Honestly, who among us hasn’t embarked on a simple housekeeping task and somehow gotten detoured into a project involving busted sheetrock and mouthfuls of gypsum dust?

Maybe that’s what happened to Ray Rapcavage.

Last week, the president of Ray Rap Realty on Mechanic Street told redbankgreen he had no plans for the long-vacant gas station on Harding Road in Red Bank, just a block east of Broad Street.

At the time, the canopy above the pump island had been removed, the two-bay garage structure had been sheared of its skin, and a tall fence had been erected around the property. But nothing special was happening, Rapcavage said via email.

“There are no plans at this time other than to tidy the site up and keep away tresspassers,” Rapcavage said.

But over the past weekend, heavy equipment could be seen digging large trenches in the ground from which tanks had long been removed, according to borough records.

And by late Tuesday, the building had been reduced to a pile of rubble.

We’ve left a couple of messages for Rapcavage today but haven’t yet heard back from him.

It seems something is in the works. In recent years, Rapcavage or entities related to him have acquired five adjoining properties at that location, according to Monmouth County records. They are:

• The former filling station property at 28-32 Harding Road, which is in the name of Victorian Apartments LLC and was acquired from an estate last July for $500,00. Rapcavage is identified on a mortgage as the managing member of Victorian Apartments.

• 50 Hudson Avenue, a house acquired with the gas station from the estate of Philip I. Morris for $400,000. Owned by Raymond Rapcavage.

• 36 Harding, a house (and onetime storefront, by the looks of it,) at the corner of Hudson Avenue, acquired by Ray Rap Realty for $257,800 in 2002.

• 52 Hudson, a house that was recently occupied and now appears to be vacant. Also aquired by Ray Rap Realty in 2002 for $102,000.

• 48 Hudson, which appears to be half of a two-family structure. Acquired by Ray Rapcavage last November for $650,000.

The Hudson properties all back up on Clay Street, which runs along the eastern side of the old gas station.

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