Search Results for: architect raciti

RED BANK: WILL ‘PURE’ GARAGE GET A SHOT?

John Bowers’ plan calls for the borough to build a garage without housing or stores on the White Street lot.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

As Red Bank officials, taxpayers and merchants sort through last week’s data dump of ambitious development proposals for the White Street parking lot, John Bowers may hold the wild card.

That’s because the downtown landlord’s proposal is the simplest, cheapest and quickest — and with the sudden shift by three council Democrats, it may also be the most politically palatable. But will it get equal time?

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RED BANK: TOUTING A ‘SIMPLE’ PARKING FIX

Downtown property owner John Bowers hired an architect to show the borough what it might build without involving a private developer. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Instead of trying to entice a private developer with high-profit-margin sweeteners like apartments and retail space, what if Red Bank addressed its downtown parking problem simply by building a “pure” garage itself?

That’s what landlord John Bowers wants to know, and he’s on a campaign to head off the borough’s White Street redevelopment effort before it leads both taxpayers and merchants over a cliff.

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RED BANK: DETOUR GALLERY ARRIVES

detour gallery 082516 6detour gallery 082516 14Art collector and auto dealer Ken Schwartz opened his new Detour Gallery in an 8,000-square-foot former warehouse on Clay Street in Red Bank Thursday night.

The opening exhibit, titled ‘Culturedrone,’ features dozens of contemporary paintings displayed over the gallery’s two floors. The space, featuring the original 50-foot-wide exposed roof trusses, was designed by borough-based architect Stephen Raciti.

Click ‘read more’ for additional photos from the opening. 

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CHURN: FAST GREEK AND EASY WEDDINGS

lyristis bros 111615Brothers George, Charlie and Taso Lyristis plan to open Greek Eats on the Shrewsbury side of Newman Springs Road Tuesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallIn this edition of Retail Churn:

• Three brothers with a long track record as linen-napkin restaurateurs open a fast-food eatery rooted in their Greek heritage Tuesday.

• A wedding planning business that has its roots in a flower shop throws off a new shoot in Red Bank.

• A ginormous pharmacy chain opens a controversial store here.

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BANK AIMS TO UP ITS RETURN ON MONMOUTH

courtyards-1-040710A subsidiary of Amboy Bank is seeking approval for an all-residential project at the corner of Monmouth and West streets, below. (Click to enlarge)

courtyards-2-040710On the agenda for a special meeting of the Red Bank zoning board tonight: yet another plan for a major development on the site of a former filling station on Monmouth Street.

Yep, that same place at the southeast corner of West Street that was the subject of not one but two prior approvals in the past seven years, neither of which resulted in so much as a shovel going into the ground.

Amboy Bank, which now owns the property, wants to build townhouse-style apartments there under the name Courtyards at Monmouth. So why not just dust off the approval won by Rumson’s George Coffenberg, who relinquished the project to the bank shortly after getting his approval for a project, also dubbed called Courtyards at Monmouth, in early 2008?

Because in the interim, Red Bank’s governing body changed the zoning laws and included the property in a so-called “train station overlay” zone that allows for buildings up to 50 feet tall and densities of up to 35 dwelling units per acre, up from the prior limit of 25.

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FROM THE DWEKAGE: 7 BROAD SOLD

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A Broad Street building with one of downtown Red Bank’s most distinctive facades has been sold and is about to undergo a makeover, redbankgreen has learned.

The property, at number 7 Broad, near the intersection with Front Street, sold last month for $2.2 million to a Westport, Conn. partnership of David Ross and Richard Becker.

“We intend to fix up the building,” Ross tells redbankgreen. “It needs some aesthetic improvements and construction improvements.”

Marked for removal are the steel-frame archway and exterior stairwell that dominate an open-air recess, Ross says.

The sale is yet another sign of outsider money jostling for stakes in the volatile downtown market, which is about to hit a new level with this week’s opening of the Tiffany & Co. store on middle Broad. In September, 26 Broad, which is home to Murphy Style Grill, changed hands, with a Woodbridge outfit paying $3 million. And the owners of the former Prown’s Hardware space at 32-34 Broad, now home to a Chase bank branch, last month turned down an offer of $10.5 million — almost six times the sum they paid for the building in 2003 — and took it off the market, according to principal Mike Rovere. are said to have tried and failed to unload the property for $10 million.

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RUMOLA LEAVING RIVERCENTER

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Tricia Rumola, a borough native who rose from college intern to executive director of Red Bank RiverCenter and helped solidify its national reputation in the realm of downtown revitalizations, is leaving the organization at the end of the month.

Rumola tells redbankgreen that she’s taken a job with a hunger-fighting non-profit in New York City that she declined to name. There, she’ll work in fundraising and other aspects of development.

“There’s no other place in New Jersey I’d rather work than Red Bank,” Rumola says. But it’s time to move on to a new challenge, she says.

“It’s bittersweet,” Rumola says of the change. “I’ve lived here my whole life, I’ve developed a lot of friendships through RiverCenter, and those will continue. But it’s a time that I really need to grow personally and professionally, and this will help me on my merry way.”

Rumola’s departure comes just as the Special Improvement District that RiverCenter has overseen since 1991 is being expanded from the downtown to embrace businesses in the northwest quadrant of the borough.

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RIVERCENTER HONORS MCKENNA

At the annual meeting of RiverCenter on Monday night, Ingeborg Perndorfer of The Language School passed around photos of downtown planters spilling over with colorful flowers. Architect Stephen Raciti emceed a series of awards for downtown building improvements.

Rivercenter

And departing Mayor Ed McKenna, beginning a farewell tour after 16 years in the job, collected a plaque that named him this year’s ‘Red Bank Ambassador’ for his role in the creation of the downtown Special Improvement District in 1989 and of RiverCenter, which manages the district, two years later.

Before there were flower pots and award-winning facades, the downtown had the appearance of ghost town, with high vacancies rates at street level and nearly 100-percent vacancies in offices on second floors and higher.

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PACKIN’ THEM IN

A dozen new metered parking spaces were created along West Front Street this week, the result of efforts by retailers who complained about inadequate parking near their businesses and decided to do something about it, according to Tricia Rumola, Executive Director of RiverCenter.

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For all the talk about underutilized parking lots east of Broad Street, shoppers on the west side, like those everywhere, want to park nearest their destinations, says Rumola.

“Customers are all about convenience, and you can’t change that mindset,” Rumola says, “and RiverCenter is all about customer service.”

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