FAIR HAVEN: PURCHASE PLAN SCRAPPED

fair haven 623 river 022120 4The proposal called for a $3.4 million purchase of the office complex at 623 River Road, followed by an estimated $9.6 million in site redevelopment. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicFair Haven’s council has scrapped a controversial plan to buy a River Road office building for $3.4 million.

Monday’s action marked the second time plans for a proposed home for a new borough hall and police station have fallen through, and left officials turning to plan C.

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: FACILITIES PLAN ATTACKED

fair haven theresa casagrande 030520Fair Haven Administrator Theresa Casagrande at Thursday night’s event. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven residents found a lot to dislike about a proposed $3.4 million purchase of real estate for borough use when they gathered at Bicentennial Hall Thursday night.

They barraged borough Administrator Theresa Casagrande with questions and complaints about the plan’s financial impacts, the displacement of business tenants and more.

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: FACILITIES PLAN AIRING SLATED

fair haven 623 river 022120 4The consolidation plan contemplates the borough buying 623 River Road for $3.4 million. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

With little more than a day’s notice, Fair Haven has announced a public presentation over a proposed plan for a new borough hall and police station.

One council member called the alert “terribly short notice” and asked that a key vote on the proposal be tabled.

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: TENANTS HOT OVER TOWN DEAL

fair haven 623 river roadThe borough plans to buy 623 River Road, outlined in red. The star indicates the firehouse property. (Google Maps image. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Over the objections of business owners and residents, Fair Haven’s council initiated a plan Monday night to buy a River Road site, where it would create a new borough hall and police station.

Even the council’s two newest members, Democrats whose November election signaled a change in the status quo, agreed that the new facilities are “a need, not a want.” But tenants of the target building said the changes would tear at the fabric of the town.

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: TOWN IN DEAL FOR OFFICE SITE

fair haven 623 river roadThe borough plans to buy and raze the office building at 623 River Road, the mayor says. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See clarification below]

By JOHN T. WARD

After getting derailed last year, Fair Haven’s ambitious plan to consolidate borough facilities in new locations are expected to get back on track Monday night.

The town now plans to acquire and demolish the office building at 623 River Road and replace it with a new borough hall and police station, Mayor Ben Lucarelli told redbankgreen Friday morning.

Read More »

RED BANK: FIREHOUSE GETS MORE TIME

red bank what's going on hereRED BANK 40 white streetIt’s been almost six years since Red Bank sold the former firehouse on White Street to a private developer. More than two years have passed since a start-up brewery announced plans to set up in the space. And yet, the 109-year-old structure remains idle and empty.

What’s Going On Here? You ask, and redbankgreen answers…

Read More »

RED BANK: OLD BRICK BUILDINGS REVIVED

red bank nest 32 mechanic 112119 2The facade of Nest, at 32 Mechanic Street, the former Independent Engine firehouse. Below, Bottles by Sickles anchors an addition to the former Anderson Storage Building. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

RED BANK bottles by sickles 200 monmouth st.Two red brick buildings with deep roots in Red Bank have begun new lives in recent days – with assists from Brooklyn and Seattle.

One is the landmark Anderson Storage Building near the train station, where a wine shop owned by Sickles Market opened Sunday. And the former Independent Engine Company house on Mechanic Street is now home to a retail furniture store.

Read More »

RED BANK: FIREHOUSE PLAN OK’D

A memorial mounted above the door of the former Independent Engine House on Mechanic Street. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After more than a century of service, a Red Bank firehouse is about find new uses within its red brick walls.

And thanks to a recently razed house in Brooklyn, it will get some additional new —  or rather, quite old — brickwork.

 

Read More »

RED BANK: SECOND FIREHOUSE REDO PLANNED

The former Independent Engine House on Mechanic Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank could see two nearly identical former firehouses getting makeovers in coming months.

The new owner of the former Independent Engine Company firehouse, at 32 Mechanic Street, is planning to create commercial space in the bay where firetrucks were once parked.

Read More »

RED BANK: CRAFT BREWERY LEASES FIREHOUSE

John Cocozza and partners plan to open a craft brewery called Ross Brewing Company in the former Liberty Hose Company firehouse on White Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

In another sign of a possible tsunami of craft beer coming to downtown Red Bank, the former Liberty Hose Company firehouse on White Street has been leased to a startup brewery, the principals said Thursday.

