By JOHN T. WARD
Developer Bekim Kosovrasti’s plan calls for the demolition of the existing house at 160 Shrewsbury, at the corner of Earl Street, and replacing it with a 7,500-square-foot, mixed-use structure.
The new three-story building would have one or two retail tenants on the first floor and two luxury apartments on each of the upper stories. It would be clad in simulated stone and real brick, with a mansard roof.
“We have a client who wanted to put some effort into a nice design and materials,” architect Michael Monroe told the board.
The plan shows nine parking spots behind the Mediterranean-flavored structure on the 150-by-50-foot lot; 16 were required. Access to and from the lot would be via Earl Street.
“The plan is extraordinarily beautiful. It harmonizes with what the Shrewsbury Avenue advisory committee is working on,” said Mayor Pasquale Menna. “But the number of spaces here is woefully problematic.”
Earl Street resident Leo Ardine agreed. “It’s a beautiful project. It just seems very ambitious,” he said, and could worsen parking along his street, he said.
Kosovrasti’s engineer, Jacki Flor, told the board that new curbing would eliminate some parking that now inhibits vehicles traveling on Earl Street.
The board approved the plan on the condition that the developed rework it to create additional parking spots by eliminating a loading zone thought unnecessary. “Parking is more important,” Menna said, and retail tenants will likely receive inventory deliveries through the front door.
“It’s a beautiful building. I think it’ll look great there,” said board Chairman Dan Mancuso.
Kosovrasti, who acquired the property a year ago in a sheriff’s sale for $196,000, told redbankgreen he hopes to start construction in 2018.