s also the latest payoff in a quiet investment Downtown Investors made last year on Broad Street. The firm bought 137-139 Broad for $800,000 at the same time that it paid $700,000 for 95-97 Broad, where Herman and architect Ned Gaunt are now making preparations for the arrival of Pizza Fusion, a chain restaurant specializing in organic ingredients.

“We believe we purchased the two worst buildings on Broad Street, and we’re going to make them the best,” he says.

Taken together, the deals are likely to alter the character of middle Broad Street, which is dominated by the upmarket twins of Garmany and Tiffany & Co. but often neglected by shoppers drawn to the heart of the downtown.