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RED BANK: DOUBTS ON PRESERVATION LAW

Homes along Washington Street, in the borough’s designated historic district, would be affected by the ordinance, as would properties beyond the district’s borders. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Does Red Bank’s Historic Preservation Commission need more teeth?

The borough’s planning board began chewing on that question Monday night, and seemed not to like the taste of it.

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RED BANK: BASIE NOW ‘CENTER FOR THE ARTS’

The rollout of the new name will begin immediately, theater officials said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Marking the start of a new chapter — and the end of that whole ‘theater or theatre?’ conundrum — Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre has been rebranded the Count Basie Center for the Arts, officials said Monday.

The name reflects the 92-year-old venue’s present and future as a “campus,” where performance art is learned, developed and staged, said Basie chief executive officer Adam Philipson. Read More »

RED BANK: PROPERTY TAX UP 4.7 PERCENT

Michael Ballard, who heads the finance committee, with Mayor Pasquale Menna at left, on election night last November. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank property owners may see a 4.7-percent increase in the local portion of their tax bill this year under a budget introduced Wednesday night.

The hike was driven by a drop in revenue, said Councilman Michael Ballard, including a halt by Riverview Medical Center of its customary payment in lieu of taxes.

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LITTLE SILVER: LAW TARGETS 5G CELL TECH

The new cell tower in the heart of Little Silver inspired a citizen backlash in 2017. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A year after a big new cell tower popped up in the middle of Little Silver’s business district, to the shock of many residents, two new borough council members hope to head off any similar, or even smaller, jolts in the future.

They introduced a proposed law Monday night that would give the borough some say over telecom carriers wishing to install new high-speed wireless equipment in town.

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RED BANK: COFFEE CORRAL PLAN OK’D

An exhibit used in the Coffee Corral hearing illustrates the placement of the new building, which would on Shrewsbury Avenue at the corner of Drs. James Parker Boulevard. The existing shop would be used for roasting beans. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s Coffee Corral won approval for an ambitious West Side building plan Monday.

The borough planning board gave a unanimous OK for owners Courtlyn Crosson and her father, business founder Russ Crosson, to transform vacant land at the corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard into a new home for the coffee shop, plus an adjoining restaurant.

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RED BANK: LUXURY UNITS, OFFICE PLANNED

The building at the corner of West Front Street and Maple Avenue, and the one next door would be razed for redevelopment.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A developer has plans to transform a high-profile corner on the edge of downtown Red Bank into ground-floor offices topped by luxury housing, redbankgreen has learned.

Dubbed ‘Rivermark,’ the project would replace two vacant and crumbling buildings that builder Mark Forman said make for a “really terrible” gateway into the the business district.

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RED BANK: MARINE PARK CONCEPTS UNVEILED

Restaurateur Danny Murphy was among the Red Bank residents checking out the newly unveiled concept design plans for Marine Park Wednesday afternoon at the Senior Center.

What do the plans show? Click ‘Read More’ to find out. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: LOOKING UPSTAIRS FOR PARKING

Local officials say the usage mix and vacancy rates of upper floors downtown factors into parking needs and taxes. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

As the Red Bank council goes back to the drawing board in search of  parking solutions after last year’s abandoned flirtation with five developers, local officials admit they’ve got a problem upstairs.

They don’t know how much parking to allocate for upper-floor office and residential tenants downtown. Nobody, it turns out, has been keeping tabs.

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RED BANK: BIG PLANS FOR HUMBLE PROPERTY

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

By JOHN T. WARD

A humble and easily overlooked Red Bank property could become the latest addition to the rapid redevelopment underway along Shrewsbury Avenue.

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RED BANK: COFFEE CORRAL LOOKS TO EXPAND

Coffee Corral owner Courtlyn Crosson hopes to build a new, larger coffee shop, and a separate deli, on the empty lot at the corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Six years after it opened in a tiny West Side construction office, Red Bank’s Coffee Corral is rarin’ for bigger pastures.

Owners Courtlyn Crosson and her father, business founder Russ Crosson, are scheduled to go before the borough planning board next month with an ambitious plan to transform the corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard into a new home to the coffee shop, plus an adjoining restaurant.

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RED BANK: FOOD, CLOTHES & MORE IN CHURN

JJ’s Delicasies, at 21 West Front Street, features a swirling logo on the sidewalk out front, thanks to a projector. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

In this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn, one of Red Bank’s hot vegan restaurants is building a separate takeout place, while a 24-hour gym, a barber shop and a cryotherapy spa all have plans to set up shop downtown.

