A joint venture joined public officials on Wednesday to mark the opening of The Element at Red Bank, a new 35-unit apartment building at 55 West Front St. in Red Bank.
By Joshua Burd
A joint venture has unveiled a boutique apartment building in downtown Red Bank, bringing new life to a long-vacant site and paving the way for additional redevelopment in the borough.
The development team — which includes Tantum Real Estate, Joe Bezzone and Ralph Braha —joined public officials on Wednesday to mark the opening of The Element at Red Bank, a 35-unit property at 55 West Front St. Located across from the Navesink River, the building has revitalized the former site of a vacant nursing home and represents a milestone for both its developers and local leaders.
Debra Tantleff, Tantum’s founding principal, said the project “has been a very long time coming in a lot of ways.” She credited Mayor Pasquale Menna and other borough officials with declaring the site as an area in need of redevelopment under state law— a first for the borough — which allowed it to implement zoning that would make the project economically viable.
“Spending time down in Red Bank and falling in love with all of the things that it has to offer was incredibly easy, but trying to effectuate change on a site that lay fallow for 10 years was not so easy,” Tantum said. “The ability for this administration to see this redevelopment process through was such a monumental statement for this administration and this community.”
Designed by Rotwein+Blake, The Element will likely appeal to baby boomers and empty-nesters who live in the area and now hope to downsize into a walkable, maintenance-free lifestyle. The property offers several two-bedroom floorplans that are close to or more than 1,200 square feet in some cases, with oversized closets and large living rooms for entertaining.
For his part, Menna called the project “a game-changer for Red Bank … in a lot of different ways.” For one thing, he said, using the tools under the state’s redevelopment law will allow the borough to adopt “creative planning and development ideas” with other projects going forward.
“A lot of people were completely against it, but it was a new plan, it was a new idea, it was an opportunity for the town to move forward on a site that had essentially been completely economically inutile for about 20 years,” Menna said. “We did it. This is the result of it and it’s the result in so many positive ways.”
Tantum, who became involved with the project soon after launching her firm in 2014, was also quick to highlight the influence of her partners, who showed “patience, calmness (and) perseverance” among other attributes.
“It’s something that I’ve really tried to incorporate into my own personal and professional growth as I continue to grow myself and grow my company,” she said. “And Joe and Ralph, I really want to thank you for welcoming me into your family, for putting your confidence in me and for allowing me and Tantum Real Estate to make good on my promise to you.”