RED BANK: SAN REMO SITE ADDED TO PLAN

Denholtz has acquired the home of San Remo, at right, and the former Racioppi’s restaurant, at left. Both will be demolished and incorporated into a project with apartments and retail. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

An ambitious bid to remake properties alongside the Red Bank train station is about to become more ambitious, redbankgreen has learned.

In the process, a popular Italian restaurant is closing.

A 2016 rendering of the Rail at Red Bank project showed San Remo, which was not part of the plan, in the foreground. (Click to enlarge.)

Matawan-based Denholtz Associates, which won planning board approval almost two years ago for a 45-unit apartment building between Chestnut and Oakland streets, has now acquired additional real estate that will be incorporated into the plan, CEO Steve Denholtz said Friday.

One of the additional lots is home to San Remo restaurant, which will close this month, Denholtz said.

Restaurant owner Abdellah ‘Giovanni’ Bougdour could not immediately be reached for comment.

Monmouth County records indicated that Denholtz paid  $900,000 for the San Remo site, at 115 Oakland Street, in July. The company bought the long-vacant former Racioppi’s building, at 107 Oakland, last September for $348,000.

The additional real estate means the firm will be returning to the planning board to seek approval for changes that include 12 more apartments, plus some 6,000 square feet of retail space along Bridge Avenue and a portion of Oakland Street, Denholtz said.

“We’re making it a more substantial project,” Denholtz told redbankgreen. “We have all the pieces in place.”

Well, all but one: Denholtz was unable to acquire the parking lot that adjoins the project at the northeast corner of Chestnut and Bridge from St. Anthony of Padua parish, he said.

The revised plan could go to the planning board for a hearing next month, and if approved, construction would likely start next spring, Denholtz said.

Following the 2016 approval, Denholtz demolished a former warehouse and taxi stand alongside the Red Bank railroad station, but the building project has yet to get underway.

The through-block project, called the Rail at Red Bank, also includes the existing 30,000-square-foot office and retail building at 116-118 Chestnut Street, which will eventually be linked to a partially underground parking garage serving the apartment tenants.

Denholtz also said his company’s corporate headquarters will relocate to the Chestnut Street building, occupying the all the first-floor office space. A dressmaker’s shop that has the sole retail space will remain, he said.

San Remo, which had operated for years on Newman Springs Road, moved into its current space in January, 2014, following the departure of the Little Kraut restaurant, which was there for more than 40 years .