By JOHN T. WARD
Three proposals for the future of Red Bank’s red clay tennis courts in Marine Park are scheduled for public airing later this month.
The borough council will hold a special meeting on Thursday, May 28, at the Red Bank Middle School for presentations of the three plans. Two of them include ambitious real estate development and river-oriented activities, while the third aims to keep the site as a tennis facility.
In response to a borough-issued request for proposals, the town received three plans in April, “all very different, and each very exciting in their own way,” Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer said at a council meeting last week.
There’s a good deal of interest in the plans, “and a lot of people have questions and would like to comment,” Schwabenbauer told redbankgreen. So she’s arranged to have the three proponents present their ideas for five to ten minutes before the floor is opened to the public for questions and comments.
The middle school auditorium was reserved in the event of a possible large turnout, she said.
The three proposals are:
• One called Red Bank Harbor, drafted by a startup development firm, Jetsun Enterprises, in joint venture partnership with builder Lucas Construction, calls for a privately funded, $3.5 million, multi-sport recreation facility featuring an 18-hole miniature golf course, a synthetic ice rink, a boathouse for rental of paddleboats and kayaks, and a concession stand.
Here’s the full proposal, minus financial information that is considered proprietary: Red Bank Harbor RFP 041515
• The Marine Park Activity Center plan, offered up by a group of town-based individuals, calls for the construction of a classic boathouse topped by a catering hall. The year-round facility would continue programs offered by rthe Navesink River Rowing club and the Navesink Maritime Heritage Association while adding canoe and kayak rentals, environmental science instruction and adaptive rowing and sailing for the physically challenged, according to the proposal.
The 9,000-square-foot banquet facility would offer a panoramic view of the river similar to one available from the second-story deck of the neighboring Monmouth Boat Club.
Here’s the MPAC proposal: MPAC RFP 041515
Both the Jetsun and MPAC proposals are contingent on the developers entering into a lease agreement with the town for the courts site, which abuts the Navesink River in the park.
• The third proposal was filed by James Cullen, of Locust. The 77-year-old money manager has offered to donate $500,000 to make minor improvements at the site in order to continue it’s eight-decade run as one of only two publicly-owned red clay court sites in New Jersey.
Here’s the Cullen proposal: Cullen RFP 041515
The courts have been closed since they were damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The town’s search for concept plans began earlier this year, amid suggestions that the site be used as a dog run.
No formal action will be taken by the governing body at next week’s session, which is being advertised as a council meeting solely so all council members can be present without violating state sunshine laws, borough officials have said.
The parks and recreation committee, to which Schwabenbauer is the council liaison, has yet to meet to review the proposals, and is scheduled to do so the night before the hearing at the middle school, said Schwabenbauer.
Eventually, Schwabenbauer, joined by council colleagues Kathy Horgan and Ed Zipprich, will confer to evaluate the proposals according to a scoring system and make a recommendation to the full council, Schwabenbauer said.
The May 28 meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.