By John Burton
SHREWSBURY – Once home to Memory Bowling until destroyed by a blaze, the Newman Springs Road site will be developed as a retail-shopping site.
The borough Zoning Board of Adjustment earlier this summer approved the plan to use 89 Newman Springs Road for a 10,109 square-foot shopping center, to be developed by Metrovation, a Seattle, Wash.-based real estate firm. Some of the firm’s local holdings include The Grove shopping center and the Grove West, both located on Broad Street in the borough, and the Brook 35 and West in Sea Girt. The firm is also a partner in West Side Lofts retail and residential project in Red Bank.
The project will likely house four and five businesses with the zoning board approving a maximum 1,500-square-foot restaurant, according to Stephen Raciti, the Red Bank architect who designed the project.
The project will be comparable to what currently exists at The Grove, Raciti said.
The developer “takes care to provide a nice, appropriate lifestyle-type of center,” said Raciti, noting the structures will have glass facades facing Newman Springs Road and canopies, with the site and buildings surrounded by landscaping.
Chris Cole, Metrovation’s managing partner, speaking from his Seattle office, said his firm will look for “better quality retailers who would benefit from the visibility of Newman Springs Road.”
No tenants have yet been signed; Metrovation has just begun marketing the site.
Cole said he would “like to do what we’ve always done,” at its other locations, “which is a mix of everything – some national chains and some unique tenants, more independent tenants,” to create an “upscale shopping environment.”
The professionals are in the process of getting the necessary permits, which they hope to have by November with work expected to begin in early 2014, Cole said.
The project is expected to take about seven months. “The goal is to have it done by late summer next year,” he said.
The approximately 48,825 square-foot lot on the southern side of Newman Springs Road/County Route 520 had been home to Memory Bowling until it was engulfed in flames during a large fire at the site in June 2009. It has remained vacant since.
The property was owned by Azgara Bowl, LLC, Marlboro, which, as of a March 2012 real estate listing had been looking to sell the property for $950,000. Azgara also owns a liquor license, and was asking $500,000 for it.
This location’s restaurant will not serve liquor, according to the borough’s planning and zoning office.