Welcome to Red Bank RiverCenter. We are proud to introduce to you the organization and the people who have made the heart of our beloved town beat again. Together, we have created a lively, warm and vibrant business district for all of us to enjoy and cherish. Come, meet us!
RiverCenter is a people based organization built upon the individual passions and desires of the organization's membership. This same group of stakeholders pays the assessment to fund the business district's revitalization.
From this membership, leaders are elected to represent and oversee RiverCenter's direction. People get involved and team together to set the course for the district.
These leaders understand economic and political realities; they seek creative and innovative ways of working more successfully with government and business.
The History of Red Bank RiverCenter...
In 1991, the RiverCenter organization was established to manage and revitalize the downtown business district. The downtown district included Broad Street from the post office to Marine Park and from Maple Avenue to one block east of Broad Street. The district that was originally proposed was much larger. It originally included the commercial areas west of Maple Avenue, including the antique buildings, the Galleria, and Shrewsbury Avenue. However, some property owners in this area were opposed to the idea because they did not want to pay the assessment. Plans for the larger district advanced but the opposition became more rigorous. Therefore the proposed district was amended to exclude those who were opposed.
So, the district that was adopted stopped at Maple Avenue, until it was expanded in 2007 to include the street s west of Maple Ave up to but not including Shrewsbury Ave. When the RiverCenter District was established, the downtown was a shrinking asset, losing value every year. Businesses were closing their doors, properties were neglected, and property owners were filing and winning tax appeals. The borough was losing property tax revenue every year and residents were picking up the difference. There was an increasing sense of hopelessness. While some people were planning their escape from Red Bank, a small number of business leaders believed something could be done to rescue Red Bank. Kerry Zukus, a former business owner, resident and then Councilman was one of those people. He along with others worked hard to formulate a plan to rescue Red Bank. The plan was to establish a Special Improvement District, which according to the State Law would allow the local municipality to create a district and assess the commercial property owners within that district an additional fee based on the value of their property (those with smaller or fewer properties pay less than those with large or multiple properties) in order to fund the work of the management organization and staff it properly so the goals and directives of the Board could be carried out consistently and effectively.
- RiverCenter Formed
- 35% vacancy rate at street level
- First Cruisin' With The Oldies
- Flower planting program
- More calendar events added to line-up:
- First Jazz in the Park concert series
- Easter egg hunt
- Red Bank sidewalk sale is a success
- No Ordinary Joe coming soon
- Rocar and Language School Buildings renovated
- Jack's Music undergoes major rehab
- Red Bank's First Menorah lighting at the Dublin House
(location later moved to the Train Station Between 1995-Present)
- Investors and property owners spent $40 million in nearly 30 building renovations
- First Flower & Garden Show held - May
- Streetscape construction begins in February at Front & Broad Street; ongoing project completed
- Brokerage house renovations begin:
- Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
- Smith Barney
- Paine Webber
- Merrill Lynch
- Charles Schwab
- Spring Bench sponsor program - May
- Steinbach's closes
- Red Bank's two anchor stores lie vacant
- Opening of the BonTon - September
- Opening of Restoration Hardware - October
- Demand for Red Bank retail space exceeds availability
- 1% vacancy rate
- Cooper's Bridge construction completed - May
- Street Life program kicks off
- Riverside Gardens Park completed
- Visitors' Center opens
- Monmouth Streetscape begins
- Bon Ton closes
- Monmouth Streetscape completed
- Hamilton Jewelers opens
- Garmany Men's and Women's store begins renovations to former Bon Ton building
- Riverview Medical Center completes exterior and interior renovations
- Smart cards for parking meters introduced in downtown
- RedBankRiverCenter.org website redesigned
- Two River Theater opens
- 21 E. Front Street opens after complete renovation
- Noglows building at 65 Monmouth Street completed
- Garmany completes renovations and opens
- Children's Cultural Center opens on Monmouth St.
- RiverCenter introduces electrical light box mural projects
- Pictures with Santa and Horse and Carriage Rides in downtown
- 3% vacancy rate in downtown
- 38 new parking spaces added, in conjunction with Riverview Medical Center
- Two River Theater wins annual Downtown New Jersey award for best new construction
- RiverCenter expands district to the west side of town
- Tiffany's announces Red Bank location, opens early November
- RiverCenter adds new events to its retail event calendar including Spring Into Red Bank
- K Hovnanian World HQ wins Downtown New Jersey design award
- World economic crisis hits in October
- Urban Outfitters announces Red Bank location, opening Fall, 2009
- RiverCenter increases Marketing budget to aid in keeping economic crisis affects to a minimum in Red Bank
- RiverCenter increases its events too to drive increase in foot traffic
- Economic crisis continues with more businesses closing and others relocating within the district. RiverCenter increases business recruitment efforts as well as marketing and events.
- New businesses open including: Tommy's Coal Fired Pizza, Pazzo, Pizza Fusion, Frame to Please, and Dor L'Dor.
- RiverCenter introduces new events: LunchMusic, outdoor lunchtime concerts in Riverside Gardens Park getting people to come out of their offices midday and midweek. The first Red Bank Guinness Oyster Festival debuts to great success in September, drawing 12,000 people into town and raising $30,000 for two cancer charities.
- Increased marketing and event initiatives continue to combat weak economy.
- Vacancy rate declines as vacant storefronts fill up with businesses like Sugarush, A Sweet Experience, Temple Gourmet Chinese, Pho Le Vietnamese Cuisine, The Cheese Cave, and DoubleTake. Other businesses expand.
- RiverCenter moves offices to 46 English Plaza, Suite 6 from 20 Broad St.