FREEHOLD, NJ-The new owners of the American Hotel here have unveiled plans for a $3.5 million renovation of the property and say they expect to re-open the shuttered venue in about a year. The renovation involves the lobby, a new restaurant and meeting space totaling 17,000 sf and 22 guest rooms adding up to an additional 10,000 sf.

The current owner is Steven Goldberg, a Manalapan, NJ-based businessman and operator of a group of adult day care centers, who bought the property and its liquor license in 2006 for $2.5 million. That acquisition came via a bankruptcy sale after previous owner Truong Dinh Tran of New York defaulted on his hotel holdings.

Tran himself had acquired the property and its liquor license a year earlier, outbidding 15 others and picking the asset up for nearly $4.4 million. Originally built as a stagecoach stop in 1824 and expanded in 1928, the American Hotel was shut down in early 2004 for fire-code violations.

The current redevelopment team assembled by Goldberg includes architect Michael Testa, also of Manalapan, and the locally based T&K Contractors, general contractors for the work.

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