RED BANK: SHOP PREPPED FOR NEW USE

77 Monmouth 062016 1Work got underway recently on the facade and interior of the former ARC thrift shop at 77 Monmouth Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

WhatsGoingOnHereWhats Going On with the former thrift shop next door to Jamian’s Food and Drink on Monmouth Street in Red Bank?The ARC of Monmouth, previously known as the Association for Retarded Citizens, operated a used clothing and book store at the site — 77 Monmouth Street — for 32 years, closing up shop in February, 2014, when it listed the single-story building for sale at $895,000.

But after languishing on the market, it sold last October for $630,000, according to Monmouth County property records. The buyer was identified as Blake Sonnek-Schmelz Properties of Westfield.

Recent construction activity suggests something’s up. But Dave Adams, a building contractor, tells redbankgreen there’s no lease on the 4,200-square-foot space. He and his crew are simply getting it ready for a tenant or for possible resale.

“They haven’t decided what they’re going to do with it,” Adams said of the owners.

Meantime, he’s gutting the interior for an industrial look that will include black-painted roof trusses and exposed ductwork.

The storefront’s getting a bit of a makoever, too. The existing angled facade and brick will be preserved, but treated with a three-tone stain, Adams said. A filing with the borough planning office said the result will be “rustic old brick face.”

Red Bank RiverCenter’s visual improvement committee approved the changes in April, according to borough records.