Read More »

RED BANK: TOP BID $392,587 FOR FIREHOUSE

RB independent engine 93 061016 1The Independent Engine House on Mechanic Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD
HOT-TOPIC_02

Red Bank ‘s second firehouse auction in two years attracted four times the number of bidders as the first one, but ended at a lower top bid.

David Glassberg of Little Silver was the apparent bid winner of the Independent Engine Company, at 32 Mechanic Street opposite Globe Court.

Read More »

RED BANK: SECOND FIREHOUSE UP FOR SALE

RB independent engine 93 061016 2The Independent Engine House on Mechanic Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD
HOT-TOPIC_02

For the second time in little more than two years, Red Bank is looking to unload a firehouse.

On Wednesday night, without discussion, the council unanimously agreed to put the home of the Independent Engine Company, at 32 Mechanic Street opposite Globe Court, up for sealed-bid auction on August 30.

Read More »

RED BANK: CHURN GALORE

red bank r barber 053116 1Marcos Ramirez shows customer Chris Hawkins his haircut at the newly opened Red Bank R Barber Shop on Shrewsbury Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly reported that Playa Bowls needs variances to open. The plan has been approved and no variances were needed, according to borough officials.]

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallKicking off its second decade of covering the endless comings and goings of Red Bank merchants, redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has the scoop on these churnings:

• The debut of  new dance studio

• One barber shop opens, and another relocates

• The departure of a “hippie shop” and plans by a tailor to replace it

• A fruit bowl business plans to open

• RiverCenter puts a bow on 2015

All that and more awaits, just around the “read more” corner… Read More »

RED BANK: ANOTHER RESTAURANT APPROVED

132 broad 040416The Red Lantern restaurant won clearance to open at 132 Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The dizzying transformation of downtown Red Bank into a place to dine, for those who can find parking, got another boost Monday night.

The borough planning board approved a plan to convert retail space at 132 Broad Street to a restaurant, despite a shortfall of 25 parking spots.

Read More »

RED BANK: RESTAURANTS ON PLANNING AGENDA

132 broad 040416The former storefront at 132 Broad Street is the subject of a request for an Asian restaurant called Red Lantern, which needs a parking variance. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[UPDATE: Borough planning and zoning director Glenn Carter tells us the plan for the former firehouse at 40 White Street has been amended to a proposed retail use, from an earlier request for a restaurant. The original version of this story has been changed to reflect that.]

By JOHN T. WARD

Plans for two restaurants and a retail space the agendas of Red Bank’s planning and zoning board meetings this week.

Read More »

RED BANK: BAGEL SHOP OPENS

hot bagels 040816 2hot bagels 040816 1Mike Gambale removes fresh product from the oven at Hot Bagels Brooklyn’s Finest, a deli that opened Friday morning in a former used-car lot at Maple Avenue and Broad Street in Red Bank. The business was the subject of a last-minute, and successful bid for some minor variances needed to open earlier this week.

Gambale owns the shop with Nikos Zaires, who grew up working with his father in a Brooklyn bagel shop. “This is his recipe,” said Zaires, and the result is “a true Brooklyn bagel: kettle-cooked and baked.” (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

CHURN: BAGEL SHOP OK’D; NEW EATERY OPENS

zaires gambale 040416Nikos Zaires and Mike Gambale in their new shop, Hot Bagels Brooklyn’s Finest. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallA just-about-ready-to-open bagel shop got the green light from the Red Bank planning board Monday night.

But hearings on two other proposed new restaurants were rescheduled once again. And yet another eatery, this one with the word “eatery” in its name, opened on Broad Street Monday.

It’s all here in the latest serving of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

Read More »

RED BANK: FULL MENU OF RESTAURANT CASES

hot bagels 040416Test baking is already underway at Hot Bagels Brooklyn’s Finest, at Broad Street and Maple Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Will the owners of a brand-new, ready-to-open bagel store get the OK for the walk-in refrigerator they need to operate? Will the owners of a former downtown firehouse get the green light to build a restaurant there? Will a new Asian eatery be allowed in a former mattress store?

