SENIORS GET A NEW TAKE ON BURGERS

Residents and staffers at the Atrium line up for burgers and fixings Wednesday. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

The chef from Beasty Burgers, one of Red Bank’s suddenly-ubiquitous burger joints, popped in at the Atrium at Navesink Harbor Wednesday to showcase his restaurant and teach the senior-citizen residents a thing or two about the state of the modern burger.

Mike Ross gave a short presentation on his innovative menu and cooking methods, and also offered advice on spicing up old favorites while letting the residents and Atrium workers sample some of his delicious burgers and side-dishes.

“Everyone knows that french fries go with burgers – it’s pretty much a given nowadays,” Ross told a packed conference room at the luxury high-rise on Riverside Avenue. “At Beasty, we try to show people that there are so many great complements to burgers besides the standard order of french fries.”

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RED BANK MOVES TO LIMIT BUILDING HEIGHTS

Under the proposal, structures as tall as the Atrium, left and Riverside Towers on Riverside Avenue, seen above last September, would no longer be permitted. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fresh off a prolonged tangle over a proposed and ultimately rejected Hampton Inn hotel on the Navesink River, Red Bank officials are taking an editing pen to land use laws – and a chainsaw to building heights.

Under an amendment floated for adoption at Wednesday night’s borough council meeting, new buildings in the town’s waterfront development zone would be limited to 75 feet above mean sea level. Currently, structures in the zone are allowed to be as tall as 140 feet.

The changes could clear the way for Rbank Capital LLC, owner of  former filling station property at the foot of the Route 35 Cooper’s Bridge, to return with a slightly modified hotel plan, said Mayor Pasquale Menna.

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FOR A GENTLE WINTER, A WARM GOODBYE

Buds were bursting outside the Atrium at Navesink on Riverside Avenue in Red Bank Sunday as the unseasonably warm and nearly snowless winter 2012 wound down.

Monday’s temperatures are expected to hit 71 degrees under partly sunny skies, according to the Weather Channel. Spring debuts Tuesday with highs of about 64. (Click to enlarge)

IN RED BANK, MAKING A LOT OF A LITTLE

Long the home of a car dealership and later approved for an office building, the parcel is now the site of a valet-only parking lot. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After 15 years as a vacant eyesore, a property at a gateway to Red Bank has been transformed into a spiffy new… parking lot.

Serving the Atrium at Navesink Harbor senior citizens’ luxury high-rise on Riverside Avenue, and accessible only to its valet drivers, the parking lot is the first of a long line of development ideas for the site to be completed.

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DIG IN & SAY ‘CHEESE’

atrium-shovel2-061411As PR agents all over northern Monmouth County know, redbankgreen avoids groundbreakings, ribbon cuttings, presentations of giant checks and other phoney-baloney ‘news’ events. But if more of them yielded delightfully silly images like this one, from Tuesday’s groundbreaking at the Atrium at Navesink Harbor in Red Bank, we might change our policy. Thanks to photographer Manny Carabel, who took the shot from his 10th-floor apartment next door at the Riverview Towers. (Click to enlarge)

ATRIUM ADDITION HITS GROUND RUNNING

atrium-lotA makeover of the vacant lot in the foreground is slated to begin shortly after the start of construction of six-story structure between the two Riverside Avenue high-rises in the distance. (Click to enlarge)

[See corrections at the bottom of this article]

Construction of an addition to the upscale Atrium at Navesink Harbor senior-citizens residence in Red Bank is expected to start next week with nearly all 60 units spoken for, according to officials at Springpoint Senior Living.

Long before the build-out is complete, however, an eyesore lot at the fork of West Front Street and Riverside Avenue will be transformed into a green-trimmed parking area for use by Atrium residents – and attended by valets, says company chief financial administrative officer Chuck Mooney.

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KABOOMERS PROMISE FRESH START

A promotional video for the KaBOOM fireworks show. Below, Tim Hogan, new chairman of KaBoom’s executive committee. (Click to enlarge photo)

hogan-2Coming off two years of financial challenges and crowd-control issues, the 2011 edition of the giant annual fireworks extravaganza known as KaBoomFest will feature a renewed focus on family entertainment and security, organizers say.

