By JOHN T. WARD
Interrupted by the pandemic, a hearing on a massive development proposed in downtown Red Bank is slated to resume Wednesday night.
The borough zoning board has scheduled a rare special session to review a plan for a nine-story addition atop Pazzo MMX restaurant – but now with 13 fewer apartments than originally proposed.
Above, a rendering of the West Front Street side of the proposed project, with the existing office building shown at left. The plan calls for razing the former auto body shop at West and Wall streets, below. (Rendering by Feinberg & Associates; photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
Proposed by West Long Branch-based PRC Group, the development would add 137 residences to 141 West Front Street. With Mack-Cali Realty, PRC co-owns the underlying building, where Pazzo is a tenant, and the adjoining four-story Red Bank Corporate Plaza office structure at West Front and Pearl streets.
The board’s review began with a single hearing in January and was interrupted by the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in March.
The additions would reach a height of 113 feet, a change from the original request to go to 125 feet in a zone where the limit is 40 feet, according to amended filings.
With fewer units than originally proposed, the project would now create a density of 52 residential units per acre, down from 56.7, where the zone maximum is 16 per acre, according to updated filings.
Include among exhibits to be used in the PRC presentation is a “building height/density study” showing a number of existing or planned buildings nearby that are either taller or contain more dwelling units per acre.
They include the Riverview Towers co-op, due north of the project on Riverside Avenue, at 13 stories and 202.7 units per acre. Also referenced is the approved-but-not-yet-built Saxum plan for 216 apartments on 2.4 acres at the site of the former VNA headquarters, also on Riverside Avenue, for a net density of 86 per acre, though that building would be five stories tall.
The PRC plan would add 199,000 square feet of residential space, consisting of 121 market-rate units and 16 qualified as affordable, according to filings.
The plan also reduces the proposed number of parking spaces by two, to 554, in parking garages up to five stories tall.
The meeting will be carried via Zoom starting at 6 p.m. Information on public access and participation can be found here. The agenda includes links to extensive documentation, including a traffic analysis and a transcript of the January hearing.
At its November 5 meeting, zoning board members discussed a request by PRC to hold the special meeting at the Oyster Point Hotel. Since then, however, Governor Phil Murphy has reduced the allowable attendance at an indoor events other than weddings, religious services or political events to 10 people.
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