RED BANK: DOWNTOWN APARTMENTS OK’D

Mayor Pasquale Menna explains his vote to approve the project, a rendering of which is seen on a computer screen in the foreground. At left is board Engineer Ed Herrman. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A proposed 35-unit apartment building in downtown Red Bank won unanimous planning board approval Monday night.

First, however, several critics, including two board members, took parting shots at a process that kept the controversial plan alive for a year after it was rejected by the zoning board.

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RED BANK: APARTMENTS & EATERY ON DECK

Up for review at Monday night’s meeting of the Red Bank planning board: the Element, seen above, a 35-unit apartment complex proposed for a vacant lot at 55 West Front Street, opposite Riverside Gardens Park. The controversy-stirring plan could go to a final up-or-down vote.

Also scheduled: a proposed makeover for 26 West Front Street, right, last operated as Caliente Cantina, and not long before that, 10th Ave. Burrito Co. The plan calls for the addition of a 1,000-square-foot outdoor deck with views of the Navesink River. Here’s more info about the plan.

And here’s the full agenda for the meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. at borough hall, 90 Monmouth Street. (Renderings by Rotwein + Blake, above, and Cahill Studio, right. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: PLAN PANNED FOR LOOKS, PARKING

An architect’s depiction of the Element, as seen from the north side side of West Front Street. (Rendering by Rotwein + Blake. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A new round of hearings on the Element, a proposed 35-unit apartment building in downtown Red Bank, began Wednesday night with concerns raised about parking adequacy and aesthetics.

Mayor Pasquale Menna called the appearance of the structure “bulky and not very inviting,” while several residents challenged a traffic consultant’s claim that the project’s on-site parking was sufficient.

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RED BANK: APARTMENT PLAN RETURNS

A view of the proposed project, as seen from the opposite side of West Front Street. (Rendering by Rotwein + Blake. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After several months of dormancy, one of Red Bank’s more hotly disputed land-use proposals is expected to return next week.

The owners of the vacant downtown lot at 55 West Front Street are scheduled to try once again to win approval for a 35-unit apartment building that the zoning board shot down almost a year ago, triggering a series of measures that split the borough council for much of the year.

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RED BANK: APARTMENT PLAN APPROVED

74 broad st. 092713The upper two floors of the building, which have been vacant for years, will get two apartments each. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A landmark Red Bank building’s upper two floors will be turned into spacious apartments under a plan approved by the borough zoning board Thursday night.

In a rarity in this parking-starved town, the change would reduce the demand for downtown spots, the building’s new owner told the board.

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RED BANK: LOT OWNERS CAN NOW TRY AGAIN

55 w front 062016The vacant lot at 55 West Front Street, opposite Riverside Gardens Park. (Photo by Google. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Eight months after they were rejected by the Red Bank zoning board, the owners of a vacant lot in downtown Red Bank can now try again to win approval for a 35-unit apartment building on the site.

That’s the upshot of an ordinance adopted by the borough council Monday night after yet another tiebreaker vote by Mayor Pasquale Menna.

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RED BANK: STATION COMPLEX WINS APPROVAL

denholtz-101716-5An architectural rendering shows the Oakland Street side of the proposed project, to be built on the present site of a taxi stand. The existing San Remo restaurant and vacant former Racioppi’s building are in the foreground. (Rendering by Monteforte Architectural Studio. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03An ambitious mixed-use project with 45 apartments and its own parking garage alongside the Red Bank train station won unanimous approval by the planning board Monday night.

Board members praised the plan, by Matawan-based Denholtz Associates, as one that fulfills the vision of the “train station overlay” zone to a tee.

“It seems to me the first project to really take advantage of that designation and be creative,” said board member and borough Administrator Stanley Sickels.

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RED BANK: 5-4 BOARD VOTE ADVANCES PLAN

55-w-front-aerial-101716A Google Maps sky view of the vacant lot at 55 West Front Street, opposite Riverside Gardens Park. (Photo by Google. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03By a 5-4 vote, the Red Bank planning board advanced a proposed ordinance that would give a  a thwarted developer another shot at building on a downtown lot.

The issue, concerning a former nursing home site at 55 West Street, prompted sharp disagreement among board members that mirrored divisions at recent council meetings, with proponents arguing the measure is needed to end a long vacancy and opponents calling it an “end-around” to a zoning board decision.

