LITTLE SILVER: OFFICE BUILDING PLANNED

ls smith site 070615A warehouse-style office building is planned for the vacant lot on Willow Drive near Branch Avenue. Below, council members examining developer Ray Smith’s plans Monday night. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LS council 070615After years of contamination, bankruptcy and idleness, one of Little Silver’s most troubled properties may finally be getting a makeover. But first, the owner wants a zone change.

A plan for a “warehouse-style” office structure to be built on Willow Drive by commercial real estate broker and developer Ray Smith got a warm reception from the borough council during the workshop portion of its meeting Monday night.

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CHURN: SHREWSBURY TO GET FAST GREEK EATS

89 ns rd 033015Greek Eats has signed to take the corner space, at right above, at the three-store 89 Newman Springs Road, now under construction. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508For about five years, Red Bank restaurateur George Lyristis has been developing an idea for a casual fast-food restaurant based on his ethnic heritage, he tells redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

Well, the time has come to make the concept real, he says. With the sale of their Zoe Bistro in Little Silver, effective Wednesday, Lyristis and his brothers Charlie and Taso are planning to open a new place called Greek Eats in Shrewsbury in coming months.

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CHURN: RED GOES DARK, SOUTH MOON RISES

red restaurant 030215 1The first-floor restaurant at red, now closed for remodeling, will reopen under a new name in coming months. The upstairs nightclub remains open on Friday and Saturday nights. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508Calling his Red Bank restaurant “red” 12 years ago turned out not to be the smartest choice in the era of the search engine, Dan Lynch admits with a laugh.

But that’s not why he shut down the Broad Street restaurant for a first-floor makeover and rebranding last Saturday, he tells redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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LITTLE SILVER: CORNER RAZED. NOW WHAT?

ls willow dr 122214wicker-rose-texaco-lsThe former site of Wicker Rose furnishings, foreground below, and a Texaco station on Willow Drive near Branch Avenue in Little Silver was cleared of its vacant structures earlier this month. Property owner Ray Smith tells redbankgreen that that buildings “needed to go, and now the property is cleaned up and ready for development.”

And what’s he got planned for the site? Smith says he’s “weighing several options” but has no definite plans yet. What would you like to see there? (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

BUILDER PLANS TO RAZE TROUBLED CORNER

The former home of Wicker Rose furnishings, foreground, and the Texaco station at Willow Drive and Branch Avenue are slated for demolition, the new owner says. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

You might call it the most accursed corner of Little Silver.

Once the location of four gas stations and other businesses, the juncture of Willow Drive and Branch Avenue has been beset by pollution problems and financial chicanery in recent years, with the result that a swath of its properties have sat idle and unproductive.

An attempt to auction off  a block of the properties two years ago bombed. Investors wanted nothing to do with them, said Ray Smith of the commercial real estate brokerage Stafford Smith Realty.

Now, however, Smith himself is ready to take a chance on redeveloping one stretch of the corner, he says.

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SILVER LINING AT LITTLE SILVER CORNER?

wicker-rose-texaco-lsBoth the former Wicker Rose building,  foreground, and the abandoned Texaco station in the background have “substantial” environmental issues. (Click to enlarge)

Three adjoining Little Silver properties with the taint of fraud and pollution go on the auction block tomorrow.

The whiff of financial chicanery comes from their connection to Solomon Dwek, the Ocean Township real estate investor-turned-federal-informant, who acquired them as part of a massive $400 million real estate roll-up scheme studded with allegations of bank fraud. That was before Dwek agreed to wear a wire and bribe elected officials snared in a statewide public-corruption sweep last year.

The underground pollution is literally traceable to one of the three properties, a former Texaco filling station, as well as from other sources, says real estate marketer Ray Smith, whose firm will conduct the auction.

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