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RED BANK & MIDDLETOWN: T-REX RETURNS

A 15-foot-long T-Rex puppet from Field Station: Dinosaurs, seen here in 2012, returns to the Red Bank Public Library Tuesday. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge.)

He’s scaly, maybe a bit scary, some 15 feet long, and usually spotted in the company of a singing paleontologist known as the Dinosaur Troubador. He’s the traveling T-Rex from Bergen County attraction Field Station: Dinosaurs, and he’s returning to libraries in Red Bank and Middletown this week.

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ON THE GREEN: SEINE, CLIMB OR KAYAK

It’s Climb Time in Lincroft again as the Monmouth County Park System moves that portable mountain to the grounds of Thompson Park for another free instructional session.  

A chance to take a “drop in” kayak tour of a scenic waterway… a hands-on, close up look at local marine life… and an opportunity to climb a mountain face in Monmouth County.

They’re all on tap in the coming week around those public places that make life on the Greater Red Bank Green a recreational pleasure — and brought to you by the people of the Monmouth County Park System.

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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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RED BANK: TOWNHOUSE LOOK FOR MILL CREEK

An image from the Mill Creek Residential proposal. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s parking woes can be addressed by a garage disguised to look like a row of townhouses that were erected over the course of many years, representatives of Dallas-based Mill Creek Residential told the borough parking committee Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: DOBCO PLANS ‘CORRIDOR’ TO RIVER

An image from the Dobco pitch included off-site improvements along English Plaza, opposite the White Street project site. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

David DeConde, a business development manager Dobco Inc., drew gasps Wednesday night when he said his company was proposing 110 parking spaces on Red Bank’s White Street redevelopment zone.

Oops: he meant 1,010 spots, DeConde quickly corrected, chuckling along with the audience at his flub. “It’s been a long day,” he said of his misstatement.

In fact, his company’s plan calls for the greatest gross number of new parking spaces among five proposals submitted by would-be redevelopers of the site, which now has slots for 273 vehicles.

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RED BANK: BNE PUSHES ‘APPROPRIATE SCALE’

Jonathan Schwartz, right, and Jack Tycher of BNE Canoe with a rendering of their proposed White Street project. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Among the contenders for the right to develop Red Bank’s White Street parking lot site, BNE Real Estate Group  and Canoe Brook Development can do it all in-house, a principal in the Livingston-based partnership said Wednesday night.

Their proposal calls for a seven-story, 704-vehicle garage that would be built “as fast as possible” enroute to a project that includes 204 rental apartments and no retail space, principal Jack Tycher told the borough parking committee.

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RED BANK: BIJOU TOUTS GREEN APPROACH

Architect John Nastasi describes the proposed Bijou project Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Bijou Properties founder Larry Bijou touted his firm’s track record in building environmentally friendly projects in Hoboken when he addressed Red Bank’s parking committee Wednesday night.

And officials in Hoboken, “they don’t want to be Jersey City,” he said, an apparent response to criticism by Red Bank Democrats that their Republican colleagues were pushing a “Jersey City-style high rise vision” for the heart of the borough.

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MIDDLETOWN: BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE

Can a butterfly delicately flapping its wings somewhere on Earth set off a chain of world-shaking events half a planet away? If so, it stands to reason that anyone who ignores an opportunity to do some butterfly spotting at Deep Cut Gardens in Middletown is potentially passing up some truly epic levels of excitement.

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RED BANK: PARKING PLANS MOVE TO THE FORE

Advocates for a White Street garage have brought proposals farther than any in a dozen years, but still face big tests. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

It starts to get real this week, when more than a decade’s worth of talk about Red Bank parking moves into a new stage.

Proposals by five would-be developers of a public garage, and possibly much more, on the site of the borough-owned White Street parking lot are scheduled to get their first public airing Wednesday night.

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LINCROFT: RENT A CANOE AND EXPLORE MARLU

Tucked away in Lincroft’s Thompson Park, mere minutes from the sidewalk-surfing shoppertunities of the downtown Red Bank busy district, sits Marlu Lake — a reservoir of 20-plus acres, and a site noted for its freshwater fishing, as well as for its field-and-stream hiking scenery, plus wildlife-watching views of turtles and other local fauna.

Several times each summer, the flagship facility of the Monmouth County Park System invites the public to enjoy a paddling excursion on the lake by offering canoe rentals on designated weekends. It’s a recreational opportunity that returns to the greater Red Bank Green this Saturday and Sunday.

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RED BANK: DEMS GOAD GOP OVER GARAGE

The 273-space White Street was at capacity at midday Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank council’s Democrats goaded two of their Republican counterparts Thursday to take sides on pending development proposals for the White Street parking lot.