“It just stinks,” planning board member and former Councilman Art Murphy said of the measure.

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RED BANK: APARTMENT PLANS TO BE HEARD

denholtz 080416 18HOT-TOPIC_03Two apartment projects — one next to the train station and the other in the heart of downtown — are scheduled to be heard by Red Bank land use regulators this week.

The first, by Denholtz Associates, would create a 45-unit mixed-use building with a parking garage extending from the taxi dispatch office on Oakland Street the office building shown above, on Chestnut Street.

The proposal is slated to be heard by the planning board tonight at 6:30 p.m. For more details, see redbankgreen‘s coverage from August, when the plan was filed. Read More »

RED BANK: YNGSTROM BLASTED FOR COMMENTS

erik yngstrom 031716Erik Yngstrom at the March zoning board meeting at which he made the motion to reject development plans for 55 West Front Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Election_2016_PlainRed Bank Councilman Mark Taylor says Democratic council candidate Erik Yngstrom should resign from the zoning board for calling a controversial effort to bypass a board decision “fishy.”

In a press release issued Friday, Taylor accused Yngstrom of using his board position “as a platform to make several inappropriately political comments in an effort to further his own Council candidacy.”

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RED BANK: VACANT LOT SPLITS COUNCIL AGAIN

55 w front 062016The fenced-in lot at 55 West Front Street, next door to Trinity Episcopal Church, was formerly the site of a nursing home. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Advancing a plan to ease the possible redevelopment of a vacant Red Bank lot again proved controversial Wednesday night.

With both Democratic council members allied with the sole independent against the three Republicans, Mayor Pasquale Menna was again forced to cast a tie-breaker vote on the next step in an effort to rezone the downtown site.

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RED BANK: PARKING PLAN ADVANCES, BARELY

rb white st lot 071916 1A divided council gave the go-ahead for a consultant to develop a concept plan for the White Street parking lot. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1Red Bank moved another step toward a possible answer to its chronic parking woes Wednesday night, but only after Mayor Pasquale Menna cast a pair of tiebreakers that put him at odds with fellow Democrats.

Menna’s votes were necessary after the council’s two lone Democrats joined with its sole independent in raising objections to a $6,500 contract for a concept plan covering the borough-owned White Street parking lot, where merchants and town officials envision a parking garage.

The debate also exposed rare friction between Menna and Red Bank RiverCenter, the semi-authonomous agency that promotes downtown business interests.

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RED BANK: APARTMENTS & GARAGE PROPOSED

denholtz 080416 16The taxi dispatch office on Oakland Street alongside the train station would be demolished and replaced with a parking garage and some commercial space topped by apartments. The new structure would connect to the office building seen in the background, on Chestnut Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Fourteen months after the debut of a short-lived plan for a brewery next door to the Red Bank train station, a builder has proposed an ambitious mixed-use project with 45 apartments at the site.

Denholtz Associates, a national development and property management firm based in Matawan, also wants to create a 129-car parking garage, along with a small amount of commercial space, on adjoining lots that run from Oakland to Chestnut streets, according to plans filed with the borough.

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RED BANK: APARTMENTS ON AGENDA

205 s pearl 080116A proposed six-unit, two-story apartment building on the site of garage at 205 South Pearl Street is among the items on Thursday’s agenda for the Red Bank zoning boards. The project, at the entrance to the Arrow Limousine parking lot, needs a carload of vriances, including one for density, with 45 units per acre proposed where 16 per acre are allowed. Here’s the full agenda. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

RED BANK: ZONING SHORTCUT INTRODUCED

RB Reso 16-190 Map 071316A map showing a potential new “area in need of rehabilitation” that was quietly put into play Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Over the objections of two council members and several residents that “it doesn’t smell right,” Red Bank’s governing body furthered plans for both a possible downtown parking garage and a proposed apartment building Wednesday night.

And without a word of public description or discussion beforehand, the council also started a process that could lead to designating a large swath of the town as an “area in need of rehabilitation,” which one official said would make it easier for developers to avoid variances when their plans don’t comply with the zoning law. Read More »

RED BANK: RAYRAP CONCEPT GETS THE HOOK

RayRap site 121015 2HOT-TOPIC_03An informal planning board hearing on developer Ray Rapcavage’s concept plan for 18 homes at the five corners in Red Bank was kept short Wednesday night after board attorney Mike Leckstein raised concerns about the board discussing a matter that may have to be heard by the zoning board. Rapcavage’s last proposal, calling for 22 homes on the site, was denied by the zoning board in December.

