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FAIR HAVEN: SKEPTICISM OVER BANK PLAN

fh bank plan 051016 1An architectural rendering of the bank, proposed for the former site of a Sunoco station.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

fh bank plan 051016 2Like a customer at a balky ATM, a regional bank will have to try again after Fair Haven’s planning board raised numerous objections to a proposed bank branch Tuesday night.

Though the matter didn’t go to a vote, all but one board member cited misgivings about Investors Savings Bank’s plan for a branch on the site of a former River Road filling station.

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RED BANK: SICKLES TO OPEN WEST SIDE STORE

anderson bldg 040616 3Sickles Market plans to lease nearly the entire first floor of the Anderson Storage building, seen here looking south on Bridge Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Sickles Market, the Little Silver farm market that traces its roots back 350 years, is planning to open a second store in Red Bank’s former Anderson storage building, redbankgreen has learned.

Store owner Bob Sickles told redbankgreen on Wednesday that his company plans to lease nearly all of the 8,000-square-foot ground floor of a building that will have three upper stories of offices.

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SEA BRIGHT: SUMMER FOR SALE

SB beach 061614sb mural 072014 6This should take the chill out of a rainy March Monday: thoughts of sunny days on the sands of Sea Bright.

Full-season beach badges for the coming summer are still available at half price: $50. The discount ends Thursday. To get yours, visit borough hall, at 1167 Ocean Avenue, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: SIGN RULES IN LIMBO

rb signs 032416 2Proposed changes to the ordinance that regulates signage were rejected by the council. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

The Red Bank council yanked the plug on a new sign ordinance Wednesday night, leaving the town with a law that even local officials say is hot mess.

Amid widespread criticism, and some squabbling among majority Republicans, the governing body on Wednesday rejected proposed changes to the sign law that Councilwoman Cindy Burnham said had been in the works for three years and cost the town $18,000.

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RED BANK: HOVNANIAN ‘DELEVERAGING’ BOOKS

hov-hq-8-12-06Hovnanian’s headquarters in Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Red Bank-based Hovnanian Enterprises‘ departure from the Minnesota market contributed to a $16.2 million net loss in its first fiscal quarter, the company reported Wednesday.

The company tied the loss to $11.7 million of land-related charges, primarily related to assets in Minnesota, which it said it is exiting. The result compares to a net loss of $14.4 million, including $2.2 million of land-related charges, in the first quarter of the previous year, the company reported.

The exit from Minnesota is part of a broader strategy of “deleveraging,” or reducing debt, by leaving select markets, CEO Ara Hovnanian said in a prepared statement.

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RED BANK: SIGN LAW FLICKERS BACK TO LIFE

rb signs 061214 2A proposed ordinance to regulate signage is still too complex, officials say. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

After more than two years of review and tweaking, a proposed change to Red Bank’s signage law is still too complicated, according to… well, nearly everyone who’s looked at it.

“Fourteen pages of regulations with three pages of tables does not help simplify what’s allowed and not allowed,” Jim Scavone, executive director of the downtown promotion agency Red Bank RiverCenter, told the borough council two weeks ago.

His comments have since been widely echoed. Planning board member Linda Cohen, who owns Eye Design on Broad Street, expressed concern that prospective business tenants would get one look at the document and decide to set up shop elsewhere.

Still, the planning board unanimously agreed Monday night that the proposed changes did not conflict with the town’s Master Plan, and kicked it back to the council with the message to “keep tweaking,” even if the amendments become law. Read More »

RED BANK: FIREHOUSE EATERY PLAN FILED

40 white st 021816 2Architect Mike Simpson’s drawings show outdoor dining areas in front of and beside the former firehouse. Below, the building’s interior in 2014. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

40 WHITE 092314 2Already on fire with new restaurants, Red Bank’s downtown dining market could get hotter soon.

The new owners of the former Liberty Hose Company firehouse on White Street hope to convert the 105-year-old building into a restaurant, with two luxury apartments upstairs.

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RED BANK: LUNCH WITH HOLIDAY EXPRESS

holiday express 121815 2It’s more than just music when Holiday Express pulls into Lunch Break, one of 81 stops the organization will make this holiday season. The Grinch, below, is always along for the ride. (Photos by Kate Beckett, above, and Susan Ericson, below. Click to enlarge)

tim-grinch-band-rblightingWith the Turning Point restaurant providing food for 400, volunteers from Holiday Express plan to make a special stop in Red Bank Saturday.

