RED BANK: TWO RIVER PLANS ADDITION

A rendering of the proposed addition to the left of the existing theater and tower above, as seen from the northeast. (Rendering by Kaplan Gaunt Desantis Architects. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The backstage area of Red Bank’s Two River Theater is about to get bigger, if a plan in the works gets a green light from borough officials.

Scheduled for consideration by the zoning board next week, the plan calls for the construction of an architecturally bold addition to the existing theater for rehearsal spaces, costume-making and the building of props and scenery, according to documents on file.

A view from the southeast shows the cantilevered third floor, partially clad in the same metal used on part of the existing building. (Rendering by Kaplan Gaunt Desantis Architects. Click to enlarge)

The addition, totaling more than 36,000 square feet over three floors, would take up a portion of the existing parking lot on the theater’s east side. No new performance space is proposed.

According to a description written by theater managing director Michael Hurst, the plan calls for the demolition of two buildings the theater owns east of the parking lot on West Street, including the so-called Chavant building, where scenery is now constructed and then transported to the theater.

The cleared lots would be paved for parking, enabling the theater to carry out its plan without any net loss in parking spaces, according to Hurst’s description.

The Chavant building “is less than ideal” for creating scenery pieces, which are often 25 feet tall, Hurst wrote. The new structure would be 50 feet tall in part to accommodate that need.

At that height, the project needs a variance for exceeding a 44-foot height limit in the zone, according to a review by zoning board Engineer Ed Herrman, of T&M Associates.

The 10-year-old theater, a portion of which is 75 feet tall, was built with a height variance, and the Galleria office and restaurant complex on the opposite side of Bridge Avenue also exceeds the limit, the filing notes.

Variances for setbacks and open space are also needed, Herrman wrote. He’s his review of the application: T & M Review Letter.

No information about the cost and financing of the project was available, and a spokeswoman said the theater would have no comment before the hearing.

The hearing is scheduled for March 16. Here’s the agenda: RBZBA AGENDA 031617

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