rb design ctr 110914 3Plans for an art gallery are out, but the Red Bank Design Center is in, opening next month at the corner of Broad Street and Harding Road. (Click to enlarge)


Rcsm2_010508Five months ago, a giant image of a cannabis leaf in the papered-over windows at the corner of Broad Street and Harding Road led some passersby to wonder if Red Bank was getting a medical marijuana dispensary.

Nope to dope: that was just artist David Benegas being provocatively playful about his plans to occupy the long-vacant Lamplighter space with an art gallery.

Well, those plans have now gone up in smoke. Fortunately for the landlord, however, so did Amy Manor‘s plan to create a design mecca for interior decorators over on West Front Street.

This edition of Retail Churn has the details…

12 w front 111114Amy Manor has vacated the storefront she leased on West Front Street, and the owner of the Downtown, next door, has an option to acquire the building. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

ICMYI, Churn reported back in May that Manor was spearheading the creation of the Red Bank Design Center at 23 West Front. That’s the long-ago and long-vacant former home of Love Lane Tuxedos that developer Nima Nilli and partners bought a year earlier for $550,000, taking it off the hands of a speculator who paid three times that amount in 2007 and never did a lick of work.

At that point, Nilli was in the midst of a complete gut job, and Manor was looking ahead to an August opening.

But… well, plans change.

Manor got out of that lease but is now on the brink of opening the center at 147 Broad, she tells Churn, which found her on a recent Sunday readying the space for a December 4 trade event. An opening to the public is slated for early January.

The idea behind the center, she says, is a “shop concept” where makers of heirloom home furnishings can display their work while sparing local and regional designers and their clients the schlep into Manhattan – and multiple stops once they’re there.

Among the luxury brands lined up are Christopher Guy, Baker, Shine by S.H.O, and the new Trump Home by Dorya, she said. The center also features an extensive catalog library that designers can lose themselves in.

Her aim with the center is to foster “an environment of designers supporting designers,” says Manor.

The building has been vacant since the sudden death of Lamplighter/Tower Hill Antiques owner Raymond Valerio in October 2010. It’s now owned by Scott Diamond.


With the center underway, Manor recently vacated her space at 12 West Front Street, next door to the Downtown.

Bar owner Dan Lynch tells Churn he has an option on the building. But he’s “not exactly sure what I’m going to do with it yet,” he says.


Meanwhile, at 23 West Front, work continues apace, and while there’s no tenant yet signed, Patrick Carroll, a spokesman for Nilli, tells Churn that passersby can expect to see “a very appealing facade” replace one that’s in dire need of replacing.


In other Churnings….

Maureen Bay is closing her Gem of An Idea jewelry store at 74o River Road in Fair Haven after 32 years in business. A note on the shop’s Facebook page says she’s retiring.