BANK VOWS TO BUILD COURTYARDS THIS YEAR

Demolition of a gas station at the corner of Monmouth and West streets was completed in August to clear the way for 57 new homes. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Officials of the bank that owns the rights to build the Courtyards at Monmouth housing development told Red Bank officials Thursday night that the project will begin going into the ground at a blighted corner this year.

They also pledged to be better neighbors, after a demolition contractor failed to fulfill a pledge by the bank to give adjoining homeowners advance notice of demolition work last August. Neighbors complained at the time about dust that had infiltrated their homes.

“We admit it, our wrecking contractor blew it,” said Amboy Bank chief operating officer Stanley Koureyva, who apologized to neighbors who turned out for a meeting of the borough zoning board.

Amboy, whose GS Realty subsidiary won board approval for the project last April, was back on what was characterized as a minor technicality: the desire to split the project’s 45 market-rate units and 12 affordable units into separate lots by the creation of a 100-foot-long property boundary.

Bank representatives told the board the change was necessary for “financing options” that they did not detail, and said the change would have no effect whatsoever on the approved plan, or when it gets built.

The borough council last week approved a developer’s agreement with the bank that requires that the affordable units be completed before the final certificate of occupancy on the market-rate units is issued by the town.

Koureyva said that obligation will be met, even though the bank plans to sell the two parcels, “probably to to two different developers,” because Amboy is financing the buildout at the site, which is bounded by Monmouth, West and Oakland streets.

“GS Realty will never build,” he said. Instead, “we will sell it to a very responsible developer that is well known to the county.”

Two prior development plans under different owners failed to yield any progress at the corner, which is considered integral to a revitalization of the western Monmouth Street corridor linking the town’s two main business districts.

Amboy, by contrast, is “staying in this through the end,” Koureyva said.

No objections to the subdivision proposal were voiced, and the board granted unanimous approval.