ON THE GREEN: POLICE SALARIES TOP $100K

The median municipal police salary in New Jersey crossed the $100,000 threshhold in 2016, according to a data analysis published Tuesday by NJ Advance Media.

Five of the six towns considered as the core of the Greater Red Bank Green were among those in the six figures, according to the report.

Continue reading ON THE GREEN: POLICE SALARIES TOP $100K

RED BANK: SICKLES BREWS BOOSKERDOO DEAL

The Anderson Storage building, where ‘Sickles Market Provisions’ plans to occupy the ground floor. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Sickles Market, the Little Silver grocer that traces its roots back 350 years, has partnered with the fast-growing Booskerdoo coffee-shop chain on its planned foray into Red Bank, the two companies announced Tuesday.

Continue reading RED BANK: SICKLES BREWS BOOSKERDOO DEAL

FAIR HAVEN: ACME CENTER MAKEOVER OK’D

Three renderings of the proposed monument sign that proved a sticking point for planning board members. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A makeover of Fair Haven’s dowdy Acme shopping center won borough planning board approval Tuesday night, but minus a proposed slab of signage that dominated a three-hour meeting.

Continue reading FAIR HAVEN: ACME CENTER MAKEOVER OK’D

FAIR HAVEN: ACME CENTER CHANGES DETAILED

Forman Street resident Bonnie Moore photographs an exhibit used in the hearing. Below, an illustration showing proposed changes to building 1, on the western end of the site. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Overdue for a new look, the 1950s-vintage Fair Haven strip mall anchored by an Acme supermarket is also badly in need of a new parking scheme, its owner told the borough planning board Thursday night.

It would get both by the end of October if the board approves an extensive makeover plan in coming weeks, Dan Hughes, a principal in the company that bought it for for $5.8 million two years ago, told the board.

Continue reading FAIR HAVEN: ACME CENTER CHANGES DETAILED

RED BANK: HOVNANIAN NEARLY BREAKS EVEN

hovanian hq 071715Hovnanian’s headquarters in Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

After a $16.2-million net loss in the year-prior period, Red Bank-based home builder Hovnanian Enterprises just about broke even in its first fiscal quarter of 2017.

The company reported a net loss of $100,000 on a 4.1-percent drop in revenue for the period in results posted Wednesday.

Continue reading RED BANK: HOVNANIAN NEARLY BREAKS EVEN

RED BANK: OPEN-AIR STAIR MAY BE ENCLOSED

Designed by Red Bank architect Jerome Morley Larson in the 1970s, the open-air stairway would be enclosed as shown below if the plan is approved.  (Photo by John T. Ward; rendering by SOME Architects. Click to enlarge)

[UPDATE: The planning board hearing on this proposal has been rescheduled to February 2.]

By JOHN T. WARD

7 broad elevation 011617For the second time in less than four years, proposed changes to one of downtown Red Bank’s most distinctive buildings are slated for review by the borough zoning board Thursday night.

The plan for 7 Broad Street calls for enclosing the building’s unusual open-air staircase and refacing the building as shown at right, along with converting second-floor offices to apartments.

Continue reading RED BANK: OPEN-AIR STAIR MAY BE ENCLOSED

RED BANK: BASIE SHINES ON GLOBAL STAGE

basie-marquee-111416HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre was the top-grossing theater in New Jersey — and 24th on the planet — in 2016, according to a report by Pollstar magazine, which tracks the concert tour industry.

Continue reading RED BANK: BASIE SHINES ON GLOBAL STAGE

FAIR HAVEN: ACME CENTER TO GET MAKEOVER

fh-acme-center-122216-1Plans call for the creation of a pedestrian passageway linking the north and south parking lots through the former Laird’s Stationery space next door to the existing Post Office. The “salon & spa” sign is for illustration purposes only. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThe owner of the Fair Haven strip mall anchored by an Acme supermarket plans extensive renovations to the site, according to documents filed with the borough last week.

The plans include dividing the former Laird’s Stationery space in two to create a pedestrian breezeway linking the front and rear parking lots. But they leave unanswered questions about whether other longtime tenants might be forced out, as the owners of Laird’s contend they were.

Continue reading FAIR HAVEN: ACME CENTER TO GET MAKEOVER

RED BANK: RAYRAP CLEARS FIRST HURDLE

sposaro-121516Developer Ray Rapcavage, seated at right, and his attorney, Armen McOmber, listen as Hudson Avenue resident Anthony Sposaro endorses the Azalea Gardens project. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A year after his last try was shot down, real estate developer Ray Rapcavage won a key approval Thursday night for a new plan to rebuild a shabby half-block on the southeast edge of downtown Red Bank.

On a unanimous vote, the zoning board granted Rapcavage variances for 18 homes fronted by an English garden on Harding Road between Clay Street and Hudson Avenue.

But he’s not yet clear to start work.