While some aspects of the event, including whether to repeat last year’s expansion from one to three days, remain undecided, KaBoom is on track to raise more money from corporate sponsors this year and is paying more attention to the importance of security, said Tim Hogan, president of Riverview Medical Center and chairman of KaBoom’s executive committee.

“We want to make sure that it’s safe and want to make sure that it’s family-friendly,” Hogan said.

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RECOVERY FOR A ROOFTOP GARDEN

riverview-garden1Patients are allowed to get their hands dirty at the rejuvenated rooftop garden at Riverview Medical Center. (Photos by Peter Lindner; click to enlarge)

riverview-garden3

It sat idle for years, a tangle of ivy and weeds bound by three brick walls and one of glass.

A rooftop deck created on the fifth floor of Red Bank’s Riverview Medical Center had fallen into disuse, and then a state of neglect.

But a recreational therapist, Jo Ellen Ross, saw in it the potential to create an environment conducive to recovery for patients of the hospital’s rehabilitation program, says rehab manager Brian Walch.

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ATRIUM TRIMS HIGH-RISE PLAN

atriumA proposed addition to the Atrium, at left, would be built between the existing structure and the neighboring Riverview Towers, right. The parking lot in the foreground, bound by Riverside Avenue and West Front Street, is slated for upgrades by the Atrium’s owner. (Click to enlarge)

The owner of a luxury senior citizens’ high-rise in Red Bank has curtailed its plans to nearly double the size of the facility with a proposed 12-story addition on Riverside Avenue, redbankgreen has learned.

Instead, Springpoint Senior Living — formerly PHS Senior Living, and before that, Presbyterian Homes — will revert to an older, approved plan for just six stories, says Springpoint chief operating officer Chuck Mooney.

The move was driven largely by economics, Mooney said. But it was also taken to head off a battle with residents of the neighboring Riverview Towers high-rise, he acknowledged.

“We are concerned about having a protracted series of hearings” at the zoning board, Mooney said.

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BACK IN TIME, ON WATER HARD & SOFT

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The reception room of the Atrium at Navesink Harbor was packed with river rats and history mavens old and young Thursday night for short program on the history of our beautiful Navesink as a playground for recreational boaters and iceboaters.

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ATRIUM LOT PLAN HITS SPEED BUMP

atrium-lot-render2A representative of the Atrium at Navesink holds an artist’s depiction of the proposed lot while residents listen to testimony at last night’s zoning board hearing. (Click to enlarge)

Questions about traffic and pedestrian safety slowed plans for a 98-car valet parking lot to serve the Atrium at Navesink Harbor senior citizen high-rise last night.

Complicating the work of the Red Bank zoning board was its own determination to weigh the plan as though a second, pending proposal — for the addition of six stories to an already approved six-floor annex to the Atrium — did not exist. That plan is expected to land before the board as early as next month.

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PHS: WE PAY, AND WILL CONTINUE TO PAY

atrium-siteAn architect’s rendering of the already approved six-story addition hangs on a fence next to the existing 12-story Atrium at Navesink Harbor, on Riverview Avenue.

Apparent confusion over the the impact of a recent court case has officials at PHS Senior Living putting out word that they don’t intend to seek tax-exempt status for the organization’s showcase senior-living project in Red Bank.

The Princeton-based not-for-profit is expected to pay about $360,000 in property taxes this year on Atrium at Navesink Harbor, on Riverside Avenue. Chuck Mooney, PHS’s chief operating officer, says he expects that figure to double on completion of an approved six-story addition to the Riverside Avenue facility, and to approach $900,000 annually if a pending request to take the addition up to 12 floors is approved by the borough planning board.

But no matter how big the project ends up, PHS has not and will not push to have its property removed from tax rolls, Mooney tells redbankgreen.

“We definitely will not be seeking tax-exempt status,” he says. “There’s no basis for it in the law.”

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LUAU UNDIMMED BY LEADEN SKIES

Scene’s from Thursday night’s Sunset Luau on the Navesink fundraiser at the Atrium at Navesink Harbor on Riverside Avenue in Red Bank.

The event, formerly known as the Tiki Party, was under a drab sky for the first time in recent memory. But dozens of movers and lei-shakers turned out in island wear to help pay for special events hosted throughout the year by Red Bank RiverCenter, the downtown promotion organization.

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