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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: DEMS BACK ‘PURE’ GARAGE

Councilman and party chairman Ed Zipprich, flanked by fellow Democrats Erik Yngstrom and Kathy Horgan in January. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The three Democrats on the Red Bank council — and a candidate to join them there — endorsed a downtown parking solution that calls for a new White Street garage without additional development Tuesday.

The announcement set the course for a possible head-on collision with the governing body’s three Republicans, who have championed an approach that welcomed the possibility of hundreds of new housing units as well as a parking deck.

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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: MUMFORD LOCKS UP EXTRA SITES

Yellow Brook principal Roger Mumford with a rendering of a building on the site of Atlantic Glass at the northwest corner of White Street and Maple Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Of the five proposed plans for White Street presented to the Red Bank parking committee Wednesday night, only one had what Roger Mumford’s had: a lock on two adjoining properties.

Mumford also arrived at the meeting with a singular certainty that without those sites, the project isn’t worth doing.

“We don’t have five different concepts,” Mumford told the committee and a standing-room crowd at borough hall, in a veiled reference to one of his competitors. “We’ve got one, because we really like it.”

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RED BANK: TOWNHOUSE LOOK FOR MILL CREEK

An image from the Mill Creek Residential proposal. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s parking woes can be addressed by a garage disguised to look like a row of townhouses that were erected over the course of many years, representatives of Dallas-based Mill Creek Residential told the borough parking committee Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: DOBCO PLANS ‘CORRIDOR’ TO RIVER

An image from the Dobco pitch included off-site improvements along English Plaza, opposite the White Street project site. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

David DeConde, a business development manager Dobco Inc., drew gasps Wednesday night when he said his company was proposing 110 parking spaces on Red Bank’s White Street redevelopment zone.

Oops: he meant 1,010 spots, DeConde quickly corrected, chuckling along with the audience at his flub. “It’s been a long day,” he said of his misstatement.

In fact, his company’s plan calls for the greatest gross number of new parking spaces among five proposals submitted by would-be redevelopers of the site, which now has slots for 273 vehicles.

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RED BANK: BNE PUSHES ‘APPROPRIATE SCALE’

Jonathan Schwartz, right, and Jack Tycher of BNE Canoe with a rendering of their proposed White Street project. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Among the contenders for the right to develop Red Bank’s White Street parking lot site, BNE Real Estate Group  and Canoe Brook Development can do it all in-house, a principal in the Livingston-based partnership said Wednesday night.

Their proposal calls for a seven-story, 704-vehicle garage that would be built “as fast as possible” enroute to a project that includes 204 rental apartments and no retail space, principal Jack Tycher told the borough parking committee.

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RED BANK: BIJOU TOUTS GREEN APPROACH

Architect John Nastasi describes the proposed Bijou project Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Bijou Properties founder Larry Bijou touted his firm’s track record in building environmentally friendly projects in Hoboken when he addressed Red Bank’s parking committee Wednesday night.

And officials in Hoboken, “they don’t want to be Jersey City,” he said, an apparent response to criticism by Red Bank Democrats that their Republican colleagues were pushing a “Jersey City-style high rise vision” for the heart of the borough.

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RED BANK: PARKING PLANS MOVE TO THE FORE

Advocates for a White Street garage have brought proposals farther than any in a dozen years, but still face big tests. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

It starts to get real this week, when more than a decade’s worth of talk about Red Bank parking moves into a new stage.

Proposals by five would-be developers of a public garage, and possibly much more, on the site of the borough-owned White Street parking lot are scheduled to get their first public airing Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: DEMS GOAD GOP OVER GARAGE

The 273-space White Street was at capacity at midday Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank council’s Democrats goaded two of their Republican counterparts Thursday to take sides on pending development proposals for the White Street parking lot.

GOP council members Linda Schwabenbauer and Mark Taylor “are the only two members of the governing body who have not provided the public with their position on the matter in the eight weeks since” five proposals for the site were received, Democrats Ed Zipprich, Kathy Horgan and Erik Yngstrom said in a statement.

“We do not answer to Ed Zipprich,” Schwabenbauer said in response.

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RED BANK: WILL ‘PURE’ GARAGE GET A SHOT?

John Bowers’ plan calls for the borough to build a garage without housing or stores on the White Street lot.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

As Red Bank officials, taxpayers and merchants sort through last week’s data dump of ambitious development proposals for the White Street parking lot, John Bowers may hold the wild card.

That’s because the downtown landlord’s proposal is the simplest, cheapest and quickest — and with the sudden shift by three council Democrats, it may also be the most politically palatable. But will it get equal time?

