RED BANK: NEW PHARMACY APPROVED

A drugstore and two adjoining stores would occupy space formerly used by a Chinese takeout restaurant and a portrait studio near the corner of Broad Street and Harding Road. (Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

Rcsm2_010508Less than a year after losing its last independent drug store, Red Bank is getting a new one, and it’s located just across the street from the vacant shell of its predecessor.

Pharmacist Kamlesh Patel won approval from the borough planning board Monday night for an independent pharmacy at 141-1431 Broad Street, nearly opposite the former home of the Professional Pharmacy, which closed up shop in December after 61 years in town.

After a largely perfunctory series of questions by the borough representatives regarding trash handling, parking, landscaping and signs, the board approved Patel’s application to transform nearly half the 4,900 square feet of space formerly occupied by Kramer Photography studio and Jade Garden Chinese restaurant into the Red Bank Family Pharmacy.
Kramer moved to East Front Street last year, and Jade Garden folded.
The pharmacy will feature prescription pick-up and delivery, as well as medication compounding, along with the customary cards, gifts, health and beauty aids.
Architect Ned Gaunt presented the site plan, which included design waivers for exterior and interior renovations. The plan features the addition of ramps  for wheelchair users and at the rear entrance.
Patel, of Monroe Township, is in contract to buy the property, which includes two other storefronts.  There are presently no prospective tenants, he said.
After the vote, Mayor Pasquale Menna expressed satisfaction with the plan.
“We used to have a very prominent, very successful pharmacy right across the street,” he said “They did an extraordinary business for 50 years, and we want you here for 100 years. But more importantly we really like the fact that yours is a local, family, neighborhood-type pharmacy, which we desperately, desperately desire. So, good luck!”
Still pending at the planning board is an application by Walgreen’s to build a 14,000-square-foot drugstore at the former Rassas Buick location, on Broad Street at the foot of Maple Avenue.