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FAIR HAVEN: CHURCH COMES DOWN

fh church 101615 1img_3737100809The former Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion in Fair Haven, seen in an archive photo at right, was razed this week as part of a plan by Kolarsick Builders of Rumson to construct three homes on the site, at the corner of River Road and Church Street.

The steepled church, built by volunteers in 1967, had seen its congregation dwindle, and was closed in 2009.

The ashes of 45 deceased parishoners interred in the church’s memorial garden were relocated to a cemetery in the Navesink section of Middletown in April, 2014. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

FAIR HAVEN: PLAN FOR CHURCH SITE WINS OK

fh church 100809 2The Episcopal Diocese plans to repurpose the windows of the church, which was built by volunteers in 1967. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

fh-churchA plan to demolish Fair Haven’s Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion won unanimous planning board approval Wednesday night.

The authorization, with no objections from the audience of about 10 onlookers, clears Kolarsick Builders of Rumson to raze the 48-year-old River Road church and two other structures and replace them with three homes.

“We understand it’s a landmark property,” said company principal Noah Kolarsick, who grew up in a house with a view of the church and still lives in town. But the church is “severely deteriorated,” and because it has no on-site parking, is impractical for use as a house of worship, he told redbankgreen Thursday.

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FAIR HAVEN: PLAN CALLS FOR RAZING CHURCH

img_3737100809The church, seen here and below in photos from 2009, would be replaced by three homes if a developer’s plan is approved. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See update below]

By JOHN T. WARD

fh church 100809 2Five and a half years after congregants celebrated their last mass there, Fair Haven’s Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion could be torn down.

A developer’s plan raze the steepled River Road structure and replace it with it three homes goes before the borough planning board Wednesday night.

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RUMSON: EDGEWOOD HOME PLAN NIXED

 rumson pb 070714A proposal to subdivide the property at 9 Edgewood Place, below, drew nearly two dozen opponents Monday night.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

9 edgewood 070714After three long hearings packed with opponents, a proposal to combine and re-subdivide three Rumson lots for two new homes met unanimous rejection by the planing board Monday night.

At three-quarters of an acre each, the two new building lots, fronting on Edgewood Road, would be nearly identical in area to properties a block away, in the same zone, on Circle Drive.

But citing what several called the unique character of the neighborhood, opponents said the new lots would appear squeezed in on Edgewood, where the homes are so far apart that, one woman testified, children won’t go door-to-door on Halloween because it makes for inefficient trick-or-treating.

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SEA BRIGHT: LIFELONG HOME REBUILT

20140617-181947.jpgDesiree Pierce, who lost her lifelong Sea Bright home to Hurricane Sandy, celebrated the completion of its rebuilding by volunteers Tuesday. Pierce, at center above with son Junior, helped Shareefah Taylor of Americorps, one of the volunteer organizations involved in restoring the New Street house, move a cake to the fridge. (Photo by John T. Ward. )

SEA BRIGHT: VOLUNTEERS START HOME REHABS

sb st bernard 1 032614Americorps volunteers painting the framework of Desiree Pierce’s home Wednesday to encapsulate any lingering mold. Below, Pierce and daughter, Gigi Burke, have been displaced from their home since Hurricane Sandy. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

sb gigi desiree 032614People who’ve never been through something like Hurricane Sandy don’t understand, says Gigi Burke.

“They don’t understand losing everything,” the 23-year-old Sea Bright resident said. “And then, they don’t understand the process and steps it takes to get back into your home.”

In the 500-plus days since Burke, her two siblings and their mother lost use of their New Street home to the surging Shrewsbury River and Atlantic Ocean, she’s heard “the question” from people who’ve temporarily put her up more than once.

“It was basically, ‘when are you leaving?’ but in a nice way,” she said Wednesday, amid of a flurry of rebuilding activity finally getting underway at her home.

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SEA BRIGHT RISING TO HELP REBUILD HOMES

sb elevations 4 060513Sea Bright homes being elevated last June. Officials estimate 80 percent of the town’s homes are still vacant. Below, Chris Wood, flanked by Pete Forlenza and Zack Rosenburg, addresses a gathering in Rumson Tuesday night. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

sb rising 022514Sixteen months after the churning Atlantic Ocean and the Shrewsbury River met on Sea Bright’s streets in the fury of a hurricane, the borough is still something of a ghost town, said Chris Wood.

