WOMAN’S CLUB GETS SECRET SETTLEMENT

That little bit of decorative cornice that overhangs the Woman’s Club fire lane cost the Bank of America. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

What’s a couple of inches of historic airspace in downtown Red Bank worth?

Officials of the Woman’s Club of Red Bank aren’t saying, following an inadvertent encroachment on their historic Broad Street home by the new next-door neighbor, the Bank of America.

It seems that when the bank leased and renovated 170 Broad recently, it went too far with a decorative cornice it installed on the north wall of the building. The cornice overhangs the Woman’s Club property by several inches.

The club’s home is the former Anthony Reckless mansion, completed in 1874, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

How the encroachment came to light is something redbankgreen was unable to learn. Nor could we confirm scuttlebutt that the club had gotten a whopping six-figure settlement from the bank over the mistake.

Christina Hardman, the club’s president, tells us the settlement is subject to a confidentiality agreement that prevents her from discussing it.

The club, however, did file documents with the Monmouth County Clerk regarding the property issue. An “encroachment agreement” allows the cornice to stay for the duration of the bank’s 20-year lease. It also calls for the bank to pay the club “ten dollars ($10.00) and other good and valuable consideration” spelled out in a document not attached.

Why all the secrecy? We couldn’t find out.

Here’s the encroachment agreement: woman’s club settlement