RED BANK: WHERE ARE THE GARAGE PLANS?

Five developers have submitted proposals regarding the White Street municipal parking lot. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Seven weeks after receiving proposals for a possible new downtown parking garage, the Red Bank council may release them this week, Councilman Mike Whelan tells redbankgreen.

But the disclosure still hinges on legal roadblocks thrown up by former Councilwoman Cindy Burnham, who sued the town over the plan immediately after she left office.

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RED BANK: TOUTING A ‘SIMPLE’ PARKING FIX

Downtown property owner John Bowers hired an architect to show the borough what it might build without involving a private developer. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Instead of trying to entice a private developer with high-profit-margin sweeteners like apartments and retail space, what if Red Bank addressed its downtown parking problem simply by building a “pure” garage itself?

That’s what landlord John Bowers wants to know, and he’s on a campaign to head off the borough’s White Street redevelopment effort before it leads both taxpayers and merchants over a cliff.

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RED BANK: DONATED HOUSE COMING DOWN

rb 27 linden 012417doug-cavanaughTwo years after the death of its owner, the house at 27 Linden Place in Red Bank is slated for demolition this week.

Doug Cavanaugh, seen at right in 2009 painting a hitching post he installed outside the house, left the property in his will to Saint James Roman Catholic Church, whose schools he’d attended.

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RED BANK: AFTER 26 YEARS, BARR ZONES OUT

donna smith barr 042815 2Zoning officer Donna Smith Barr leaves the job this week after 26 years. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

people-in-the-newsThe cliches compete: it’s tempting to say Donna Smith Barr has had a front-row seat on Red Bank’s two-decade-long bounceback from “Dead Bank” to today’s bustling burg. But it’s probably more accurate to say she’s been the gatekeeper.

Whether you wanted to put a deck on your house or turn a downtown store into a restaurant, Barr’s office has been the first stop at borough hall. And if she spoke or wrote the word “variance” in response, it probably wasn’t your last, as it would mean the time and expense of making one’s case before the zoning or planning board.

“I’m glad I don’t have to tell people they need variances anymore,” Barr told redbankgreen Tuesday. A single instance is one thing, “but when you do it for 26 years, that’s enough.”

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RED BANK: A GATHERING OF MAYORS

mayorsThe three living former mayors of Red Bank — Benedict Nicosia, Michael Arnone and Ed McKenna — join Mayor Pasquale Menna as guests of honor at the first annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, going on May 1st.

Press release from Red Bank Mayor’s Ball Committee

Mayor Pat Menna is honoring three of his predecessors — and inviting the community — to the first annual Red Bank Mayor’s Charity Ball, scheduled for May 1st at The Oyster Point Hotel.

“Our committee is planning a great event and a fun evening, celebrating all things Red Bank,” noted the mayor.  “We are fortunate to have three former mayors — Judge Benedict Nicosia, Assemblyman Michael Arnone and Mayor Edward McKenna — still here in the area, and we will be honoring them for their public service.”

Other honorees include Red Bank RiverCenter, which will receive the Outstanding Community Service Award; the Two River Theater, the Cultural and Arts Award; Gerry Eisner, the Historical Legacy Award; Downtown Investors, the Urban Development Award; and Seals Eastern, the Manufacturing and Technology Award.

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RED BANK: BROKERS TO THE ‘BRIDGE’

The ‘bridge‘ is in. Following a six-month construction sprint, securities broker Morgan Stanley Smith Barney completed the consolidation of its Red Bank offices into a single location at Broad Street and Linden Place this week, said Jay Herman, a principal in Downtown Investors, which owns the property. The expanded space includes a suspended structure linking two existing buildings, as seen at right last January. (Click to enlarge)

‘FLOATING’ DOWNTOWN OFFICE WAFTS TO OK

The addition will connect two existing buildings while permitting vehicles to pass underneath. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Framed by talk about its positive effects on lunchtime restaurant business, a plan for an office bridge between two downtown buildings won easy approval from the Red Bank zoning board Thursday night.

With no objectors present, the plan by property owner Downtown Investors drew a smattering of questions about window placement and parking, as well as praise by board members.

“I do want to say, another wonderful project by the Hermans,” said member Karen Waldmann, speaking of Downtown Investors principals Jay and Todd Herman.

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IN THE WORKS: LINDEN PLACE OFFICE BRIDGE

linden-3The two Linden Place buildings above would be connected at the second floor, as seen in the rendering, below. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

linden-1One of the Wall Street brokerages that help stock Red Bank’s downtown office population is looking skyward as it plans an expansion.

Morgan Stanley, which occupies nearly all of two adjoining office buildings on Broad Street and Linden Place, wants to connect them at the second-floor level, according to plans on file with the borough.

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STAPLES TO LAND IN RED BANK’S IN-BOX

staples-broad-stThe big-box retailer will lease a space less than a quarter the size of its average store at 137-139 Broad Street.

Rcsm2_010508Staples Inc., the big-box office supply retailer, is coming to Red Bank.

But the giant seller of everything from pens to desktop computers won’t be opening one of its warehouse-sized stores here. Instead, it’ll be trying out a relatively new micro store, dubbed Staples Copy & Print, that will feature the services of the print shops in the big-box Staples plus the top 1,000 items available on their shelves.

Jay Herman, principal of site owner Downtown Investors LLC, tells redbankgreen that Staples has signed a lease for 4,000 square feet at 137-139 Broad Street, three doors up from the intersection of Harding Road.

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