RED BANK: DENHOLTZ LOCKS UP KEY CORNER

Denholtz Properties now owns four properties at the northwest corner of East Front Street and Wharf Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njIn a move sure to dial up expectations for a possible Broad to the river project, Red Bank-based developer Denholtz Properties has added to its holdings on a key downtown block.

Company CEO Steve Denholtz says the firm does not have a plan to fulfill the century-old dream of panoramic Navesink River views from Broad Street. But he’s still not ruling it out.

Denholtz now owns the corner of Boat Club Court and Union Street, upper left, where it’s building the Southbank condos; and the entire corner of East Front Street and Wharf Avenue, center. Below, one-story buildings block views of the Navesink, as seen from Broad Street in 2019. (Google maps; photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

red bank broad streetLast month, Denholtz Properties went into contract for buildings at 3 East Front Street, home to the Scarlet Reserve Reserve Room, and 9 Wharf Avenue, home to Chetkin Gallery, according to Monmouth County records.

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Don and Carol Lynn Chetkin, who own the art gallery, are the sellers. They could not be reached for comment this week.

The purchase comes two years after Denholtz paid the Chetkins $1.95 million for abutting buildings that house Muang Thai restaurant, at 1 East Front Street, and Mayflowers of Red Bank, at 7 Wharf Avenue.

The four properties sit immediately to the east of a string of structures, many of them more than century old, that block the view of the river from the northern end of Broad Street.

The corner is on a block that has been the subject of decades worth of daydreaming among locals about a so-called “Broad to the river” project to open up a spectacular river view.

Since at least the 1930s, local merchants, residents, town officials and others have mused about eliminating a strip one one-story buildings on Front Street to create the vista. But the dreams have been repeatedly thwarted.

Denholtz Properties recently started construction on a 10-unit luxury condo project called Southbank at the northwesterly corner of the block, Boat Club Court and Union Street.

Two years ago, Denholtz told redbankgreen that while he did not have a Broad to the river plan, he wasn’t ruling one out.

And now?

“We don’t have any current plans,” the Oceanport resident said this week. “We’d like to ultimately do something there, but we don’t have enough property to do anything long term.”

He said the firm “would love to do mixed-use, but people have been trying forever, and no one’s been able to get it done.

“It’s a very long-term play,” he said.

Denholtz Properties is also bolstering its portfolio at the business district’s southern end, with a possible eye toward residential development. See¬†redbankgreen‘s story¬†here.

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