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FAIR HAVEN: INVESTORS BANK PLAN STALLS

investors-bank-091316The Investors Bank proposed for River Road would be identical to this branch in Woodbridge, the developer said. (Photo by M&M Realty Partners. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A proposed drive-thru bank on the site of a former filling station in Fair Haven ran out of gas Tuesday night.

The Investors Bank project encountered continuing objections to a traffic-flow plan that would put two driveways — for an entry and an exit — on River Road, which planning board members said raised child-safety concerns.

Also an issue: the brand-specific look of the one-story building, which called for a shallow glass atrium dome that one resident likened to a “blister.”

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FAIR HAVEN: BIKE SHOP CALLING IT QUITS

bike haven 081916Bike Haven will close by the end of September, its owner says. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallA second longtime retailer is leaving the Fair Haven Shopping Center.

But unlike Laird’s Stationery, which is temporarily relocating to smaller quarters in the center after getting squeezed out of its home by a steep rent increase, Bike Haven is simply calling it quits, owner Cliff Wittenberg tells redbankgreen. And a rent hike is only the final nail in the tire.

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FAIR HAVEN: LAIRD’S GETTING SQUEEZED OUT

budnicks brounley 071116Bob and Rose Budnick outside their store with longtime customer Katherine Brounley. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallTucked into the corner of a Fair Haven strip mall, marked with minimal signage, Laird’s Stationery is easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. But locals know it, and know it as a jam-packed emporium of not only paper goods and office supplies, but everything from backpacks to wiffle bats.

“The register never stops ringing,” owner Bob Budnick said early this week, as three customers converged at the front desk to pay for their purchases. “This store is woven into the fabric of a lot of people’s lives.”

But the register is about to stop ringing, here at least, and the business may be doomed, said Budnick and his wife.

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RED BANK: REAL ESTATE IN SPOTLIGHT

NYT RE 071316Looking to buy or rent a home in Red Bank? Borough life gets the spotlight in a New York Times real estate feature published online Wednesday. Three married couples who bought homes in recent years talk about the draw of the town, and the story offers an overview of what’s available, with prices ($1,500 to $3,400 a month to rent, and a recent average sale price of $337,165). (Click to enlarge)

FAIR HAVEN: BANK HEARING DELAYED AGAIN

fh bank plan 051016 1HOT-TOPIC_03For the second time since it began in May, a hearing on a proposed Investors Savings Bank branch on the former site of a Sunoco station on River Road in Fair Haven has been postponed at the applicant’s request. The matter, scheduled for Monday night, is now slated for July 28.

Meantime, the board is expected to continue its review of the town’s Master Plan, among other matters.

For redbankgreen’s prior coverage of the bank plan, click here.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

 

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: WRAPS ARE OFF STATION PLACE

rb station place 100714 2rb station pl 081914 1Black netting, right, that hid the Station Place apartments under construction on Monmouth Street in Red Bank for several months came down this week.

Which is not to say the 57-unit project is finished. Developer Roger Mumford tells redbankgreen that leases will be accepted beginning in late November, but the model units won’t be ready until January. The Station Place website quotes monthly rents “from the mid-$2,000s.” (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

SEA BRIGHT: EX-MAYOR MAY GET FIRE STATION

sb fire house 040114 2Two fire trucks have been relocated out of town and another sits beneath a tent since the firehouse, in the background, was condemned. Former Mayor Jo-Ann Kalaka-Adams, below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

jo-ann-kalaka-adamsLast we heard from former Sea Bright Mayor Jo-Ann Kalaka Adams, she had just failed to relcaim her old job after an election race that turned in part on property taxes she owed the town.

Fast-forward to now. Kalaka-Adams may start collecting $4,500 a month in rent from the borough for a vacant lot, even though she owes the town $40,000 in overdue property taxes, according to the Asbury Park Press.

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RED BANK: HAMILTON CLOSING STORE

hamilton 050414The Princeton-based jeweler has had its store at 19 Broad Street since 2003.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508Hamilton Jewelers is closing its Red Bank store, the company told select customers in a letter last week.

One of a handful of retailers that add high-end sparkle to Broad Street, Hamilton is moving out of 19 Broad Street after failing to come to terms on a new lease, the company said in the letter, signed by President Hank Siegel and Chairman Martin Siegel.

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WEEKEND: THE SECRET WOID IS VARIETY

rb street fair 041413A first responder benefitting spring edition of Street Fair returns to Red Bank Sunday while, below, the one and only GROUCHO goes wild, in the person of Frank Ferrante, Friday night at the Basie. 

grouchoRED BANK: “We all want to be Groucho,” Frank Ferrante told us a few seasons back, “to be that wild, irreverent pulverizer of those in power.”

In the acclaimed stage show An Evening with Groucho, the actor-director gets to be all that and more, as his spot-on channeling of the classic comic force of nature Groucho Marx comes to the Count Basie Theatre for the first time. Performed with piano accompaniment, minimal set and trademark makeup, the 90-minute, all-ages friendly tour de farce mixes canonical Marxist quotes, anecdotes from a life in show business, signature silly songs (“Hooray for Captain Spalding,” “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady”), and — in a bracingly contemporary touch — an interactive element that finds Ferrante/Groucho duckwalking the theater aisles. “Fully one-third of it is improvised,” says Ferrante. “That’s what Groucho’s magic was, really – the ability to create comedy on the spot.” Get your tickets ($19 – $49) right here — and when you take it ’round the corner for more Weekender wonderment, tell ’em Groucho sent you.

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RETRO FASHION OUT, ASIAN EATERY PENDING

43 broad 020414Backward Glances’ owner cited rising rents and diminishing cool as factors in her decision to leave Red Bank. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508After 28 years in Red Bank, vintage clothing and accessories boutique Backward Glances has departed for Asbury Park.

Also in this edition of redbankgreen Retail Churn: an Asian restaurant hopes to open in English Plaza, just a few doors away from a new hair salon that’s readying for its debut.

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RED BANK: GRANDVILLE RENT HIKE WEIGHED

Grandville Towers neighbors look on as resident Mary Cook, below, questions PRC vice president Tom Arnone, left. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

The Red Bank Rent Leveling Board wrapped up testimony and public comment on a plan for upgrades and higher rents at Grandville Towers Thursday night, but held off on making a decision before next month.

Building manager PRC Group is seeking permission to impose rent surcharges to recover the costs of a proposed $3.6 million rehabilitation-and-upgrade project that has tenants fearing sharp increases.

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RED BANK: GRANDVILLE UPGRADES DETAILED

Tenants Sonia Walker, left, and Jennifer Lugo-Walker study the project plans for the 10-story apartment building, below. (Photo above by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

About 30 residents of Red Bank’s Grandville Towers highrise turned out for a special meeting of the borough Rent Leveling Board Wednesday, anxious about renovation plans and their effect on rents.

Tom Arnone, vice president at he PRC Group, the building’s manager, presented an overview of the the work that – pending RLB approval of rent surcharges – would be done in three phases expected to last a total of about 14 months, starting in September.
Because PRC is still seeking quotes for the work, the surcharges may vary from present estimates, said Arnone, who also serves as a member of the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

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