51° Mostly Cloudy

RED BANK: RAYRAP HOME PLAN WINS FINAL OK

A yellow border outlines the site of developer Ray Rapcavage’s Azalea Gardens project, with Harding Road at the bottom, Clay Street to the left and Hudson Avenue at right. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Demolition of a house destroyed by fire five years ago could begin as early as this month as the first step toward the creation of a new 18-home community at Red Bank’s Five Corners, developer Ray Rapcavage told redbankgreen last week.

Read More »

RED BANK: RAYRAP CLEARS FIRST HURDLE

sposaro-121516Developer Ray Rapcavage, seated at right, and his attorney, Armen McOmber, listen as Hudson Avenue resident Anthony Sposaro endorses the Azalea Gardens project. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A year after his last try was shot down, real estate developer Ray Rapcavage won a key approval Thursday night for a new plan to rebuild a shabby half-block on the southeast edge of downtown Red Bank.

On a unanimous vote, the zoning board granted Rapcavage variances for 18 homes fronted by an English garden on Harding Road between Clay Street and Hudson Avenue.

But he’s not yet clear to start work.

Read More »

RED BANK: LATEST RAYRAP PLAN IN SPOTLIGHT

RayRap site 121015 2The project calls for 16 townhouses along Clay Street, seen at left above, that would face east into an English garden with two freestanding homes. (Photo from Google Maps. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Will RayRap have better luck this time?

A year after his last plan was shot down, real estate developer Ray Rapcavage returns to the Red Bank zoning board this week hoping to obtain approval for new plans to build homes on half a block’s worth of properties the edge of downtown.

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.”

Read More »

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.

Read More »

RED BANK: RAYRAP SEEKS ‘REHAB’ SITE LABEL

rapcavage 082714Ray Rapcavage, center above, with his wife, Suzanne, and Hudson Street resident Scott Broschart at the Five Corners site in 2014. Below, a detail of the latest proposal for the site. (Architectural rendering by David John Carnivale. Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rayrap 061316 1Having been thwarted by the zoning board, developer Ray Rapcavage plans to ask the Red Bank council to designate his assembled properties on the edge of downtown as an “area in need of rehabilitation,” redbankgreen has learned.

If granted, the controversial label would enable Rapcavage to avoid a return trip to the zoning board with his revised plan, though he denies that’s his intent.

Rather, it would create a more “expeditious” route to possible construction on the half-block of properties he’s assembled on Harding Road between Clay Street and Hudson Avenue, Rapcavage said Monday.

Read More »

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 TO PUSH FOR LAW CHANGE

rapcavage tumia 061316Ray Rapcavage, seen last month with Harding Road neighbor Kenny Tumia, above. Below, a detail of Rapcavage’s plan. (Architectural rendering by David John Carnivale. Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rayrap 061316 1Hoping to pave the way for his latest plan for a troubled site on the edge of downtown, developer Ray Rapcavage intends to ask the Red Bank council to amend the borough zoning law.

Rapcavage tells redbankgreen he’ll appear at Wednesday night’s semimonthly council session to ask for a change to allow builders to construct units with up to three bedrooms without having to seek a use variance.

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

RED BANK: RAYRAP RETURNS WITH NEW PLAN

Rayrap Site Plan 061316Ray Rapcavage, seen below on Hudson Avenue opposite his properties, including a house destroyed by fire in May, 2012. Above, a rendering of the proposed project, with an English garden fronting on Hudson and 16 condos backing up against Clay Street. (Architectural rendering by David John Carnivale. Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rapcavage 061316 1Seven months after his proposal for homes at the Five Corners site in Red Bank was shot down by the zoning board, developer Ray Rapcavage has filed completely overhauled plans with borough hall.

The new plan reduces the number of proposed homes on the site — fronting on Harding Road, Clay Street and Hudson Avenue — to 18, from 22. It includes a large English garden of winding paths out front, whereas the last plan had no open space.

And most critically for Rapcavage, the plan doesn’t need any variances, he tells redbankgreen.
Read More »

RED BANK: WHAT’S NEXT FOR RAYRAP SITE?

