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: 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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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: 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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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: 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: PARKING FORUM OPENS ‘DIALOGUE’

Red Bank “is losing its position as a walking community” in part because of a lack of parking, said Joel McFadden, a White Street jeweler who served as event moderator.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Hoping to get a “dialogue” going with residents about the need for a downtown parking garage, Red Bank merchants hosted a town hall meeting that drew dozens to the borough middle school Monday night.

There, members of the Red Bank Business Alliance served up their perspectives on what they see as a longstanding problem that’s worsened in recent years under a changeover from a retail economy to one driven by restaurants and entertainment.

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RED BANK: READY TO (NOT?) FLY AGAIN

hobbymasters 070115 1 hobbymasters 070115 2Back in the indoor skies at Red Bank’s Hobbymasters store: a giant post-World War I replica biplane that was returned to its post of 30 years Wednesday after a two-month restoration by the Jersey Coast Sport Fliers.

Built for radio-controlled flight, but never flown, by Richie Smith, a onetime store employee who died last year, the eye-catching aircraft, with a wingspan of more than six feet, is a customer favorite, says store owner Alan Placer.

“People who know it from when they were kids now bring their kids in to see it,” he said.   (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: SALES SOARING FOR DRONES

Alan Placer of Hobbymasters gives a quick demo of drone flying. Below, a matchbox-sized drone without a camera. (Photo and video by John T. Ward. Click photo to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb drone 070814 2By now, perhaps, you’ve seen the spectacular video shot from within the East River Fourth of July fireworks by a small, remote-controlled helicopter. Or the lovely one of the boardwalk in Ocean Grove and Asbury Park, as seen from a gentle distance above.

Less likely, you’ve seen aerial footage of roof inspections. But Red Bank’s Hobbymasters store is having trouble keeping up with demand for drones from real estate agents and roofers, as well as artists and his customary clientele of hobbyists, he tells redbankgreen.

“They’re outselling remote-controlled planes and cars combined,” he said.

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