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Long Branch Theater Looking To Expand

The theater is looking at opening a new location in Little Silver

By Christopher Sheldon

Long Branch's New Jersey Repertory Company (NJ Rep), a theater at 179 Broadway, is looking to open another location.

"We're exploring the possibility of expanding," Executive Producer Gabe Barabas said. "We were looking to expand in Long Branch, but because of the challenges in the area with the downturn in the economy, in the past year we have explored the possibility of expanding in other areas."

NJ Rep was originally included in the Broadway Arts Center redevelopment district, and a spot across the street was earmarked for the theater's expansion. The financial problems and foreclosure proceedings for Broadway Arts Center developer Broadway Arts Center LLC, have stalled the project, but new developers have shown interest in the project.

One of the spots the theater is looking to expand to is an area across the street from the Little Silver Train Station, Barabas said.

While no plans have been finalized, he said it would be a great location because of its proximity to the train station and Red Bank, which has its own theater district.

Barabas said NJ Rep has also looked at Ocean Place Resort and Spa, the Shore Institute of Contemporary Art in Asbury Park and space on Third Avenue.

"In the past 18 months, we've also looked into buildings in the Broadway area," Barabas said.

He said he would like to remain in Long Branch if that is possible, as he believes his own theater has been a "credible" developer as well after spending over $600,000 renovate the building and spent about $7 million as a non-profit.

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