Skip to content

A town square for an unsquare town

redbankgreen

Standing for the vitality of Red Bank, its community, and the fun we have together.

RED BANK: SAXUM CHANGES APPROVED

red-bank-saxum-adrian-melji-040422-500x372-3594187Architect Adrian Melji with a rendering of the revised project’s Bodman Place side looking northwest from Riverside Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot-topic_03-220x138-2130637Filling in a horseshoe void, Saxum Real Estate won planning board approval Monday night for changes to a massive apartment project in Red Bank.

red-bank-saxum-040422-2-500x281-9809754A rendering of the project looking south along Bodman Place from the area of the Oyster Point Hotel. (Image by MVMK. Click to enlarge.)

Having negotiated a deal over a parking lot belonging to the Colony House Apartments on Bodman Place, the Saxum project will now offer “more of everything,” architect Adrian Melji told the board.

Under the revised plan, what would have been a central carve-out for the Colony House lot will now be filled with larger apartments that conceal parking. Colony House tenants will have dedicated use of 60 parking spaces, up from the three dozen now available in the surface lot acquired by Saxum, a planner told the board.

The changes come 28 months after Saxum, based in Summit, obtained its original approval following a negotiated deal that involved the Fair Share Housing Center to help the borough ward off a lawsuit over affordable housing access.

Construction, however, has yet to begin.

The 2.7-acre site is primarily the former Visiting Nurse Association headquarters at at 176 Riverside Avenue, alongside the Route 35 Cooper’s Bridge approach.

Among the changes:

• An increase in the total number of apartments to 212, from 210.

• A rebalancing of the mix of one-bedroom and two-bedroom units to reflect market demand, said Melji. Instead of 91 two-bedroom units, 119 would now be built, and the number of one-bedrooms was reduced, to 93, he said.

• An increase in the number of parking spaces, from 326 to 420.

• A dog run has been moved from roof to the ground at the northwest corner of property.

• A co-working office space was increased in size, to 10,700 square feet, from 9,000.

The changes reduce the density of the project from 88 units per acre to 77.5.

Filling the horseshoe void allows for “a continuous facade” along Bodman Place without the interruption of a parking lot that was to have been surrounded by windowless walls, said Melji.

It also enabled the developer to relocate a public plaza that had been a sticking point in the 2019 hearings, he said.

Instead of being located at the corner of Bodman and Riverside, where objectors feared for the safety of pedestrians, the plaza will now be midway along the length of the building on Bodman.

“That alone was an amazing move,” board member Barbara Boas said in explaining her vote.

Under its 2019 approval, Saxum was obliged to join the borough in seeking New Jersey Department of Transportation for a traffic signal at Bodman and Riverside, a notoriously difficult intersection for motorists leaving Bodman, and to contribute to its cost.

Saxum’s traffic engineer, John McCormack, told the board that while the DOT has in the past objected that a new signal would disrupt traffic flows along Riverside, he’s confident the agency can be persuaded.

“The spacing [between lights] is so tight that it works, that it could be one signal,” he said. “Let’s stop thinking of it as two signals.”

Four residents of Bodman Place raised questions or objections concerning noise and emergency evacuations of the neighborhood.

The vote to approve was unanimous, with Mayor Pasquale Menna heaping praise on the changes. Regarding the outdoor plaza, he said, “they’ve removed that, they listened to us.”

Lou DiMento, the only board member to vote against the project in 2019, said he was now voting in favor because “this is a little better.”

Last October, the planning board rejected Saxum’s request for an “Area in Need of Redevelopment” designation under New Jersey law.

If you value the news coverage provided by redbankgreen, please become a financial supporter for as little as $1 per month. Click here to set your own level of monthly or annual contribution.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
FEELING SNAPPY
      Snapping Turtles come ashore to lay their eggs this time of year and are a common site along the Swimming River waterfr ...
TUB TIME
RED BANK: A sparrow waits for the next available dirt tub while two others take their Sunday baths. (Click for video.)
CHECK IT OUT
A bench outside the Red Bank Public Library provided a serene view of our beautiful Navesink River Monday evening.
WAYWARD SLIM JIM
Anybody lose a Slim Jim? A “Sweet Mild O’ Mine” flavor Slim Jim was seen left unattended on this mailbox on Mechanic Stree ...
YAPPY TOGETHER
RED BANK: Look for this cutie pie, named Sacramento, at Yappy Hour on Broadwalk Saturday. He's looking for a new home.
YELLOW RAINCOAT DAY
On a rainy May morning, the only golden sight on Broad Street this morning were the matching raincoats of Eileen and her dog Benny.
STOP. JUST STOP.
RED BANK: For those who don't get the meaning of a stop sign, crossing guard Diane Johnson amplifies the message with some colorful outfits. ...
RECORDS SKIP INTO TOWN
RED BANK: Devotees of vinyl records expected to drop needle at Broad and Mechanic Saturday. Here's why.
Feline fortunes on Monmouth Street
Christopher Russell and feline pal Princess take in some fresh air on a warm May night Thursday in the doorway of Gina’s Psychic Bouti ...
GOING UP?
RED BANK: Public Library will be closed Friday for the start of elevator construction. (Click for more.)
TREEBIRTH
RED BANK: Replacement of nine trees gets underway on South Street, where a wholesale removal angered residents last September. (Click for mo ...
RIVERSIDE FLOW
New Jersey Flow Arts brings together jugglers, poi spinners, hoopers and more weekly in Riverside Gardens Park.
Honeybee swarm carted away
Beekeeper Tanya Ptak of Ptak’s Apiary inspects a swarm of honeybees that chose a flower pot in the courtyard of Red Bank Primary Schoo ...
BELOVED POISONED DOG PHOTO SURFACES
   
THREE ON TOUR
RED BANK: Three borough sites will participate in a weekend of self-guided tours of 52 historic locations in Monmouth County May 4 & 5.
VOLUNTEERS GET INTO THE WEEDS
Toting plastic trash bags, 51 volunteers conducted a walking litter cleanup on Red Bank's West Side Saturday.
“IT’S A PARTY AT WAWA!”
You wish you could vibe like Brian, who lives on the other side of Hubbard’s Bridge. He caught redbankgreen’s attention in Red B ...
POPE OKS ORATORY
RED BANK: St. Anthony of Padua obtains papal approval to establish Oratory of St. Philip Neri, a community of priests and brothers devoted t ...
RED BANK: NEW MURAL BRIGHTENS CORNER
RED BANK: Lunch Break founder Norma Todd is depicted in a mural painted this week on the front of the newly renovated social service agency.
TULIPS TOGETHER
Spring tulips taking in the sunset outside the Molly Pitcher Inn in Red Bank Monday evening.