43° Clear

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.

 

Read More »

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.

Read More »

RED BANK: TATTOO, MEDICAL POT ZONES OK’D

Under the changes, medical marijuana dispensaries are now allowed in retail zones, and tattoo parlors are permitted in additional zones. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAs expected, the Red Bank council approved measures on medical marijuana shops and tattoo parlors Wednesday.

Officials also introduced an ordinance to recognize a turn toward do-it-yourself crafts and other forms of “commercial recreation” downtown.

Read More »

RED BANK: REDEVELOPMENT MOVES ADVANCE

red bank nj vna saxum 176 riverside The former VNA headquarters, at Riverside Avenue and Bodman Place, is on track to designation for special redevelopment rights. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank’s elected officials were in redevelopment mode Wednesday night, advancing two measures that could reshape the landscape.

One tapped a consulting firm to set up a redevelopment agency to oversee downtown projects. The other initiated a process under which the former VNA Health Group headquarters could be replaced with high-density housing.

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: PLAN ELICITS VARIED CONCERNS

Part of the plan calls for a new park-maintenance shed at Fair Haven Fields, just south of the Methodist church. (Image by Google. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njFair Haven residents peppered the borough council Tuesday night with questions about an ambitious plan to build a new town hall, consolidate operations and sell real estate.

The questions appeared to reflect a sense that residents were caught off guard by the scope of the project, which was first reported by redbankgreen Monday.

Read More »

RED BANK: REDEVELOPMENT WORK ON AGENDA

Ken DeRoberts, who served as interim borough administrator earlier this year, would oversee redevelopment issues under the proposed contract. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[UPDATE: See clarification below]

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA consulting firm that earlier this year identified the absence of a redevelopment agency as a competitive problem for Red Bank is expected to be given the job of overseeing redevelopment Wednesday night.

 

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: NEW TOWN HALL PLANNED

646 RIVER ROAD FAIR HAVEN NJ SUNOCOFair Haven officials hope to acquire the former Sunoco station for redevelopment as part of long-range consolidation of municipal operations. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A vacant gas station site in Fair Haven could become the home to a new borough hall and police station under a plan up for consideration Tuesday night.

Read More »

RED BANK: WHITE STREET FIXES OUTLINED

The makeover plan would affect English Plaza and the stretch of White Street from English Plaza to Broad Street, above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s chaotic English Plaza and White Street area may become a part-time oasis under a concept plan unveiled Wednesday night.

Working with a $500,000 zero-interest loan from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Red Bank RiverCenter also aims to make the space safer for pedestrians an motorists, officials told the borough council.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

RED BANK: FRESH “JAM” AT PARK STAND

Steve Farley, left, and Bill Huwyler at Riverside Park Jam, the former concession stand in Riverside Gardens Park that they’ve reinvented as a gourmet-quality takeout restaurant. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Two years after it ended decades of underutilization, the concession stand in Riverside Gardens Park in Red Bank has a radically new mission.

Call it the no-concessions stand, because it’s not summer-only, and it’s not hot dogs and sodas — not by a long shot.

Read More »

RED BANK: BREWERY PLAN UP IN THE AIR

The building, formerly home to Fameabilia store, has been vacant since October, 2008. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The fate of a microbrewery proposed for a long-vacant storefront in downtown Red Bank appeared cloudy Thursday night.

The hangup? The two floors of apartments the landlord wants to add to the one-story building.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

RED BANK: PORK ROLL, FRESH OFF THE TRUCK

Johnny’s Pork Roll plans to open in the space last occupied by Fizz at 8A Monmouth Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallAs live-reported by redbankgreen, Johnny’s Pork Roll & Coffee truck made its debut by risking a summons for doing business where it wasn’t allowed: on the streets of Red Bank.

Now, five years later, John Yarusi’s two-truck enterprise is going legit with a brick-and-mortar stake in the borough’s downtown.

Read all about the plan, and other recent turnover activity, in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

Read More »

RED BANK: TATTOO & POT ZONING MULLED

Councilman Erik Yngstrom, seen here on election night in 2016, says he has “a bunch” of tattoos, and initiated the expansion of tattoo parlor zoning. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Once widely seen as evidence of moral decay, tattoos and pot may soon have a place among the nail salons, ice cream shops and restaurants in downtown Red Bank.