Continue reading RED BANK: RAYRAP CLEARS FIRST HURDLE

RED BANK: LATEST RAYRAP PLAN IN SPOTLIGHT

RayRap site 121015 2The project calls for 16 townhouses along Clay Street, seen at left above, that would face east into an English garden with two freestanding homes. (Photo from Google Maps. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Will RayRap have better luck this time?

A year after his last plan was shot down, real estate developer Ray Rapcavage returns to the Red Bank zoning board this week hoping to obtain approval for new plans to build homes on half a block’s worth of properties the edge of downtown.

Continue reading RED BANK: LATEST RAYRAP PLAN IN SPOTLIGHT

RED BANK: HOV SHRINKS LOSS IN TOUGH YEAR

hovanian hq 071715Hovnanian’s headquarters in Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises‘ posted a steeply reduced net loss in its latest fiscal year, which its chairman called “very challenging,” the Red Bank-based company reported Thursday.

Continue reading RED BANK: HOV SHRINKS LOSS IN TOUGH YEAR

RED BANK: RAYRAP SEEKS ‘REHAB’ SITE LABEL

rapcavage 082714Ray Rapcavage, center above, with his wife, Suzanne, and Hudson Street resident Scott Broschart at the Five Corners site in 2014. Below, a detail of the latest proposal for the site. (Architectural rendering by David John Carnivale. Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rayrap 061316 1Having been thwarted by the zoning board, developer Ray Rapcavage plans to ask the Red Bank council to designate his assembled properties on the edge of downtown as an “area in need of rehabilitation,” redbankgreen has learned.

If granted, the controversial label would enable Rapcavage to avoid a return trip to the zoning board with his revised plan, though he denies that’s his intent.

Rather, it would create a more “expeditious” route to possible construction on the half-block of properties he’s assembled on Harding Road between Clay Street and Hudson Avenue, Rapcavage said Monday.

Continue reading RED BANK: RAYRAP SEEKS ‘REHAB’ SITE LABEL

RED BANK: ACCESS AGREEMENT UNDER FIRE

riverwalk 070512Riverwalk, seen below in a 2012 rendering, would replace the building at 24-30 Mechanic Street, above. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

riverwalk 100412A plan to give tenants access to a yet-to-be built Red Bank apartment building via a borough parking lot came under fire Wednesday night, 10 years after it cleared its first hurdle.

At issue: whether the town had boxed itself in legally, getting nothing in return.

Continue reading RED BANK: ACCESS AGREEMENT UNDER FIRE

FAIR HAVEN: INVESTORS BANK PLAN STALLS

investors-bank-091316The Investors Bank proposed for River Road would be identical to this branch in Woodbridge, the developer said. (Photo by M&M Realty Partners. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A proposed drive-thru bank on the site of a former filling station in Fair Haven ran out of gas Tuesday night.

The Investors Bank project encountered continuing objections to a traffic-flow plan that would put two driveways — for an entry and an exit — on River Road, which planning board members said raised child-safety concerns.

Also an issue: the brand-specific look of the one-story building, which called for a shallow glass atrium dome that one resident likened to a “blister.”

Continue reading FAIR HAVEN: INVESTORS BANK PLAN STALLS

RED BANK: HOVNANIAN SHRINKS LOSS

hovanian hq 071715Hovnanian’s headquarters in Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Red Bank-based home builder Hovnanian Enterprises‘ posted a sharply reduced net loss in its third fiscal quarter, compared to year-ago results, the company reported Friday.

Continue reading RED BANK: HOVNANIAN SHRINKS LOSS

SEA BRIGHT RISING SAYS ‘MISSION COMPLETE’

Ilene Winters and Chris Wood reviewing requests for  from Sea Bright Rising in January, 2013, three months after Hurricane Sandy devastated the town. On Friday, Winters and Woods announced that the nonprofit organization was dissolved, having completed its mission after giving out $1.6 million in donated funds to 300 families, 20 businesses and the borough itself.

From the announcement: Continue reading SEA BRIGHT RISING SAYS ‘MISSION COMPLETE’

FAIR HAVEN: BIKE SHOP CALLING IT QUITS

bike haven 081916Bike Haven will close by the end of September, its owner says. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallA second longtime retailer is leaving the Fair Haven Shopping Center.

But unlike Laird’s Stationery, which is temporarily relocating to smaller quarters in the center after getting squeezed out of its home by a steep rent increase, Bike Haven is simply calling it quits, owner Cliff Wittenberg tells redbankgreen. And a rent hike is only the final nail in the tire.

Continue reading FAIR HAVEN: BIKE SHOP CALLING IT QUITS

FAIR HAVEN: AT LAIRD’S, A SIGN OF CHANGE

john oakley 082316 1charlotte oakley 082316 1Marking the end of an era, Fantastic Signs owner John Oakley and his 12-year-old daughter, Charlotte, removed the cursive sign atop Laird’s Stationery in Fair Haven Tuesday afternoon.