RayRap site 121015 2The zoning board shot down a plan to build 22 townhouses and condos on a parcel bound by Clay Street, Harding Road and Hudson Avenue, throwing the future of the site into uncertainty. (Google Earth image courtesy of Ray Rapcavage. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03It’s hard to avoid the use of the word “eyesore” when talking about the RayRap site at the Five Corners in Red Bank.

With a vacant lot that was once home to a gas station; the burned husk of a house destroyed by fire; and another notorious for having once been spray-painted black — windows, shingles and all — it’s easily one of the borough’s least visually gratifying parcels. The fact that it sits on a heavily traveled street bordering the downtown and a residential area only heightens the effect.

So now that the zoning board has shot down a plan to develop the site with 22 new homes, what happens? Are we stuck with an eyesore forever?

Read More »

RED BANK: ZONERS ZAP RAYRAP PLAN

bill brooks 120315 2Resident Bill Brooks studies a RayRap exhibit prior to the zoning board hearing. Below, a rendering of the proposed six-unit condo building that would front on Harding Road at Hudson Avenue. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rayrap condos 090815After a half-dozen hearings over 16 months and numerous revisions, a plan for 22 condos and townhouses on the edge of downtown Red Bank failed to win zoning board approval Thursday night.

Board members told developer Ray Rapcavage that though they appreciated his flexibility in accommodating the concerns of nearby residents, he hadn’t gone far enough.

“It’s just too dense,” said board chairwoman Lauren Nicosia, whose motion to reject the plan was backed by all but one other board member. Read More »

RED BANK: RAYRAP TRAFFIC PLAN RAPPED

rayrap 110515 1Planning consultant John Jahr addresses a question from Hudson Avenue resident William Hartigan as builder Ray Rapcavage props up an exhibit Thursday night. Below, a view of the six-unit condo building fronting on Harding Road, which was to have been a greenmarket. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rayrap condos 090815For the fifth time, developer Ray Rapcavage has revised his plans for a residential development on the edge of downtown Red Bank, this time to accommodate complaints that eight homes on Hudson Avenue were too close to the street.

But nearby residents voiced concerns at a zoning board hearing Thursday night that the 22-unit project would worsen traffic and parking on an already busy and narrow street.

Read More »

RED BANK: RAYRAP PLAN ON ZONING AGENDA

rayrap clay 011515rayrap 090315 2Developer Ray Rapcavage is scheduled to return to the Red Bank zoning board Thursday night with his proposal to build 22 homes on a block bounded by Harding Road, Hudson Avenue and Clay Street. Hearings on the original plan began in August, 2014, with a nine-month interim during which the proposal was revised.

Another project, the proposed 35-unit Element, opposite Riverside Gardens Park at 55 West Front Street, was also to have been heard, but has been rescheduled for December 10, according to a revised board agenda(Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: NO DECISION ON RAYRAP PLAN

rayrap 090315 1A house at the corner of Harding Road and Hudson Avenue, above, is one of five that would be demolished if  the plan is approved. Below, neighbors examined exhibits during a break in Thursday’s hearing. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rayrap 090315 3After a nine-month pause, Ray Rapcavage returned to the Red Bank zoning board Thursday night with his plan to create 22 homes on the eastern edge of the downtown.

Given the passage of time, plan revisions and the fact that three members weren’t on the board when hearings began 13 months ago, the Rumson-based builder agreed to start his presentation anew. But after some two hours of testimony, the hearing adjourned again without a decision. And it won’t resume for at least six more weeks.

Read More »

RED BANK: RAYRAP HEARING TO RESUME

rb rapcavage 081614rayrap hudson 011515More than a year after it began and nine months after the last session on the topic, the Red Bank zoning board’s hearing of Ray Rapcavage‘s plan to transform most of a block on the edge of downtown into 22 condos and townhouses is scheduled to resume Thursday night.

As reported by redbankgreen, Rapcavage recently revised the proposal — previously dubbed ‘Renaissance Village’ and now called ‘Le Belle Vue Village’ — by dropping a plan for a market on Harding Road.