In his brief presentation, architect David Carnivale told the board the new plan calls 18 homes “meant to evoke European palaces overlooking a garden.” More details about the proposal are here (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: REDEVELOPMENT PLANS ADVANCE

55 w front 070616The West Front Street site where a 35-unit apartment building was rejected by the zoning board last year could end up with new zoning, a planning attorney said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Two Red Bank properties cleared a key hurdle toward possible redevelopment Wednesday night.

One is the borough-owned White Street parking lot, where merchants and town officials envision a parking garage.

The other is a privately owned site that several commenters, including two board members, said shouldn’t even have been part of the discussion.

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RED BANK: THREE MAJOR PROJECTS ON AGENDA

rb parking 051116 2The council directed the planning board to evaluate the borough-owned White Street lot for its “suitability” for a parking garage — and to do the same for a private lot where the zoning board turned down a 35-unit apartment building. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Three projects with the potential to dramatically alter downtown Red Bank for generations are slated for review by the borough planning board Wednesday night.

On the agenda:

• a legal interpretation that could lead to the construction of a new parking facility on White Street

• a do-over of sorts for a rejected 35-unit apartment building on West Front Street

• and yet another plan for housing on a disused “five corners” property on the edge of downtown.

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SEA BRIGHT: IDEAS SOUGHT FOR PARK SITE

Sea bright anchorage park 2sb anchorage lot 040507What should become of Anchorage Park, the 1.2-acre sliver of riverside land at the foot of the Route 520 bridge in Sea Bright?

Acquired by the borough after Hurricane Sandy left the Anchorage Apartments uninhabitable in 2012, the now-vacant site may be eligible for grant money. But first, borough officials are asking for public input: should it be developed, along the lines of the concept shown above? Planted with grass and left at that?

A public discussion of the matter has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 15 at 6 p.m. at borough hall. The regular council meeting will follow at 7 p.m. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

 

RED BANK: ZONERS QUESTION HOUSING PLAN

55 w front 040215 1An architect’s rendering, above, shows the elevated patio of the proposed Element apartments, with parking underneath. Below, a view of the property, which includes a strip alongside the old Liberty Hose firehouse on White Street. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

55 w front 080315Questions about parking adequacy and affordable housing continued to dominate as the Red Bank zoning board resumed hearings on a 35-unit apartment building proposed for West Front Street Thursday night.

Dubbed the Element, the project would be built on an irregularly shaped, three-quarter-acre vacant lot facing Riverside Gardens Park at one end and White Street, alongside the former Liberty Hose firehouse, on the other.

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RED BANK: NO VOTE ON WEST FRONT UNITS

55 w front 040215 2After three hours of testimony and few questions from zoning board members, a hearing on a proposed 35-unit apartment complex fronting on West Front Street in Red Bank ended without reaching a vote Thursday night.

The hearing on the project, located opposite Riverside Gardens Park and called the Element, is scheduled to resume June 18. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: APARTMENT PROPOSAL ON AGENDA

55 w front 040215 1A zoning board hearing on a proposed 35-unit apartment complex fronting on West Front Street opposite Riverside Gardens Park in Red Bank is scheduled to resume after a two-month interval Thursday night.

Testimony on traffic flow and parking is expected, with a possible vote on the plan, called 55 West Front. The board meets at borough hall at 6:30 p.m. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: CLARITY ASKED ON W. FRONT PLAN

55 w front 040215 2A photo montage, above, showing the West Front Street elevation of the proposed building. Below, a rendering of a deck atop the garage, also visible at right in the image above. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

55 w front 040215 1The quest for approval of a proposed 35-unit apartment building in downtown Red Bank was slowed Thursday night by another  document already in the developer’s pocket: an eight-year-old plan for 27 condos at the same site.

Members of the zoning board and neighbors of the proposed 55 West Front Street project, located opposite Riverside Gardens Park, were frequently flummoxed by how variances the developer is now seeking differed from those obtained in 2007.

“I wasn’t here when the original plan was approved, and I don’t know who on this board was,” a clearly frustrated board member Sean Murphy told the applicant’s lawyer, Peter Falvo.

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