Yes, the business district has seen a welcome comeback. “But 80 percent of the homes on the side streets of Sea Bright are still vacant,” said Wood, a co-founder of Sea Bright Rising, a nonprofit that has raised and distributed close to $1.3 million in donated funds to some 300 families and 17 businesses in town since Hurricane Sandy hit.

Now, though, Sea Bright Rising is partnering with another nonprofit born in the aftermath of a hurricane, with the goal of rebuilding as many as 100 homes in Sea Bright, Rumson and Highlands – at no charge to those homeowners.

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SEA BRIGHT: DCA’S NUMBERS COME UP SHORT

A Sea Bright home as seen from the sea wall five days after Hurricane Sandy. Borough officials contend the number of severely damaged homes is being underestimated by a state agency. (Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Six months after Hurricane Sandy walloped the region, Sea Bright officials find themselves in a disagreement with a state agency over the financial impact of the storm.

The dispute, centered on newly released New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA)’s data on the extent of storm destruction in town, was one of a handful of post-Sandy issues that dominated Tuesday night’s council meeting.

“The DCA released some numbers that gave statistics from Sea Bright,” Mayor Dina Long told the audience, “and they said there were 574 homes with damage. Of those homes, 32 had major damage – damage between $8,000 and $28,000; and 63 homes suffered severe damage – over $28,000 worth of damage.

“Based on where I live, and what it cost to fix even my own house, I really feel like these numbers are not reflecting an on-the-ground truth,” she said.

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REPORT: HOV LOSS LARGER THAN EXPECTED

HovHovnanian’s headquarters on West Front Street.

Red Bank-based homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises closed out its fiscal year October 31 on a larger-than-expected net loss, according to a news report.

The company’s fourth quarter produced an after-tax net loss of  $132.1 million, or $1.68 per common share, compared with a net loss of $250.8 million, or $3.21 per share, in the comparable 2009 quarter.

The New York Times, citing Thomson Reuters, said analysts had been expecting a loss of 66 cents a share.

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JON STEWART GOES FOR TWO ON NAVESINK

stewart_1024Jon Stewart’s riverfront houses on Alston Court, left, and Fisher Place, right, represent a combined $7 million investment in Red Bank, not counting major renovations now underway on one house. (Click to enlarge)

jon-stewart-coverJon Stewart has doubled down on Red Bank.

The host of Comedy Central’s ‘The Daily Show,” who quietly paid $3.8 million for a riverfront home on Alston Court late last year, has supplemented that buy with the equally hush-hush purchase of the adjoining property one lot to the west, on Fisher Place, redbankgreen has learned.

Property records show Stewart, through an entity called Red Bank River Trust, paid $3.2 million in June for the second property, the former home of Kerri and Pat McGeehan. P.J. Rotchford, manager of the Gloria Nilson Realtors office in Rumson, which was involved in the transaction, confirmed that the trust is Stewart’s.

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HOV BEATS OUTLOOK — IN WRONG DIRECTION

Img_9341File photo of the company’s headquarters overlooking the Navesink River. (Click to enlarge)

Homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises slashed its net loss in its latest fiscal quarter, but still produced more red ink than Wall Street analysts were expecting, according to Bloomberg.

The Red Bank-based company racked up $72.9 million in losses in the period that ended July 31, largely owing to the expiration of a federal tax credit for homebuyers.

A year earlier, Hovnanian reported a net loss of $168.9 million.

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OOPS: IT’S NOT HISTORIC — YET

80-efront-red-bankThe lot, at the corner of East Front and Washington Streets, has been vacant since a Victorian home was demolished in 2005. (Click to enlarge)

Last week, redbankgreen reported that a Monmouth County architect had met recently with historic preservation advocates in Red Bank about building a four-unit condo project on a vacant lot at the corner of East Front and Washington streets.

The meeting was a courtesy call of sorts. Brendan McHugh, a Manasquan-based architect working for an unidentified prospective buyer and developer of the site, sat down with members of the borough’s Historic Preservation Commission to give them a heads-up and get early feedback on the plan. He hadn’t, and still hasn’t, filed any formal proposal with the town.

The commission plays an advisory role in land use issues involving properties in the Washington Street Historic District, and the lot McHugh was targeting was in the zone.

Or so everyone at the meeting thought.

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