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RED BANK: LANDMARK BUILDING SOLD

74-broad-st-092713-500x375-2142522The upper two floors of 74 Broad Street have been vacant for years. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rcsm2_0105081-220x165-9667185One of downtown Red Bank’s most prominent buildings has a new owner, redbankgreen has learned.

The century-old three-story structure at the corner of Broad and Monmouth streets was sold Friday to a local family that’s been on something of a buying spree in the central business district recently.

Selling agent Neil Barone of Barone Commercial Resources, confirmed that a limited liability company controlled by the family of patriarch Michael Morgan, of Rumson, bought the building, known as both 74 Broad Street and 6-8 Monmouth Street.

Barone declined to disclose the price, except to say that the Morgans paid less than the $2.75 million asking price. The deed, which would include the price, had not been posted on the Monmouth County property records website as of Wednesday morning.

The sellers were Anthony, Frank and Armand Crupi, and Joseph Accardi, who acquired it in a family transaction five years ago in an inter-family transfer, records show.

Monmouth County records show the 12,000-square-foot property was assessed at $1.56 million. Its street-level tenants are Nat’s Jewelers, a Valley National Bank branch, Whipped Bites and Red Bank Sub Shop, with two floors above that have been vacant for years, and perhaps decades, said Barone.

The Morgans’ plans for the building are unknown. Michael Morgan’s son John did not follow up on a request for comment. He has previously objected to redbankgreen‘s publication of details about the family’s real estate dealings.

Barone said the building will need “major renovation” on the upper floors, as well as repair work to the facade, which in recent years has become a patchwork of netting and wood braces to secure the brickwork.

“You’ll be seeing scaffolds go up, that’s for sure,” he said.

Though apartments are permitted above street level in the Central Commerical District-2 zone in which the building is located, Barone said he believes Michael Morgan “is more of an office guy than a residential guy.”

Through various entities, the Morgan portfolio of properties includes:

• 58-64 Broad Street, home to street-level businesses that include a nail salon, a lacrosse store, a photo studio and a Subway sandwich shop approved by borough zoners in October, 2011, but never opened. The second floor has multiple businesses as tenants

•  36 Broad Street, former longtime home of Ballew Jewelers, briefly tenanted by Tesserae and soon to be home to a Chocolate Works franchise

• the former Liberty Hose firehouse, on White Street, which the Morgans bought from the borough for $400,000 a year ago

• and 14 West Front Street, a three-story building that last housed Lucky Strike Billiards on the ground floor. The Morgans acquired it for $755,000 in March.

The family also controls a small parking lot that abuts the backs of 58-56 and 74 Broad Street.

In one of his books, historian Randall Gabrielan wrote that 74 Broad was built sometime between 1905 and 1911 by Arthur Swift. It was owned by Riverview Hospital through most of the 1970s, county records show.

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