RED BANK: SECOND FIREHOUSE REDO PLANNED

The former Independent Engine House on Mechanic Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank could see two nearly identical former firehouses getting makeovers in coming months.

The new owner of the former Independent Engine Company firehouse, at 32 Mechanic Street, is planning to create commercial space in the bay where firetrucks were once parked.

John Cocozza of Ross Brewing Company, which is about to begin converting former Liberty Hose Company firehouse at 40 White Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

David Glassberg of Little Silver was the high bidder of four in August, 2016, when the borough auctioned off the Independent house, opposite Globe Court. He got the property for $393,000.

Through Firehouse 93 LLC, which he controls, Glassberg is now seeking variances to convert the first floor of the two-story structure to commercial space. He also plans to turn the second floor into an apartment, and expand up from a one-story portion at the rear of the building.

Glassberg’s plan requires a use variances and a waiver for a parking shortfall, with four spaces provided for a project that requires 16, according to borough calculations. The request is on the borough zoning board agenda for next Thursday.

Glassberg’s original application, filed in September, indicated an intent to install a restaurant on the ground floor, but that’s not what’s up before the board, an official in the borough planning and zoning office said. Additional parking would be needed for a restaurant.

Glassberg, of Little Silver, could not be reached for comment, and his attorney did not respond to an email.

Meantime, Ross Brewing Company principal John Cocozza tells redbankgreen that he’s obtained permits to begin preliminary work creating a brewery at 40 White Street, the former home of Liberty Hose Company. Construction is expected to begin in the spring.

As reported by redbankgreen last August, the start-up has leased the ground floor of the two-story, century-plus-old structure, which is a virtual twin of Glassberg’s building.

Mike Morgan and family acquired the Liberty Hose house at auction for $400,000 in 2014, and won approval for retail use and second-floor apartments in May, 2016.

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