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RED BANK: LIQUOR STORE GETS A REBOOT

The former Yogi’s Liquors, at Drs. James Parker Boulevard and Leighton Avenue, has been rebranded A1 Liquors. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A liquor store on Red Bank’s West Side that had a seedy reputation was getting ready to reopen last week with a new look, a new business plan and a new approach to customers, its owners said.

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RED BANK: POLS PULL U-TURN ON PARKING

The redevelopment plan for the White Street parking lot, outlined in red above, will be rescinded in an effort to end a lawsuit and address concerns about building size, borough officials said. (Image by Google Maps. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s search for a downtown parking solution took a U-turn Wednesday night, when the borough council put in motion a plan to derail a pending lawsuit by former councilwoman Cindy Burnham that members say has impeded progress.

In what was also described as a “compromise” between Republicans and Democrats over proposed building sizes , the council agreed to scrap a contentious nine-month-old redevelopment plan for the White Street parking lot.

At the same time, it knocked out, without much explanation, three of the five developers vying to build a parking deck, and more, on the 2.3-acre site.

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RED BANK: PARKING GARAGE HEARING SLATED

The council will hold a public forum on proposals for the White Street parking site later this month, says Councilman Mike Whelan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Almost six months after they were submitted and three months after they were the subject of hasty presentations, five proposed plans for the redevelopment of Red Bank’s main downtown parking lot will finally get a public hearing, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: BROWNSTONES PROJECT APPROVED

Mumford’s plan calls for the demolition of six existing structures, including the blocklong factory building at 9 Catherine Street, above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank real estate developer Roger Mumford won plaudits Thursday night from neighbors — along with zoning board approval — for a 22-unit townhouse project on a West Side industrial tract.

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RED BANK: HOVNANIAN SELLING HOME OFFICE

Hovnanian’s headquarters in Red Bank, as seen from Maple Cove at the foot of Maple Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

[This post has been updated with comments from Mayor Pasquale Menna.]

Eleven years after moving in, dramatically shrunken homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises is selling its gleaming Red Bank headquarters and moving to Matawan, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: TAILOR, JEWELER, VAPE SHOP…

Jeweler Evan Piscitelli, left, and tailor Vinny Sciortino have teamed up in space on Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn could almost have been ripped from the Red Bank Register of a century ago, with news about a haberdashery, a jeweler, a “gentlemen’s club” tonsorial, a rug store and a smoke shop opening downtown.

Ok, that last one’s more a vape shop, but still. Read on for details.

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RED BANK: UP NEXT: MUMFORD TOWNHOUSES

A rendering of builder Roger Mumford’s proposed Brownstones at Red Bank project. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank real estate developer Roger Mumford is a busy man these days: restoring the National Historic Register T. Thomas Fortune house and adding 31 apartments to the Drs. James Parker Boulevard property; completing the 12-unit affordable housing project called Oakland Square at the corner of Oakland and West streets; and simultaneously vying for the right to redevelop what’s easily the hottest patch of asphalt in town — the borough-owned White Street parking lot.

Meantime, he’s got another project in the works, one slated to go before the zoning board for review Thursday night: a plan for townhouses on the footprint of old factory buildings just a stone’s throw from his West Side office.

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RED BANK: GARAGE BACKERS AIM AT LOGJAM

Roger Mumford, seen here in 2015, has offered a new plan for the White Street parking lot site that garage backers hope will dissolve political opposition to development. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

One of the five would-be builders of a downtown parking garage has told Red Bank officials he’s willing to build a 773-space parking garage on White Street in exchange for the right to erect 100 homes next door.

Garage advocates touted the informal proposal Wednesday night in the hopes of busting through a political logjam, one they believe has been erected by the three Democrats on the six-member borough council.

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RED BANK: CATCH TO TAKE GOTHAM SPACE

Catch will relocate from its present spot at 9 Broad Street to the home of Gotham, five doors away, and will be replaced by a Mexican restaurant. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has a plateful of news from the Red Bank food scene, with two food-related businesses closing, one moving and another opening.

Also: pet acupuncture.

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RED BANK: NO MOVEMENT ON PARKING

The 2.3-acre White Street lot. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Nearly two months after five builders presented concept plans for a parking solution on White Street, Red Bank officials have yet to schedule a promised public comment session on the proposals.

That appeared to contribute to frustration voiced during the public comment portion of the council’s semimonthly meeting Wednesday night.