The non-profit purveyor of music, food, gifts, financial support, and human kindness during the holiday season has scheduled a full-band visit to Lunch Break from 10 a.m. to noon.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S NEXT FOR RAYRAP SITE?

RayRap site 121015 2The zoning board shot down a plan to build 22 townhouses and condos on a parcel bound by Clay Street, Harding Road and Hudson Avenue, throwing the future of the site into uncertainty. (Google Earth image courtesy of Ray Rapcavage. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03It’s hard to avoid the use of the word “eyesore” when talking about the RayRap site at the Five Corners in Red Bank.

With a vacant lot that was once home to a gas station; the burned husk of a house destroyed by fire; and another notorious for having once been spray-painted black — windows, shingles and all — it’s easily one of the borough’s least visually gratifying parcels. The fact that it sits on a heavily traveled street bordering the downtown and a residential area only heightens the effect.

So now that the zoning board has shot down a plan to develop the site with 22 new homes, what happens? Are we stuck with an eyesore forever?

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SHREWSBURY: BOROUGH’S ‘STORY’ UPDATED

burden gefken 112315 3Mayor Don Burden and co-author Rick Geffken at the Shrewsbury Municipal Complex. The Bonanno Farm on Sycamore Avenue, preserved under an easement, is visible in the background. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

story of shrewsbury 112315 2The 350-year history of Shrewsbury Borough, a vestige of a vast township that once extended from Raritan Bay to Little Egg Harbor, has a new chapter.

With the tiny borough getting ready to celebrate the 90th anniversary of its incorporation in 2016, two avid amateur historians — Rick Geffken and Mayor Don Burden — last month debuted a new edition to the definitive history of the town, adding in information on the past half-century of rapid transformation.

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RED BANK: BIZ INCUBATOR SEEKS IDEAS

studio red bank 103015 2Studio Red Bank team members Gordon Forsyth, Erin Largey and Rob Arace. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Got an idea for a business, but don’t know how to bring it to life?

Defined Logic, a Red Bank company that specializes in leveraging digital technology for large and medium-sized enterprises, recently launched an incubator to help Monmouth County residents test the viability of their dream businesses, even if they’re barely a gleam in the eye.

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RED BANK: ZONERS ZAP RAYRAP PLAN

bill brooks 120315 2Resident Bill Brooks studies a RayRap exhibit prior to the zoning board hearing. Below, a rendering of the proposed six-unit condo building that would front on Harding Road at Hudson Avenue. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rayrap condos 090815After a half-dozen hearings over 16 months and numerous revisions, a plan for 22 condos and townhouses on the edge of downtown Red Bank failed to win zoning board approval Thursday night.

Board members told developer Ray Rapcavage that though they appreciated his flexibility in accommodating the concerns of nearby residents, he hadn’t gone far enough.

“It’s just too dense,” said board chairwoman Lauren Nicosia, whose motion to reject the plan was backed by all but one other board member. Read More »

RUMSON MAN LANDS RHODES SCHOLARSHIP

By JOHN T. WARD

Evan Soltas 112315 2A 22-year-old Rumson resident was among 32 Americans chosen Saturday for a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University in England.

A senior economics major at Princeton— and former redbankgreen summer intern — Evan Soltas (seen at right) said he plans to use the two-year opportunity, worth $100,000, to refine his pursuit of economic truths and falsehoods underlying government policies.

“I’m still in shock, like, 48 hours later,” he told redbankgreen on Monday. “I’m totally thrilled, but in the moment, there was something of a panic attack. You don’t really believe it.”

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RED BANK: RAYRAP TRAFFIC PLAN RAPPED

rayrap 110515 1Planning consultant John Jahr addresses a question from Hudson Avenue resident William Hartigan as builder Ray Rapcavage props up an exhibit Thursday night. Below, a view of the six-unit condo building fronting on Harding Road, which was to have been a greenmarket. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rayrap condos 090815For the fifth time, developer Ray Rapcavage has revised his plans for a residential development on the edge of downtown Red Bank, this time to accommodate complaints that eight homes on Hudson Avenue were too close to the street.

But nearby residents voiced concerns at a zoning board hearing Thursday night that the 22-unit project would worsen traffic and parking on an already busy and narrow street.

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