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RED BANK: FORTUNE ‘MIRACLE’ COMPLETED

red bank nj t. thomas fortune cultural centerThe restored T. Thomas Fortune House on Drs. James Parker Boulevard plans to formally open as a cultural center in May. Below, restoration supervisor Spencer Foxworth and foundation member Robin Blair examine a chandelier to be installed. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank nj t. thomas fortune cultural center

An against-the-odds, decade-long effort to save a Red Bank house that was once the home of a pioneering civil rights journalist has reached its improbable conclusion, people involved in the effort say.

This weekend, local history lovers will get their first-ever chance to tour the T. Thomas Fortune House, a National Historic Register structure that not long ago was about to be razed.

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RED BANK: THREE NEW HOMES APPROVED

81 west westside red bank njThe new owner of a corner lot at West Westside Avenue and Clifford Place plans to demolish the existing house and build three new homes. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA proposal to build three new homes on an existing one-house lot won approval from the Red Bank planning board Monday night.

But not without some pushback over whether the builder was “squeezing in” too much development.

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RED BANK: PARKING SYSTEM FOUND ‘BROKEN’

Carrie Krasnow, with study co-author Brian Bartholomew looking on, addresses the audience at the Red Bank Primary School Thursday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank might soon need another 220 or so parking spaces downtown, but it doesn’t need a parking garage just yet, a pair of experts say in a long-awaited study unwrapped Thursday night.

Instead, local officials first have to fix a “broken” parking management system, they said.

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RED BANK: PARKING STUDY UNBOXING SLATED

red bank nj parking white street[Correction: Meeting to be held at primary school, not the middle school.]

More than a year after a push to redevelop Red Bank’s main parking facility ran into a wall, the results of a parking study will be unwrapped Thursday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: ZONERS OPEN WITH BIG AGENDA

red bank nj 42 monmouth st. conceptTwo new floors are proposed for the former Fameabilia building on Monmouth Street, where a microbrewery and restaurant are planned for the first floor. (Rendering by Larry C. Johnson. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njShould a one-story building in downtown Red Bank be permitted to add two floors? Should a gas station at a busy corner be allowed to add a Dunkin’ Donuts shop to its site?

Those questions are scheduled to go before the borough zoning board at its first meeting of 2019 Thursday night.

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RED BANK: STUDENTS RETHINK MONMOUTH ST.

curtis mcdaniel red bank ,n rutgers student plans monmouth streetCurtis McDaniel discussing the concept plan he co-created, showing an eastward view along Monmouth Street. Below, developer Todd Herman comments on a student pitch. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

todd herman, red bank, nj rutgers student plans monmouth streetAssignment: come up with new design concepts to enliven the stretch of Monmouth Street between the train station and borough hall in Red Bank.

The response: lots of new apartments, rooftop bars, hidden parking decks, pockets of greenery and even an amphitheater across the street from the Count Basie Center for the Performing Arts.

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RED BANK: HIGHER VNA SITE DENSITY URGED

red bank, nj, vna, saxum, 176 riverside aveThe site, at 176 Riverside Avenue, is seen as integral to the borough’s efforts to provide affordable housing. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe Red Bank council took steps Wednesday to allow as many as 90 housing units per acre on a key redevelopment site.

But the proposed rezoning of the former Visiting Nurse Association headquarters site would negate a compromise recommendation made by the planning board just last week.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL AGENDA

red bank, nj, borough hall, 90 monmouth st.Borough hall would get a new phone system under a contract up for approval by the council. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Here’s a preview of the Red Bank borough council’s agenda for its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night:

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RED BANK: PLANNERS CAP VNA SITE DENSITY

red bank nj vna 176 riverside saxumRed Bank is negotiating a deal under which the developer would satisfy a “significant” portion of the town’s affordable housing obligation, a lawyer told the board. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe site of a vacant office building in Red Bank is a key element in meeting the borough’s affordable housing obligations, a lawyer told the planning board Monday night.

But a proposal to allow the development of up to 90 units per acre on the 2.7-acre former Visiting Nurse Association headquarters site met continued resistance, despite support from Mayor Pasquale Menna.

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RED BANK: BON JOVI WARMS UP CENTER

jon bon jovi, red bank, nj, Jon Bon Jovi at the ribbon cutting for the Hope & Comfort Warming Center, at 166 Shrewsbury Avenue, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank nj warming center 166 shrewsbury avenueWith a surprise snowstorm hinting at the need, a new ‘warming center’ for homeless men opened in Red Bank Thursday.

The warmup act for the ribbon cutting? None other than pop superstar Jon Bon Jovi.

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RED BANK: VNA, BANK ST. LOT ON AGENDA

Density giveaways at the former VNA site were an issue for planning board members last month.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[UPDATE: Meeting cancelled for lack of quorum. Next one scheduled for November 19.]

