By John Burton
RED BANK – West Side Lofts, a large commercial and residential project under construction, is moving forward but will take longer to complete than initially planned.
“We’re definitely going to be pushed back to the end of the year (2014),” for completion of the project at the corner of West Front Street and Bridge Avenue, said Stephen Santola, executive vice president and general counsel of Woodmont Properties, Fairfield, a principal in the project.
Last October, company estimates put the completion date in the first quarter of 2014.
“The storm definitely had something to do with it,” Santola said, referring to Super Storm Sandy that delayed work, supplies and caused the loss of electricity for about two weeks.
“It’s also a complicated project” that includes a substantial integrated garage system and “sometimes those take a little longer,” he said. The construction also requires additional fabricated pieces “to get over the technical bumps.”
“We’re not building a single-family home,” he said. “There are a lot of moving parts.”
So far work is largely complete on the multi-level 85,000-plus square-foot parking garage that contains 221 stalls.
The next phase of the work on the approximately 1.8-acre property will be delivery and placement of vertical steel beams, and the laying of cement footings – expected to begin in August, according to Santola.
“We’re pleased” with how the work is proceeding, Santola said, adding that the company officials are hoping work will accelerate from here on with “the pieces of the puzzle coming together.”
Last fall, the developers said the project is expected to cost approximately $35 million to $40 million.
Plans call for 92 rental units, mostly one-and two-bedrooms, with three artist living/work spaces. On the commercial side, the Triumph Brew Pub, with locations in Princeton, New Hope and Philadelphia, will use 10,510 square feet of the commercial space. There will be an additional 11,353 of retail space available with the developers looking to attract arts-oriented businesses.
The developers are Woodmont and Metrovation, a Washington State-based real estate development firm which has such area holdings as The Grove in Shrewsbury and Brook 35 Plaza in Sea Girt.
Metrovation will be responsible for leasing the commercial space with Woodmont handling the construction and residential leasing components.
The site had been the location of Blaisdell Lumber, the Monmouth Antique Shoppes and storage structures.
Borough officials have touted the large project as a key component in helping revitalize the borough’s west side.