Meantime, two businesses — a restaurant and a women’s clothing shop — have opened in recent days.

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RUMSON: NAVESINK QUALITY IMPROVES

A view of the Navesink from Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank last month. Below, Bill Heddendorf of the New Jersey DEP discusses the need for additional testing along the Spring Street storm sewer line in Red Bank. (Photo above by Trish Russoniello, below by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

An effort to reverse biological contamination in the Navesink River is “working,” and could result in the reopening of closed shellfish beds a year earlier than previously expected, a New Jersey environmental scientist told a gathering in Rumson last week.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL OKS ‘REVERSE’ APPEALS

Mayor Pasquale Menna shows off the 1925 and 1926 tax bills for a Red Bank property during Wednesday’s council meeting. How much were they? Read on. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The borough of Red Bank, hammered in recent years by tax appeals, is going “aggressive” at the urging of Mayor Pasquale Menna.

At its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night, the council approved hiring a law firm to sue commercial property owners whose assessments appear to be low relative to the real estate market.

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FAIR HAVEN: COUNCIL TAKES AIM AT POT, GUNS

Councilman Bob Marchese urged the council to ban recreational pot sales while allowing for medicinal trade. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Mixed in among discussions of yard sales and tree removals at the Fair Haven council’s semimonthly meeting Monday night were two issues of concern statewide and beyond: marijuana and guns.

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RED BANK: TWO NEW HOME LOTS APPROVED

 The attorney for the property owners said they could theoretically build nine homes, though they were only seeking approval for two. (Image from Google Maps. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The infilling of Red Bank, where buildable lots are hard to find, continued with the approval by the zoning board Thursday night of a plan for two new homes on a West Side riverfront estate.

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RED BANK: VACANT SHOP TO GET FACELIFT

The long-vacant building, last home to a seafood shop, is about to get a makeover, as shown in the rendering below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Rendering by S.O.M.E. Architects. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Red Bank retail space that’s been vacant for decades may be on track to revival, starting with a facelift.

The borough zoning board gave unanimous approval Thursday night to a makeover plan for 203 Shrewsbury Avenue, the long-ago home of Bayshore Charlie’s seafood shop.
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RED BANK: BRITISH COTTAGE EXPANSION OK’D

The building at left will be torn down to make room for an addition to British Cottage’s main showroom, in the building at center. (Photo by John T. Ward. Architectural rendering by Matt Cronin. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The continual makeover of Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank is about to get another entry.

British Cottage, a furniture store, is planning the latest in a series of expansions over its three decades in town.

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RED BANK: SIDEWALK CAFÉ, STAND ON AGENDA

A proposed ordinance change would allow Catch 19, a seafood restaurant that’s zoned as a club, to set up sidewalk dining like other downtown eateries. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A downtown Red Bank restaurant that’s zoned as a club would be able to join the trend of sidewalk cafés under a law tweak up for consideration Wednesday night.

Also on the borough council agenda: a new vendor for the concession stand in Riverside Gardens Park.

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RED BANK: JUDGE NIXES POWER LINE PLAN

Homeowners living along the line and other objectors packed a public hearing on the JCP&L proposal held at Brookdale Community College last March. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Electrical utility JCP&L has failed to prove it needs a to build a controversial 10-mile long, high-voltage electricity transmission line that would end in Red Bank, a judge has ruled.

The decision, handed down Thursday, represents at least an interim victory for a grassroots effort led by homeowners to thwart the proposed $111 million project.

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RED BANK: CARLO’S STAYING PUT; PHO LE OUT

Carlo’s Bake Shop has a new partner, Mike DeStafano, who says the business isn’t going anywhere. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallIn this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn, there’s something a little different: news about a Red Bank business that’s neither freshly opened nor closing — Carlo’s Bake Shop, owned by TV ‘Cake Boss’ Buddy Valastro.

Plus, as usual, a few lines about businesses that have closed, as well as news about an Indian restaurant coming downtown.

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RED BANK: TRAFFIC TALK SLOWS WAWA PLAN

The Wawa site plan, with the store at top and gas pump island shown in yellow, calls for the creation of a new center lane on Newman Springs Road allowing motorists traveling in both directions to make left turns. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Like a motorist stuck in rush-hour traffic, a supersized Wawa convenience store and filling station proposed for a problematic Red Bank intersection inched forward Thursday night.

At issue as the zoning board weighs the plan: whether the project would make congestion worse or improve traffic flow near the intersection of Newman Springs Road and Broad Street.

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