RED BANK: CORNER OVERHAUL PROPOSED

red bank rb river propertiesThe medical office building proposed for the corner of Spring Street (left) and East Front Street (right). (Rendering by BKT Architects. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA dowdy corner on the eastern edge of downtown Red Bank — and within the Washington Street Historic District — could be getting some bold architecture.

red bank, nj, 94 98 102 east front st., southbankFour existing buildings at the corner would be razed for the project. Below, a concept plan shows the underground parking elevators. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

red bank rb river properties parking Under a proposal filed last month with the borough planning office, a strikingly modern three-story medical office building would replace four existing structures on the southwest corner of East Front and Spring streets.

The site includes vacant houses at 94 and 96-98 East Front and 6 Spring Street, as well as a stucco-covered garage that was formerly home to a lawn irrigation installer.

Perth Amboy-based RB River Properties LLC acquired the three parcels, totaling half an acre, for $1.25 million in June, 2017, according to Monmouth County records.

The development application identifies Geoffrey Pierini as managing member. Pierini, a Rumson resident who is also the founder and chief executive of a construction firm specializing in the medical field, did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

The property is in both the business-residential zone and the historic district centered on nearby Washington Street. The plan would go to the Historic Preservation Commission for comment before a hearing by the planning board.

The proposal calls for some of the edgiest architecture yet seen in the borough, including outward-bowing exterior walls and a horizontally slatted parapet. Will it fit in?

According to a note on a rendering by BKT Architects, the form of the building “relates to the neighboring house and it’s [sic] mansard roof,” an apparent reference to the structure at 88-90 East Front.

Additionally, the first-floor glass “responds to the surrounding neighborhoods [sic] porches,” the note says, and the front entrance “responds to the hospital across the street.” That’s a reference to the $35 million oncology wing opened in 2016 at at Riverview Medical Center, which BKT also designed.

The project has another unusual feature for Red Bank: parking would be provided on-site in an underground garage with valet-only service, according to the filing. Drawings show cars stacked in elevators.

At 39 feet in height, the building would be one foot below the maximum allowed in the zone, according to the site plan. The project would cover 49 percent of the half-acre lot, where 40 percent is permitted.

The proposal may be heard at the planning board’s January 7 hearing. Here’s the site plan: red bank RB River Properties site plan 121218