By JOHN T. WARD
Red Bank’s antiques district, which took a big hit six years ago, is about to shrink some more.
Carla Gizzi, whose family owns the building that houses Riverbank Antiques at 169 West Front Street has found a buyer, prompting the dozen or so dealers who share space there to look elsewhere, she said.
“Some are retiring, some are moving to other locations” in Red Bank, Asbury Park and Point Pleasant, Gizzi told redbankgreen Thursday. “Some jumped ship,” she said.
The 11,000-square-foot building, located next door to the parking garage that serves Pazzo and the Red Bank Corporate Plaza offices, went on the market two years ago for $1.6 million. Gizzi said she did not receive the asking price, but declined to say how much the building went for or identify the buyer. A closing on the deal is expected in September, she said.
The building is in the Business-Residential 1 zone, which permits a wide range of commercial and housing uses.
Though the number of vendors in the building has dwindled from a recent peak of around 30, some of those who remain are still doing strong business, Gizzi said.
It’s being sold, she said, to settle affairs for her mother, Fran.
“I hate to see it go, but my mom is 83, and my business is growing in a different direction,” she said of the gift shop that bears her name in Convention Hall in Asbury Park.
Gizzi’s late father Charles Gizzi, operated a silk-flower business in the building starting about 35 years ago, and it’s been in the family ever since. Riverbank was launched about 20 years ago, she said. Gizzi’s own shop, Carla Gizzi Jewelry and Home Decor, shares the West Front Street facade with Riverbank.
The address has previously housed a motorcycle dealership, a boat builder, a print shop and other uses, she said.
Some vendors are holding closeout sales through August, Gizzi said.
The borough’s antiques district has shrunk in recent years, including the loss of Monmouth Antique Shoppes, whose home was demolished in 2012 to make way for the West Side Lofts, at the corner of West Front Street and Bridge Avenue.
Still running after more than half a century is Guy Johnson’s multidealer Antique Center of Red Bank, which dominates the district with two buildings: one across West Front Street from the lofts apartments, and the other on West Front across from Brothers Pizza. A handful of smaller antiques sellers also continue to operate in and near the district.