By JOHN T. WARD

On the agenda for Monday night’s Red Bank planning board meeting: continued discussion about whether to create an overlay zone for the former Visiting Nurse Association site, and a plan to build two new homes on Bank Street.

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RED BANK: BOARD RESISTS DENSITY BONUSES

red bank, nj, vna, 176 riverside, saxumThe former VNA building sits on 2.7 acres at the corner of Riverside Avenue and Bodman Place. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA recommended new overlay zone that would allow generous density bonuses won’t be on the Red Bank council’s agenda for its next meeting Wednesday night.

That’s because members of the planning board, which was tasked with reviewing the proposal, think it gives too much away to the affected site’s new owner.

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RED BANK: UPDATED ‘RAIL’ ROLLS TO OK

RED BANK, nj, denholtz, railAn architect’s depiction of the proposed Rail multiuse project, as seen from the intersection of Oakland Street and Bridge Avenue, with St. Anthony’s Church at right. (Rendering by Rotwein+Blake. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAn expanded version of an ambitious mixed-use development proposed alongside the Red Bank train station got the express treatment from the borough planning board Monday night.

 

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RED BANK: DEVELOPMENT ISSUES AT THE FORE

downtown red bank njRed Bank RiverCenter’s new strategic plan for the central business district is scheduled for unveiling Monday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See correction below]

By JOHN T. WARD

Three issues that could alter the look and feel of Red Bank for generations arrive at key inflection points Monday night.

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RED BANK: PARKING GRIPES, IDEAS ECHOED

Parking consultants Carrie Krasnow and Brian Bartholomew listen to restaurateur George Lyristis at the Red Bank Middle School Monday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Like visitors circling the White Street lot in search of a spot, Red Bank merchants and residents took another spin at solving downtown parking issues Monday night.

In the same auditorium where a similar forum was held 14 months ago, about 50 participants showed up at the borough middle school to advocate for improvements, many of them echoes of long-standing complaints and suggestions.

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RED BANK: RAMPING UP CODE ENFORCEMENT

The front yard of a vacant house at 98 East Front Street is overgrown with weeds. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank is cracking down on property-based quality-of-life issues, borough officials said last week.

Word of a ramp-up of code enforcement — including foot patrols — for matters like unmowed lawns and rubbish came in response to a complaint that some residents have been threatened with fines for minor infractions.

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RED BANK: SAN REMO SITE ADDED TO PLAN

Denholtz has acquired the home of San Remo, at right, and the former Racioppi’s restaurant, at left. Both will be demolished and incorporated into a project with apartments and retail. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

An ambitious bid to remake properties alongside the Red Bank train station is about to become more ambitious, redbankgreen has learned.

In the process, a popular Italian restaurant is closing.

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RED BANK: FINAL FADEOUT FOR GUITAR PLANT

Now being developed for townhomes, the lot between Catherine and River streets was once home to the Danelectro guitar factory. Below, a Danelectro with the distinctive “coke bottle” headstock. (Photo above by John T. Ward, below courtesy of Lorie Mouklas. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Without fanfare, a half-dozen factory buildings on Red Bank’s West Side were leveled last month, making way for new homes.

Among the structures razed was one that deserves a final flick of the lighter from rock music fans. In the early days of rock ‘n roll, the building at 10 River Street churned out low-priced but distinctive-sounding electric guitars, some of which helped launch the careers of rock superstars such as Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page.

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RED BANK: RIVERMARK PROJECT APPROVED

The proposed Rivermark building shown above was modified before approval. (Rendering by Michael Monroe. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s planning board gave swift approval Monday night to a proposed commercial and residential building at a key downtown corner after it was downsized.

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RED BANK: PLANNING AND ZONING AGENDAS

The planning board is scheduled to resume its hearing on a proposed new building at 96-98 West Front Street, at the corner of Maple Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s planning board may decide Monday night whether to allow a developer to replace two vacant buildings at a major downtown intersection with a new four-story structure overlooking the Navesink River.

And on Thursday, the zoning board takes up a host of changes sought by the landlord for the Sickles Market Provisions store now under construction.

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RED BANK: SAXUM SPREE CONTINUES

Located at Broad and West Front streets, Saxum’s latest acquisition has Urban Outfitters as its sole ground-floor tenant. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Morris County-based real estate investment firm has acquired one of downtown Red Bank’s oldest and most prominent commercial structures.

The purchase of the home of an Urban Outfitters store by an arm of Saxum Real Estate is the firm’s third major investment in the town in the past 18 months, and the first for occupied space.

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RED BANK: MIXED-USE BUILDING WINS OK

An architect’s rendering, below, of the new building proposed for 160 Shrewsbury Avenue, above. (Rendering by Michael Monroe. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank planning board last week approved a mixed-use structure proposed for the site of a home on Shrewsbury Avenue.

Developer Bekim Kosovrasti’s plan calls for the demolition of the existing house at 160 Shrewsbury, at the corner of Earl Street, and replacing it with a 7,500-square-foot, mixed-use structure.

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