Developer Bob Silver, below, hugs congregants of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, above, after gaining approval to convert the 62-year-old structure to offices. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
The proposed conversion of First Church of Christ, Scientist in Red Bank into an office complex was praised to the heavens Thursday night, even by a couple of neighbors who’d previously expressed wariness about it.
Developer Bob Silver, who previously converted a Christian Scientist church in Montclair into offices, won kudos for preserving one of Broad Street’s architectural gems while yielding to concerns about traffic. His project, dubbed “Two Eleven Broad,” was also lauded for “saving the home” of a shrunken congregation, which will continue to use a portion of the building, and for touches including electric-car rechargers and bike racks.
Silver is “the best possible neighbor that the neighbors could want,” said abutting property owner William Hartigan of Hudson Avenue, whose concerns about the plan were spotlighted by redbankgreen earlier this week.