The 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
A 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.”
Bike Haven will close by the end of September, its owner says. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
A 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.
Bob and Rose Budnick outside their store with longtime customer Katherine Brounley. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Tucked 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.
Looking 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)
For 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.)
After a four-year vacancy, the former site of a Sunoco station at River Road and Cedar Avenue in Fair Haven may be getting a new use: Investors Savings Bank hopes to build a branch with a drive-thru there. Read More »
Black 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)
Two 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)
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.
The Princeton-based jeweler has had its store at 19 Broad Street since 2003. (Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Hamilton 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.
A 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.
RED 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.
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.
Winds tore off the roof liner at Grandville Towers during Hurricane Sandy on October 29,(Photo by Ken Kalada. Click to enlarge)
By JOE FISHER
Tenants of Red Bank’s Grandville Towers face rent increases as high as 15 percent under a $3.8 million capital improvement plan to be considered next month by the borough’s rent leveling board.
Teddy Construction Company, owner of the 91-unit high-rise complex, is scheduled make its pitch for the increases at a special board meeting April 2. [UPDATE: The April 2 meeting has been canceled at the request of Teddy’s lawyer. No new date has been set.]
Whether rents can be raised to Teddy’s satisfaction will hinge on whether work slated for the 10-story structure on Morford Place qualifies as capital improvements or maintenance, according to board officials.
The River Road station will be boarded up until Sunoco can find another tenant, says the departing gasoline dealer. (Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
After 20 years, Rich Bercaw has pulled down the bay doors for the last time at his Sunoco gasoline and service station on River Road in Fair Haven.
Unable to keep up with steep rent and what he described as steadily dropping demand for both fuel and repairs, Bercaw pink-slipped five employees and shut off the lights last Thursday, he tells redbankgreen.
“Sunoco will come in and board it up until they find someone to rent it,” he said, as he loaded equipment into a pickup truck Tuesday. And with a deeply discounted first-year’s rent, “eventually, they’ll get someone,” he said.
A plan to convert the Colony House failed, leading to a return to rentals, and new-tenant complaints about jacked-up rents. (Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Following a pattern reported on by redbankgreen back in June, the owner of the Colony House apartments has continued to illegally raise rents on tenants, some of whom may be afraid to pursue legal recourse, members of the Red Bank Rent Leveling Board said Thursday.
At their monthly meeting in a nearly empty council chambers, board members said that about eight residents had filed formal complaints in recent months alleging that the landlord, Park Ridge LLC of Lakewood, had rescinded incentive discounts given to new tenants since 2009, and then imposed cost-of-living improvements on the new base rent.
Only the cost-of-living adjustments are permitted under the borough rent ordinance, said board attorney Gene Anthony.
“We had three complaints in September alone,” said board chairman Vincent Light.
Two tenants and two reporters turned out for Thursday night’s monthly meeting of the Red Bank rent board. (Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
No landlords appeared from the cold rain outside, and only two tenants showed up, one of them to discuss an unrelated matter. Four members of the eight-member board were absent.
But paltry attendance wasn’t the reason Red Bank’s Rent Leveling Board didn’t get far with its review of the borough rent ordinance, which links annual increases to the Consumer Price Index, the nation’s go-to gauge of inflation.
No one on the board knew why the law, which dates to 1978, was structured to permit rent increases of 60 percent of the CPI rise when a tenant pays for heat, and 80 percent when the landlord does.
“I’m on the board 20 years, and I’m not sure of the reason for it,” said board attorney Gene Anthony. “It has never been addressed by this board, and no landlord has ever complained about it, either.
Superstar stage and screen diva Idina Menzel returns to Red Bank Thursday with no less than Marvin Hamlisch at the podium as guest conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.
By TOM CHESEK
Most actors, singers or combinations thereof would be very thankful to have latched on to even one genuinely fan-supercharged, multi-generational, cross-cultural pop phenomenon in their professional lifetimes. Idina Menzel has been a big part of three such phenoms and the general consensus is that she’s only just begun.
When the recently minted stage superstar, who painted herself a minty green for her Tony-winning turn as Elphaba in Wicked, returns to the boards of the Count Basie Theatre Thursday night, she’ll be bringing it big-time for local Rentheads (she originated the role of Maureen in the modern musical smash), Gleeks (she’s co-starred in the recurring role of Shelby Corcoran on the hitmaking Fox TV series), and whatever it is that fans of Wicked call themselves these days (Elphicionados?).
The native Long Islander and hardworking mom (she and co-RENTer husband Taye Diggs have an infant son) will also be bringing along an extra special treat Marvin Hamlisch, the EGOT winner (Emmy-Grammy-Oscar-Tony, that is; not to mention two Golden Globes and one Pulitzer Prize) who’s scored about as many golden trophies as he has movies, TV specials and Broadway musicals. The maestro will be wielding the baton as guest conductor of the mighty New Jersey Symphony Orchestra for an 8p set of songs written or otherwise owned by the star singer, from stage/screen signatures to material from her 2008 CDI Stand.
The celebs desk at redbankgreen talked to Menzel on the eve of her east coast jaunt. A half-dozen or so Q’s and A’s follow.