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RED BANK GARAGE: BIJOU PROPOSAL

A view of the proposed Bijou project as seen from English Plaza looking south, with a warm-weather festival underway. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Here are the highlights of the proposal for a new Red Bank parking garage submitted by Bijou Properties, one of five developers to submit plans in response to a borough solicitation earlier this year.

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RED BANK GARAGE: DOBCO PLAN

An image from the Dobco pitch. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Here are the highlights of the proposal for a new Red Bank parking garage submitted by Dobco, Inc., one of five developers to submit plans in response to a borough solicitation earlier this year.

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RED BANK GARAGE: YELLOW BROOK’S ‘BEACON’

Yellow Brook’s proposed project, dubbed the Beacon, as seen from the northwest. Borough hall is at lower right. The plan incorporates the freestanding Atlantic Glass property at the northwest corner of White Street and Maple Avenue. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

[See correction below]

Here are the highlights of the proposal for a new Red Bank parking garage submitted by Yellow Brook Property Company LLC, one of five developers to submit plans in response to a borough solicitation earlier this year.

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RED BANK: DEMS VOW TO FIGHT GARAGE PLANS

Democrats denounced the five proposals regarding the White Street parking lot as part of “an aggressive course of urbanization” pushed by Republicans. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

[Correction: Councilman Ed Zipprich is the only Democrat up for re-election this year. He’s expected to face off against incumbent Republican Linda Schwabenbauer.]

The three Democrats on the Red Bank council denounced their Republican counterparts late Wednesday for pushing a “Jersey City-style high rise vision” that could result in 12-story buildings with hundreds of residences on the site of the White Street parking lot.

In a press release issued hours after the council agreed to publish proposals submitted by five would-be developers of of a downtown parking facility, Democrats Ed Zipprich, Kathy Horgan and Erik Yngstrom vowed “staunch opposition” to the proposals, which one termed “ridiculous” in size.

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RED BANK: SPARKS FLY OVER BUDGET

Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, seen here last May with GOP colleagues Mark Taylor and Mike Whelan, found herself at odds with them, and Mayor Pasquale Menna, Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank adopted its 2017 budget Wednesday night amid some odd political frictions.

Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, who leads the budget-setting finance committee, took clear umbrage at a last-minute critique of the spending plan by Mayor Pasquale Menna. Then, the only ‘no’ votes when it came up for adoption were cast by her two fellow Republicans on the dais.

And before the night was over, Schwabenbauer’s main adversary in this year’s election, Democrat Ed Zipprich, issued a press release commending her.

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RED BANK: PARTIES TAP COUNCIL CANDIDATES

This year’s council candidates include Democrats Ed Zipprich, left, and Michael Ballard, center, and Republican Linda Schwabenbauer, right. Missing is Schwabenbauer running mate Dana McArthur. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The primary races for two Red Bank council seats will be uncontested in June, with the Democrats and Republicans having firmed up their two-person tickets Monday.

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RED BANK: TAX BILLS TO RISE 2.9 PERCENT

Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, a CPA who heads the finance committee. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxes

Typical Red Bank homeowners would see a $x increase in the borough portion of their 2017 property tax bills under a budget introduced at Wednesday night’s council meeting.

For the owner of a home assessed at the town-average $362,342, that means an increase of $57.25 for the year.

 

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RED BANK: BURNHAM CASTS FINAL ‘NO’ VOTE

cindy-burnham-122816Council President Cindy Burnham at her final meeting as a member of the governing body Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Firebrand activist Cindy Burnham ended her  term on Red Bank’s council Wednesday night vowing to continue the work that made her its most consistent contrarian.

On her way out, she cast the last in a long series of “no” votes in which she was the lone dissenter.

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RED BANK: ZIPPRICH ZAPPED ON ‘ORAL’ TWEET

ed zipprich 081215Councilman Ed Zipprich said there was “no sexual innuendo” in his tweet Trump running mate Pence. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Election_2016_PlainRed Bank Republicans on Wednesday accused Democratic councilman and party chairman Ed Zipprich of making a not-so-veiled and “bigoted” reference to oral sex about GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence last month.

During the October 4 vice presidential debate between Pence and Democratic nominee Tim Kaine, Zipprich asked on Twitter, “did #mikepence just say he spends time on his knees every day?”

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ON THE GREEN: A FORTUNE IN HISTORIC VALUE

mumford fortune 072716 2The Eastern Branch of the Monmouth County Library in Shrewsbury hosts an exhibit about Red Bank’s T. Thomas Fortune House, seen here during a student tour in July. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.) 

Press release from T. Thomas Fortune Project Committee

The fourth annual T. Thomas Fortune Birthday Celebration (a fundraiser hosted recently at the Oyster Point Hotel under the title “Fortune . . . Telling the Truth”) kicked off a string of events to highlight the restoration of the T. Thomas Fortune House, a National Historic Landmark, into the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center.

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