As previously reported, the store, which traces its lineage back more than half a century, will close by the end of September, after a new landlord declined to renew the lease.

Continue reading FAIR HAVEN: AT LAIRD’S, A SIGN OF CHANGE

FAIR HAVEN: LAIRD’S GETTING SQUEEZED OUT

budnicks brounley 071116Bob and Rose Budnick outside their store with longtime customer Katherine Brounley. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallTucked into the corner of a Fair Haven strip mall, marked with minimal signage, Laird’s Stationery is easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. But locals know it, and know it as a jam-packed emporium of not only paper goods and office supplies, but everything from backpacks to wiffle bats.

“The register never stops ringing,” owner Bob Budnick said early this week, as three customers converged at the front desk to pay for their purchases. “This store is woven into the fabric of a lot of people’s lives.”

But the register is about to stop ringing, here at least, and the business may be doomed, said Budnick and his wife.

Continue reading FAIR HAVEN: LAIRD’S GETTING SQUEEZED OUT

RED BANK: RAYRAP TO PUSH FOR LAW CHANGE

rapcavage tumia 061316Ray Rapcavage, seen last month with Harding Road neighbor Kenny Tumia, above. Below, a detail of Rapcavage’s plan. (Architectural rendering by David John Carnivale. Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rayrap 061316 1Hoping to pave the way for his latest plan for a troubled site on the edge of downtown, developer Ray Rapcavage intends to ask the Red Bank council to amend the borough zoning law.

Rapcavage tells redbankgreen he’ll appear at Wednesday night’s semimonthly council session to ask for a change to allow builders to construct units with up to three bedrooms without having to seek a use variance.

Continue reading RED BANK: RAYRAP TO PUSH FOR LAW CHANGE

FAIR HAVEN: BANK HEARING DELAYED AGAIN

fh bank plan 051016 1HOT-TOPIC_03For the second time since it began in May, a hearing on a proposed Investors Savings Bank branch on the former site of a Sunoco station on River Road in Fair Haven has been postponed at the applicant’s request. The matter, scheduled for Monday night, is now slated for July 28.

Meantime, the board is expected to continue its review of the town’s Master Plan, among other matters.

For redbankgreen’s prior coverage of the bank plan, click here.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

 

RED BANK: RAYRAP RETURNS WITH NEW PLAN

Rayrap Site Plan 061316Ray Rapcavage, seen below on Hudson Avenue opposite his properties, including a house destroyed by fire in May, 2012. Above, a rendering of the proposed project, with an English garden fronting on Hudson and 16 condos backing up against Clay Street. (Architectural rendering by David John Carnivale. Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rapcavage 061316 1Seven months after his proposal for homes at the Five Corners site in Red Bank was shot down by the zoning board, developer Ray Rapcavage has filed completely overhauled plans with borough hall.

The new plan reduces the number of proposed homes on the site — fronting on Harding Road, Clay Street and Hudson Avenue — to 18, from 22. It includes a large English garden of winding paths out front, whereas the last plan had no open space.

And most critically for Rapcavage, the plan doesn’t need any variances, he tells redbankgreen.
Continue reading RED BANK: RAYRAP RETURNS WITH NEW PLAN

FAIR HAVEN: SKEPTICISM OVER BANK PLAN

fh bank plan 051016 1An architectural rendering of the bank, proposed for the former site of a Sunoco station.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

fh bank plan 051016 2Like a customer at a balky ATM, a regional bank will have to try again after Fair Haven’s planning board raised numerous objections to a proposed bank branch Tuesday night.

Though the matter didn’t go to a vote, all but one board member cited misgivings about Investors Savings Bank’s plan for a branch on the site of a former River Road filling station.

Continue reading FAIR HAVEN: SKEPTICISM OVER BANK PLAN

FAIR HAVEN: BANK EYES SITE FOR DRIVE-THRU

fh sunoco 041816FH sunoco 1 122011After a four-year vacancy, the former site of a Sunoco station at River Road and Cedar Avenue in Fair Haven may be getting a new use: Investors Savings Bank hopes to build a branch with a drive-thru there. Continue reading FAIR HAVEN: BANK EYES SITE FOR DRIVE-THRU

RED BANK: SICKLES TO OPEN WEST SIDE STORE

anderson bldg 040616 3Sickles Market plans to lease nearly the entire first floor of the Anderson Storage building, seen here looking south on Bridge Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Sickles Market, the Little Silver farm market that traces its roots back 350 years, is planning to open a second store in Red Bank’s former Anderson storage building, redbankgreen has learned.

Store owner Bob Sickles told redbankgreen on Wednesday that his company plans to lease nearly all of the 8,000-square-foot ground floor of a building that will have three upper stories of offices.

Continue reading RED BANK: SICKLES TO OPEN WEST SIDE STORE