By JOHN T. WARD
A Morris County-based real estate investment firm has acquired one of downtown Red Bank’s oldest and most prominent commercial structures.
The purchase of the home of an Urban Outfitters store by an arm of Saxum Real Estate is the firm’s third major investment in the town in the past 18 months, and the first for occupied space.
According to Monmouth County records, the Parsippany-Troy Hills firm paid $6.9 million last month for the three-story red brick structure at 2-10 Broad, located at the southwest corner of West Front Street. A $5.9 million mortgage was recorded at the same time.
Urban Outfitters occupies the entire first floor, with two floors of office space above.
The seller was Broad Street Realty Associates LLC, based in Tenafly.
Saxum managing partner Anthony Rinaldi did not respond to a redbankgreen request for comment and information.
“Once common area renovations and a branding overhaul are complete, the asset will be in a class of its own in downtown Red Bank,” Saxum says of the building on its website, which does not mention Urban Outfitters. The terms of the retailer’s lease are not publicly available.
The purchase follows two others by Saxum, which previously was not known to have invested in town:
• In December, 2016, Saxum, through SAF 55 Broad LLC, bought the long-vacant former Smith Barney building at 55 Broad Street for $4 million — $325,000 less than the seller, a New York-based investor, paid in 2010.
Saxum has advertised plans to renovate and rebrand the gutted structure, at the corner of Wallace Street, as office space called the Vault. Thus far, however, the firm has not filed development plans with the town, officials said.
• Last December, Saxum paid $7.4 for the former VNA Health Group headquarters, a purchase that put the property onto Red Bank’s tax rolls.
Saxum has not disclosed its plans for the site, which includes a vacant 38,000-square-foot office structure and parking lot at the corner of Bodman Place. But Mayor Pasquale Menna told redbankgreen last month that Saxum plans to demolish the building and replace it with multifamily residential housing. Saxum officials did not respond to request for comment at that time, either.
Geof Brothers, of Red Bank-based Brothers Commercial Real Brokerage, said Saxum’s purchases mark “the first stage of momentum” that won’t be evident to casual observers for some time.
“After they get done with doing what they plan to do with all three pieces, I think it’s going to be very exciting for the town, especially the downtown,” Brothers told redbankgreen. “The two pieces they have are both icon, trophy commercial assets. They should significantly affect the value of other product downtown after they are developed.”
Saxum’s latest acquisition has deep roots in Red Bank mercantile history, dating to around 1875, according to local historian Randall Gabrielan. Originally known as the Spinning and Patterson building, the red brick structure later served as the home to the J, Kridel clothier business, and for decades beginning in 1946, Natelson’s department store.
Renovation work leading up to Urban Outfitters’s arrival in 2009 uncovered an old wagon wheel hidden in the rafters, redbankgreen reported at the time.