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RIVERCENTER POLISHES APPLE’S APPLE

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

‘Tis the season to draw up wish lists and send them off to the jolly, avuncular fellow in the plush red suit up north.

Or, in Red Bank RiverCenter‘s case, to a guy in jeans and a black turtleneck.

apple-ballewThe agency devoted to promoting and bringing in businesses to town is making a push for tech giant Apple Computer to make a home here in Red Bank.

Last week, Apple execs watched a promotional video tailored to the company touting the features and amenities of this riverside town, with the hope it will consider taking up residence here, said RiverCenter Executive Director Nancy Adams.

The pitch is a response to a rising clamor for a store that would not only spare Apple devotees from having to schlep to Freehold Raceway Mall for new gadgets and repairs, but provide a burst of techno-cachet downtown.

“We’ve gotten so many people talking to us that we need an Apple store here, and we agree,” Adams said. “However, every town in the world wants an Apple store.”

So what makes Red Bank more attractive?

The video, shot by Frank Dicopoulos and Curt Cuimi of NJ Discover, showcases some of what Red Bank has to offer that Apple may find alluring, Adams said: an historic downtown, easy access by train and rail, plus a mix of boutique shops and theaters, as well as big-name retailers such as Restoration Hardware, Tiffany & Co., Urban Outfitters and Starbucks.

Adams said the promo was shown at an Apple meeting in New York last week, and is to be shown to the company’s vice president of real estate. “I will be following it up,” she said.

Adams said the idea for the video came from longtime commercial real estate broker Geoff Brothers, and serves as a unique recruiting tool compared to the traditional method of sending out a letter and brochure.

The video even plants the seed for possible locations for Apple to move in, by superimposing the company’s familiar logo on vacant or soon-to-be vacant storefronts in town, including Ballew Jewelers, above, which is going out of business, and Primas Home furnishings.

“Apple is a no-brainer for Red Bank. It would just be a great addition to the downtown retail environment and help us in bringing in more businesses,” Adams said. “We’ll see what happens. All we can do is try.”

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
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