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SHREWSBURY: ACTIVITY AT SUNOCO SITE

WhatsGoingOnHereMore than a decade after Duckworth’s Sunoco station in Shrewsbury went out of business, the Broad Street property has been enclosed by fence and site work is underway.

What’s Going on Here? Click ‘read more’ to find out.
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RED BANK: RAYRAP HOME PLAN WINS FINAL OK

A yellow border outlines the site of developer Ray Rapcavage’s Azalea Gardens project, with Harding Road at the bottom, Clay Street to the left and Hudson Avenue at right. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Demolition of a house destroyed by fire five years ago could begin as early as this month as the first step toward the creation of a new 18-home community at Red Bank’s Five Corners, developer Ray Rapcavage told redbankgreen last week.

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RED BANK: RIVERCENTER TAKES STANCE ON LOT

 RiverCenter took no position on the relative merits of five developers’ concept plans for the White Street lot. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

It’s 500 or nothing, says Red Bank RiverCenter.

The downtown promotion agency says in an “open letter” to elected officials that it “cannot and will not” support a plan for a parking garage on White Street that doesn’t yield a net gain of 500 parking spaces on the 2.3-acre site — and none of the five plans submitted by would-be developers currently meets that target, it claims.

Mike Whelan, the councilmember who leads the parking committee, called the organization’s statement a “flip-flop” and a “disservice” to the downtown.

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RED BANK: RETAIL RETURNING TO EMPTY SPACE

The former shoe store space at 18 Broad Street is expected to house a new women’s clothing store in September. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallTo the relief of downtown restaurateurs, a large vacant space is the heart of downtown will resume life as a retail business instead of joining the competition for diners, redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has learned.

 

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RED BANK: NO CONSENSUS AT PARKING FORUM

Architect Mike Simpson led the business group’s forum at the Red Bank Middle School Thursday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Only 17 or so Red Bank residents turned out on a rainy night for a forum on downtown parking Thursday.

And to the chagrin of the merchant group that sponsored it, few of them seemed to agree that the need for a new parking garage, let alone massive new development to go along with it, has been proven.

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LITTLE SILVER: TOWN HIRES TOWER LAWYER

The tower looms over homes on Prospect Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Little Silver council hired an attorney Monday night to help it determine if it’s stuck with a new a cell tower that’s dialed up widespread anger in the borough.

As special counsel, Kevin Starkey is expected to start out by reviewing some two years worth of correspondence and other records for guidance on how the governing body might proceed in dealing with the tower’s sole user so far: Verizon Wireless.

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RED BANK: TWO PARKING FORUMS PLANNED

Two public forums are in the works on the question of what to do about parking in downtown Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Residents, merchants and visitors could get two chances to weigh in on downtown Red Bank’s parking crisis — or whether one even exists — at two public events in coming weeks.

Both events were characterized at Wednesday night’s semimonthly council meeting as next-steps responses to five plans presented by would-be developers of the borough-owned parking lot on White Street.

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RED BANK: DEMS BACK ‘PURE’ GARAGE

Councilman and party chairman Ed Zipprich, flanked by fellow Democrats Erik Yngstrom and Kathy Horgan in January. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The three Democrats on the Red Bank council — and a candidate to join them there — endorsed a downtown parking solution that calls for a new White Street garage without additional development Tuesday.

The announcement set the course for a possible head-on collision with the governing body’s three Republicans, who have championed an approach that welcomed the possibility of hundreds of new housing units as well as a parking deck.

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RED BANK: PARKING PLANS GET FIRST AIRING

A standing-room crowd stuck around after the hourlong council meeting for nearly two hours of parking presentations. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

At an event with no equal in recent memory, and possibly in the 109-year history of the borough, five would-be developers trotted out plans to remake a large swath of downtown Red Bank Wednesday night.

Mixing elements of beauty pageant and planning board meeting, the special session of the borough parking committee drew a standing-room crowd to hear would-be builders tout their visions for massive parking and housing projects, some with retail thrown in as well.

The event was notable also for who was not there.

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RED BANK: MUMFORD LOCKS UP EXTRA SITES

Yellow Brook principal Roger Mumford with a rendering of a building on the site of Atlantic Glass at the northwest corner of White Street and Maple Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Of the five proposed plans for White Street presented to the Red Bank parking committee Wednesday night, only one had what Roger Mumford’s had: a lock on two adjoining properties.

Mumford also arrived at the meeting with a singular certainty that without those sites, the project isn’t worth doing.

“We don’t have five different concepts,” Mumford told the committee and a standing-room crowd at borough hall, in a veiled reference to one of his competitors. “We’ve got one, because we really like it.”

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