When I worked at a radio station on lower Broadway in Long branch in the 90s, I had to be at work at 5:30 in the morning. What I carried on me was the same every day: Headphones, a can of pepper spray in one fist, and my keys neatly wedged between each knuckle in my other hand. Lower Broadway was a scary area in the daytime, let alone a cold dark winter weekday morning.

That was Long Branch then. Fast forward to now, with the rapid development of the waterfront and it’s adjacent areas. Long Branch has become a true destination. And next on the list? Lower Broadway. As NJ.com reports, the other night, a few dozen people showed up for the council’s vote to approve Kushner Families as the lower Broadway’s new developer. Most were very supportive, as they have seen what the Kushners have done to clean up and revitalize the town. I know that the refurbishment of lower Broadway will bring more jobs, more tourists, and more security and just general happiness for everyone there.

The NJ.com article goes on to report that Kushner’s proposed development will include 590 apartments and close to 100,000 square feet of retail space in a redevelopment area at the largely vacant east end of the city’s downtown. Of course there are the naysayers: According to the report, People were at the meeting to complain about gentrification and displacement, and they always will. Unfortunately, that is progress. No one likes to see early generations of a town feeling that they have need to move, but at the same time, America is about progress, change, and growth. And what was once a dilapidated city has sprung to new life with the advent of the Kushner family.

Kushner’s approval makes possible the rebirth of this dilapidated area of town. It will now be a mixed use complex known as Broadway Place. Kushner‘s involvement in the city of Long branch has been nothing less than spectacular. They purchased the bungalow Hotel last year and also put up a brand new luxury hotel called the Wave Resort. The improvements around the waterfront have brought property values up and have brought many jobs to this once blighted area.

After all the improvements to the area, the 11 acre Broadway tract still remained unimproved. It had always been in the sites of original redevelopers of the area, but improvements never seemed to have gotten off the ground. With the Kushners' involvement, Long Branch will finally see a continuation of the improvement that was so needed for this beautiful, vibrant city.

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