The hearing — which comes after just two sessions, held in August, 2014 and January, 2015 — is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at borough hall, 90 Monmouth Street.

A hearing on plans to build 37 apartments at 55 West Front Street has been postponed to September 17, according to the meeting agenda. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: RAYRAP DROPS MARKET FROM PLAN

rb rayrap 072915Above is architect David Carnivale’s rendering of the six-unit condo building on Harding Road that would replace the previously planned market. Below, architect Cathy Zuckerman’s rendering of the condos proposed for Clay Street and Hudson Avenue. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rayrap hudson 011515Builder Ray Rapcavage has dropped his plan for a greenmarket as part of of a proposal to redevelop a block on the edge of downtown Red Bank, redbankgreen has learned.

In yet another in a series of revisions, plans filed with the borough show that instead of a 4,300-square-foot organic fruit and vegetable market fronting on Harding Road, Rapcavage now plans to erect six condos.

Read More »

RED BANK: RAYRAP PLAN RAPPED FOR SIZE

rb zoning 011515 1Audience members reviewed exhibits during a break in Thursday night’s hearing. Below, a rendering of the eight townhomes proposed for Hudson Avenue. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rayrap hudson 011515After a five-month layover that included meetings with neighbors and extensive revisions, developer Ray Rapcavage returned to the zoning board Thursday with his plans for a greenmarket and 20 homes on the edge of downtown Red Bank.

But the first round of questions from the public indicated that neighbors still consider the project too big.

Read More »

RED BANK: BURNHAM, RAPCAVAGE ON AGENDA

rb rapcavage 081614A proposed market and 20 homes at Red Bank’s five corners, above, returns to the zoning board Thursday night. Councilwoman Cindy Burnham, below, also has an application on the agenda. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

burnham 3 010114A proposed greenmarket and 20 homes on the edge of downtown Red Bank returns to the zoning board this week, four months after it was pulled back by the developer for revisions.

Also on Thursday night’s agenda: a request by borough Councilwoman Cindy Burnham to build a garage behind her home on Wallace Street.

Read More »

RED BANK: RAPCAVAGE REVISES PROPOSAL

rapcavage plan 2 081213 A proposed market, above, at Red Bank’s five corners, seen below, would have two apartments on the second floor instead of commercial space under an amended plan. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb rapcavage 081614The developer of a proposed greenmarket and 20 homes on the edge of downtown Red Bank has modified his plan to address concerns of nearby residents, he says.

Ray Rapcavage’s project, dubbed ‘Renaissance Village,’ still calls for 20 homes and a grocery story taking up half of a block bounded by Harding Road, Clay Street and Hudson Avenue.

But two of the residences would now be apartments above the market. And parking for the remaining 18 homes would be accessed via a single driveway, eliminating numerous curb cuts and preserving street parking, he told redbankgreen Wednesday.

“The plans have definitely been improved,” Rapcavage said. “A lot of these elements come from the feedback of people who were kind enough to come and take a look at” the proposal.

Read More »

RED BANK: HEARING OPENS ON MARKET PLAN

rb rayrap 082114 4Audience members reviewing the site plan for a market, condos and townhomes at Red Bank’s five corners, detailed below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb rayrap 082114 1 A proposed greenmarket and 20 homes on the edge of downtown Red Bank began what could be an extended series of hearings Thursday night.

The zoning board heard descriptive testimony for developer Ray Rapcavage’s project, dubbed ‘Renaissance Village,’ which calls for a two-story commercial building on Harding Road, 10 condos on Clay Street and 10 townhouses on Hudson Avenue.

Read More »

RED BANK: HEARING SET FOR MARKET & HOMES

Developer Ray Rapcavage’s plans call for a market, above, as well as condos and townhomes at Red Bank’s five corners, below. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb rapcavage 081614Almost a year after it was first reported by redbankgreen, an ambitious plan for a greenmarket and 20 homes on the edge of downtown Red Bank is about to get a public airing.

Developer Ray Rapcavage’s project, calling for a two-story market, 10 condos and 10 townhouses bounded by Harding Road, Hudson Avenue and Clay Street, is scheduled to go before the zoning board Thursday night.

Read More »