Renderings of the proposed Red Bank Harbor plan filed with the borough government on Wednesday. The horseshoe-shaped borough marina is in the foreground above. (Drawings by S.O.M.E. Architects. Click to enlarge.)
By JOHN T. WARD
Vastly eclipsing the concept of a mere dog run, a startup development firm has proposed the creation of a privately funded, $3.5 million recreation facility on the site of Red Bank’s borough-owned red clay tennis courts in Marine Park, redbankgreen has learned.
Dubbed Red Bank Harbor, the plan drafted by Jetsun Enterprises and filed at borough hall on Wednesday calls for the creation of an enclosed visitors’ center along with an 18-hole miniature golf course, a synthetic ice rink, a boathouse for rental of paddleboats and kayaks, and a concession stand in the park, which fronts on the Navesink River.
Under the plan, Jetsun “would design, fund, build, maintain, and operate this facility under a long-term leasing agreement with the town, thereby generating revenue for the municipality without creating the additional expense of daily operation,” the proposal document states.
Referring to the 74-year-old tennis courts, the Jetsun proposal states that “although there is some degree of nostalgia associated with these very old facilities, they do not justify the amount of waterfront they occupy and that this borough asset can be put to much better use.”
The Jetsun plan’s “ultimate goal is to get people to come down to the waterfront, and have a reason to stay there,” the document continues. “With our state of the art facility, not only will all these activities be provided they will be done so in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way,”
Jetsun’s plan was submitted in response to a call for formal proposals for the site after Councilwoman Cindy Burnham suggested using the courts, which have been out of action since they were damaged by Hurricane Sandy, as a dog run. Previously, tennis enthusiasts had made an informal pitch to take over management of the courts.
The deadline for submissions is Wednesday. It was not immediately known how many other proposals have been or might be submitted by day’s end, though the Navesink River Rowing club is believed to have submitted a plan.[Update: As of the 10 a.m. deadline, two other applicants had filed plans, according to borough Clerk Pam Borghi. They are James Cullen, of Locust Point Road in Rumson, and Marine Park Activity Center LLC, of Maple Ave, Red Bank, which has a website with an architectural rendering of a proposed building.]
Owned by a trio of thirty-something locals – Anthony Jude Setaro, Michael Hernandez and Doug Booton – Jetsun grew out of the trio’s involvement in Hurricane Sandy relief and rebuilding efforts under the umbrella of the nonprofit Rebuild/Recover, they told a meeting of the borough recreation committee in February, when they first hinted at their ambitious concept plan for the park.
The new entity has not yet developed any properties, though it has a vacant lot on Union Street, opposite the park, under contract, the proposal states.
Parking for Red Bank Harbor would be incorporated into a yet-to-be-unveiled plan for a residential project the Union Street property, which is now owned by homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises.
The residential project would incorporate “the maximum amount of excess parking allowable on site,” with surplus spaces “made available for the public to ease parking deficiencies in town,” according to the proposal.
Here’s the nearly full proposal (financial information included in the submission to the town was redacted by Jetsun from this version): Red Bank Harbor RFP 041515
Whatever proposals are received are expected to be reviewed by the parks & rec committee and borough council for possible action.