Read More »

RED BANK: ALARMS SHUT OFFICE BUILDING

The building, seen here in 2016, abuts the Red Bank train station. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A large Red Bank office building was closed to employees for the second consecutive day Wednesday over concerns about carbon monoxide.

Read More »

RED BANK: RIVERCENTER ‘VISION’ SHARPENS

Bill Fontana speaking at the Two River Theater Monday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After four months of public meetings, Red Bank RiverCenter‘s effort to redefine its vision began coming into focus Monday night.

Topping a list of six priorities that the downtown promotion agency should focus on is a “reimagined, redeveloped and reinvigorated riverfront,” a consultant told several dozen business owners and borough residents at the Two River Theater.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

RED BANK: RESTAURANT, BOUTIQUE IN CHURN

Jack Pongnoo in the former Readie’s space, where he’s opening a new restaurant. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallSummer doldrums? Not in Red Bank, where storefront turnover continues as busily as ever.

This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has the scoops on:

• a new southeast-Asian restaurant coming to Broad Street

• an update on the former Katsin’s Pharmacy space on Shrewsbury Avenue

• a new women’s clothing boutique

• the departure of a vacuum-cleaner shop, and more.

It’s all Churning right around the ‘read more’ corner…

Read More »

RED BANK: POKU CLAIMS RACIAL PREJUDICE

An undated drone shot shows the collection of vehicles and trash in Poku’s backyard. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The owner of a Red Bank residential property packed with rusting vehicles and other junk told a TV news program on Tuesday that he’s a victim of racial prejudice.

William Poku, whose property was the subject of a report by redbankgreen earlier in the day, also denied that he’s hoarding junk.

Read More »

RED BANK: JUNK-FILLED YARD IRKS NEIGHBORS

Clutter fills the front porch at 90 Bank Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The house at 90 Bank Street in Red Bank has been vexing neighbors for years.

It’s surrounded on three sides by a massing of cars, trucks and hard-to-discern clutter. The porch, with collapsing rain gutters, appears to groan under the weight of piled boxes. And the mess continues in the street out front, where neighbors say rusting vehicles have sat for years.

Read More »

RED BANK: DOWNTOWN ‘VISION’ GAINS FOCUS

Consultant Bill Fontana onstage at the Two River Theater Monday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Downtown Red Bank is safe, clean and friendly, but it’s got problems with parking, store vacancies and its mix of operating businesses.

Those observations, while perhaps glaringly evident to many, were among the findings of a recent survey conducted for business promotion agency Red Bank RiverCenter and revealed Monday night.

Read More »

RED BANK: A SECOND CAREER IN OLD JEANS

Kattya Torres at her Union Special sewing machine. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After her job as a wireless telecom engineer vanished in a merger, a Red Bank businesswoman has found a second career in eradicating crotch rot.

Ahem: that is to say, the holes that frequently develop in the groin of old jeans some people simply cannot part with.

Read More »

RED BANK: MONMOUTH MUSIC TO CLOSE

Monmouth Music owner Mario DiBartolo plans to open the STEM Music Academy in the space. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Even as he was buying Monmouth Music two years ago, Mario DiBartolo knew he was swimming against the current that has swamped so many small retailers in the past two decades.

Yes, he hoped to retain the Red Bank store’s loyal customers and continue selling guitars and other musical instruments, he told redbankgreen last year. But his investment was really in the Monmouth Street real estate that housed the 30-year-old business, he said.

Now, he’s throwing in the towel on retail.

Read More »

RED BANK: COURT NIXES TAX ACTION

The borough’s attempt to revoke Riverview’s tax exemption for two years amounted to a “fishing expedition” in search of justification, the court ruled.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank can’t retroactively revoke the tax-exemption for Riverview Medical Center, New Jersey’s tax court ruled last week.

In attempting to do so, the borough was improperly hoping that a “fishing expedition” in the form of legal action would turn up evidence that the hospital, owned by Hackensack Meridian Health, was being used as a for-profit facility, the court ruled. Read More »