GOP council members Linda Schwabenbauer and Mark Taylor “are the only two members of the governing body who have not provided the public with their position on the matter in the eight weeks since” five proposals for the site were received, Democrats Ed Zipprich, Kathy Horgan and Erik Yngstrom said in a statement.

“We do not answer to Ed Zipprich,” Schwabenbauer said in response.

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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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LINCROFT: A SPECIAL RIDE ON THE SUNNYSIDE

Although it plays a prominent role in the lives of many area residents, the Sunnyside Equestrian Center has to be ranked among the “best kept secrets” of the greater Red Bank Green.

But this Saturday morning,  the general public is invited to come out to 628 Middletown-Lincroft Road for a free special event in which some special riders showcase their skills on the trails (and, in the process, make the Monmouth County Park System facility ready for its close-up).

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ON THE GREEN: MEMORIAL DAY SERVICES

The Veterans Monument on Monmouth Street is the setting for Red Bank’s annual Memorial Day observance, Monday morning at 11 a.m.

[UPDATE: These listings will be updated information is received about changes due to rain forecast for Monday.]

Memorial Day weekend represents the start of the summertime season and, for many longtime residents of our coastal communities, a time to readjust those daily routines and recalculate those normal routes in anticipation of the visiting throngs.

It’s also, of course, a time to remember those who gave their lives in service to our nation, and wherever you happen to make your home here on the Greater Red Bank Green, Monday presents a chance to join the people of your community in honoring their sacrifice. Following is a roundup of Memorial Day observances scheduled for May 29, with rainy-day alternate arrangements listed where available.

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RED BANK GARAGE: BIJOU PROPOSAL

A view of the proposed Bijou project as seen from English Plaza looking south, with a warm-weather festival underway. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Here are the highlights of the proposal for a new Red Bank parking garage submitted by Bijou Properties, one of five developers to submit plans in response to a borough solicitation earlier this year.

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RED BANK GARAGE: DOBCO PLAN

An image from the Dobco pitch. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Here are the highlights of the proposal for a new Red Bank parking garage submitted by Dobco, Inc., one of five developers to submit plans in response to a borough solicitation earlier this year.

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RED BANK GARAGE: YELLOW BROOK’S ‘BEACON’

Yellow Brook’s proposed project, dubbed the Beacon, as seen from the northwest. Borough hall is at lower right. The plan incorporates the freestanding Atlantic Glass property at the northwest corner of White Street and Maple Avenue. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

[See correction below]

Here are the highlights of the proposal for a new Red Bank parking garage submitted by Yellow Brook Property Company LLC, one of five developers to submit plans in response to a borough solicitation earlier this year.

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RED BANK: DEMS VOW TO FIGHT GARAGE PLANS

Democrats denounced the five proposals regarding the White Street parking lot as part of “an aggressive course of urbanization” pushed by Republicans. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

[Correction: Councilman Ed Zipprich is the only Democrat up for re-election this year. He’s expected to face off against incumbent Republican Linda Schwabenbauer.]

The three Democrats on the Red Bank council denounced their Republican counterparts late Wednesday for pushing a “Jersey City-style high rise vision” that could result in 12-story buildings with hundreds of residences on the site of the White Street parking lot.

In a press release issued hours after the council agreed to publish proposals submitted by five would-be developers of of a downtown parking facility, Democrats Ed Zipprich, Kathy Horgan and Erik Yngstrom vowed “staunch opposition” to the proposals, which one termed “ridiculous” in size.

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RED BANK: WHERE ARE THE GARAGE PLANS?

Five developers have submitted proposals regarding the White Street municipal parking lot. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Seven weeks after receiving proposals for a possible new downtown parking garage, the Red Bank council may release them this week, Councilman Mike Whelan tells redbankgreen.

But the disclosure still hinges on legal roadblocks thrown up by former Councilwoman Cindy Burnham, who sued the town over the plan immediately after she left office.

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M’TOWN LIBRARY PRIZES SUMMER READING

mtownPress release from Middletown Township Public Library

Middletown teens entering grades 6 to 12 are invited to take part in the Teen Summer Reading Program at Middletown Township Public Library, presented this year under the theme Build a Better World.

From June 26 through August 18, the library is challenging middle and high school students of Middletown to read five books over the summer, with a prize awarded for every book read. Prizes include Applebees Ice Cream Sundae certificates, Chipotle meal certificates, Hole-in-One Golf gift certificates and SkyZone Jump Passes, as well as free books.

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RED BANK: SYMPHONY TO PLAY MARINE PARK

Music lovers are expected to line the slope at Marine Park to hear the New Jersey Symphony. Restrooms now under construction are visible at top left. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

RiverFest may be off the calendar, but there will be at least one night of music in Red Bank’s Marine Park this summer.

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra plans to christen the newly refurbished park with a free, open-air concert in July.

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