Those three questions loom over Monday night’s Red Bank planing board agenda.

Read More »

RED BANK: SELF-STORAGE FACILITY APPROVED

total storage 021716Architect Richard Arzberger’s rendering of the proposed Total Storage facility at Central Avenue and Berry Street. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank-area homes and businesses could use some more elbow room, the owner of a proposed 500-unit self-storage facility told the borough planning board Monday night.

And the project would be built in the right place, board members said in giving the plan unanimous approval.

Read More »

RED BANK: PACKED PLANNING BOARD AGENDA

40 white st 021816 3Architectural renderings show a proposed restaurant at the former Liberty Hose firehouse, above, and a three-story storage facility on Central Avenue, below. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

total storage 021716Be careful: the Red Bank planning board’s plate is hot Monday night.

The agenda calls for the board to hear testimony on three high-profile plans, two of which would add to the borough’s burgeoning restaurant market.

Read More »

RED BANK: FIREHOUSE EATERY PLAN FILED

40 white st 021816 2Architect Mike Simpson’s drawings show outdoor dining areas in front of and beside the former firehouse. Below, the building’s interior in 2014. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

40 WHITE 092314 2Already on fire with new restaurants, Red Bank’s downtown dining market could get hotter soon.

The new owners of the former Liberty Hose Company firehouse on White Street hope to convert the 105-year-old building into a restaurant, with two luxury apartments upstairs.

Read More »

RED BANK: LAUTERWASSER TO BE FD CHIEF

rbfd chiefs 120214 1Chief-elect Joe Lauterwasser, right arrives at the First Aid building Tuesday night with his prospective first deputy, Chris Soden, left, and second deputy Pete DeFazio, center. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03If there’s one constant that defines the Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department, it’s family.

That was evident on Tuesday night, when the 143-year-old department’s annual election night celebration was dominated by names and faces that would have been familiar to attendees generations ago.

“We’re based on tradition,” said ex-chief George Lauterwasser (2002) as he awaited the arrival of the chief-elect, his 30-year-old son, Joe, at the First Aid building on Spring Street with dozens of other volunteers. “We keep it up with the kids. We’re old school.”

Read More »

RED BANK: WHAT SHOULD GO HERE?

40 WHITE 092314 1Restaurant? Bakery? Something else? The owners of the former Liberty Hose Company firehouse are looking for the perfect match for the vacant structure. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

40 WHITE 092314 2Everybody’s got an opinion. But does anyone have a solid, workable idea for the former Liberty Hose Company firehouse’s second act?

The owners of the 103-year building at 40 White Street in Red Bank are open to suggestions, says John Morgan, who along with his brother and father, both named Michael, bought the two-story, red brick structure from the borough earlier this year for $400,000.

“This is such a unique building that you want something that’s going to fit its persona,” Morgan told redbankgreen on a recent tour of the property. And the family is committed to “local.,” he said. “We don’t want somebody from New York to come in.”

Read More »

SEA BRIGHT: TAXES, FIREHOUSE PACK COUNCIL

sb council 080514 1Mayor Dina Long, center above, helped move tables to accommodate an overflow crowd Tuesday night. John Lamia, below, was sworn to fill the unexpired term of Read Murphy. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

john lamia 080514A boatload of critical issues came crashing ashore in Sea Bright Tuesday night, as officials and residents wrestled with soaring taxes, where to put a Sandy-wrecked firehouse and more.

Dozens of residents packed a bimonthly borough council with their concerns: a bulkhead ordinance that would require some property owners to raise the level of protection adjoining their homes along the Shrewsbury River; a plan to build a 150-foot tall cell tower just feet from the ocean beach behind borough hall; the timing of repairs to the seawall.

Two matters in particular drew concerted heat: a proposal to rent land for use as a temporary fire station from a former mayor in arrears on taxes, and a 10-percent increase in tax bills, reflecting a whopping 17-percent increase to cover the cost of sending borough kids to Shore Regional High School in West Long Branch.

That one, and other issues, reflected longstanding frustrations.

“Twenty-five years ago, when I first came on the council – it was a subject then,” said Councilman Jack Keeler. “It hasn’t changed.”

Read More »