BANK VOWS TO BUILD COURTYARDS THIS YEAR

Demolition of a gas station at the corner of Monmouth and West streets was completed in August to clear the way for 57 new homes. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Officials of the bank that owns the rights to build the Courtyards at Monmouth housing development told Red Bank officials Thursday night that the project will begin going into the ground at a blighted corner this year.

They also pledged to be better neighbors, after a demolition contractor failed to fulfill a pledge by the bank to give adjoining homeowners advance notice of demolition work last August. Neighbors complained at the time about dust that had infiltrated their homes.

“We admit it, our wrecking contractor blew it,” said Amboy Bank chief operating officer Stanley Koureyva, who apologized to neighbors who turned out for a meeting of the borough zoning board.

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COUNCIL: AFFORDABLE UNITS MUST NOT WAIT

Property owner GS Realty wants to separate approved projects at Monmouth, West and Oakland streets into separate lots, prompting the council’s action, officials said. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

With the developer poised to seek a zoning board OK to shift property lines at the proposed Courtyards at Monmouth project, the Red Bank borough council Wednesday night approved contract language aimed at ensuring that 12 approved affordable housing units get built at the site.

After a closed-door executive session, the council voted unanimously to approve a builder’s agreement that sets a timetable for the units to be constructed, holding out certificates of occupancy as a carrot.

“We want to be sure that the affordable units get built,” said Council President Art Murphy, who presided over the meeting in the absence of Mayor Pasquale Menna.

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COURTYARDS PROJECT WINS FINAL OK

courtyards-at-monmouthThe development, fronting on Monmouth, West and Oakland streets, calls for a dozen units for low- and moderate-income buyers. (Click to enlarge)

With a last-minute concession to neighbors, a plan to build 57 residences on a vacant lot near the Red Bank train station won final approval Thursday night.

It’s the third such plan for the property, after two earlier ones ran aground. But a lawyer for the property owner, Amboy Bank, pledged that this one, called Courtyards at Monmouth like its immediate predecessor, will actually get built.

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COURTYARDS PLAN GETS CLOSER ONCE-OVER

courtyards-2James Hulsizer with a depiction of the planned Courtyards at Monmouth. Below, an architect’s rendering from last summer. (Click to enlarge)

courtyards-at-monmouthRed Bank zoners held the first of what is expected to be a series of hearings on the details of a proposed 57-unit housing development on a neglected stretch of Monmouth Street Thursday night.

GS Realty, the unit of Amboy Bank that owns the site, is seeking a long list of variances, from building heights and setbacks from the street, in order to clear the way for the so-called Courtyards at Monmouth project.

Last July, byt a 5-2 vote, the zoning board granted a use variance for what members called “a very dense project” in a new train station zone formed to attract high-density housing and retailing, though the plan calls for no stores. At the time, those in favor cited a desire to jump-start construction on the 1.24-acre property, which is also bounded by West and Oakland streets.

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ANOTHER COURTYARDS PLAN WINS VARIANCES

light-mass-marks-070110As Ray Mass (background) and Deborah Marks listened, zoning board member Vincent Light details his objection to granting variances for the proposed Courtyards at Monmouth housing project, below. (Click to enlarge) courtyards-at-monmouth

Less than a year after a new zone was created at Red Bank’s train station to encourage a mix of high-density housing and retail activity, the borough zoning board last night greenlighted a plan that could put even greater density, but no stores, on a vacant Monmouth Street lot.

The move, on a 5-2 vote, was driven by a desire to see something built on a lot frequently described as an eyesore and the belief that adding retail space in a town with numerous store vacancies was the wrong way to go, said board members who favored he plan.

“Yes, it’s a very dense project,” said board chair Lauren Nicosia. “But this is a property that hasn’t been developed and that Red Bank needs to be developed.”

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BANK AIMS TO UP ITS RETURN ON MONMOUTH

courtyards-1-040710A subsidiary of Amboy Bank is seeking approval for an all-residential project at the corner of Monmouth and West streets, below. (Click to enlarge)

courtyards-2-040710On the agenda for a special meeting of the Red Bank zoning board tonight: yet another plan for a major development on the site of a former filling station on Monmouth Street.

Yep, that same place at the southeast corner of West Street that was the subject of not one but two prior approvals in the past seven years, neither of which resulted in so much as a shovel going into the ground.

Amboy Bank, which now owns the property, wants to build townhouse-style apartments there under the name Courtyards at Monmouth. So why not just dust off the approval won by Rumson’s George Coffenberg, who relinquished the project to the bank shortly after getting his approval for a project, also dubbed called Courtyards at Monmouth, in early 2008?

Because in the interim, Red Bank’s governing body changed the zoning laws and included the property in a so-called “train station overlay” zone that allows for buildings up to 50 feet tall and densities of up to 35 dwelling units per acre, up from the prior limit of 25.

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