RED BANK: FOOD TRUCK BAN TO CONTINUE

red bank riverside avenue gas stationA proposal would have allowed food trucks to operate on underused property outside the downtown, including the vacant gas station at Riverside and Bridge avenues. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA push to end Red Bank’s ban on food trucks ran out of gas Wednesday night.

Over the objections of one of their colleagues, council members sided with owners of brick-and-mortar restaurants, who say trucks would unfairly undermine them while rewarding other property owners for neglect.

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RED BANK: FOOD TRUCKS UP FOR DISCUSSION

johnny's 1 111113John Yarusi risked a summons when he parked his Johnny’s Pork Roll truck on Wallace Street in a short-lived experiment test of borough law in 2013. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njIs Red Bank ready at last to unlock the gates that keep out food trucks?

The idea of easing restrictions on food truck operations came up at last week’s borough council workshop meeting, as it has in the past. But this time, it’s not being summarily rejected by the agency that promotes the downtown business district.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL DROPS REVERSE APPEALS

red bank nj oceanfirst hqThe OceanFirst Bank headquarters was the subject of a reverse appeal case settled Wednesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njBombarded by criticism from the business community, the Red Bank council on Wednesday dropped a plan to pursue a new round of  “reverse appeals” against commercial properties it believed to be undertaxed.

But first, the council approved the settlement of an older reverse appeal that will boost the taxable value of a downtown building by 69 percent over three years. And battles over cases filed in 2018 continue.

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RED BANK: NEW RIVERCENTER VISION & HQ

scavone menna red bank, nj,RiverCenter executive director Jim Scavone, left, with Mayor Pasquale Menna and Visitors Center executive director Margaret Mass at the office’s opening last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank RiverCenter embarked on a new mission last week.

The manager of the town’s special improvement district nailed down a fresh set of priorities that calls for greater emphasis on leveraging the town’s Navesink River waterfront as a draw for visitors and investors.

It also opened its new offices to Broad Street.

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RED BANK: WHITE STREET FIXES OUTLINED

The makeover plan would affect English Plaza and the stretch of White Street from English Plaza to Broad Street, above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s chaotic English Plaza and White Street area may become a part-time oasis under a concept plan unveiled Wednesday night.

Working with a $500,000 zero-interest loan from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Red Bank RiverCenter also aims to make the space safer for pedestrians an motorists, officials told the borough council.

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RED BANK: RIVERCENTER ‘VISION’ SHARPENS

Bill Fontana speaking at the Two River Theater Monday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After four months of public meetings, Red Bank RiverCenter‘s effort to redefine its vision began coming into focus Monday night.

Topping a list of six priorities that the downtown promotion agency should focus on is a “reimagined, redeveloped and reinvigorated riverfront,” a consultant told several dozen business owners and borough residents at the Two River Theater.

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RED BANK: DOWNTOWN ‘VISION’ GAINS FOCUS

Consultant Bill Fontana onstage at the Two River Theater Monday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Downtown Red Bank is safe, clean and friendly, but it’s got problems with parking, store vacancies and its mix of operating businesses.

Those observations, while perhaps glaringly evident to many, were among the findings of a recent survey conducted for business promotion agency Red Bank RiverCenter and revealed Monday night.

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RED BANK: RIVERCENTER REBOOT BEGINS

Attendees filling out questionnaires at the RiverCenter strategy session at the Oyster Point Hotel Monday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Amid intensifying competition regionally for business investment and shoppers, Red Bank RiverCenter kicked off a four-month effort to redefine its vision for the downtown Monday night.

About 70 people, most of them merchants, gathered in a ballroom at the Oyster Point Hotel to hear from a consultant on how to determine “what you want this place to look like in 10 years,” as he put it.

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RED BANK: RETHINKING RIVERCENTER’S JOB

The downtown promotion agency RiverCenter kicks off a mission review next week, and is seeking public input, its officials say. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Through his Monmouth Street store, the Cheese Cave, Steve Catania has been doing business in Red Bank for seven years. And for much of that time, he’s been involved in efforts to advance the interests of downtown retailers like himself.

But if you ask them, most probably couldn’t tell you what Red Bank RiverCenter‘s job really is, says Catania. And that’s a problem, given that it’s supposed to be their advocate.

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RED BANK: PARKING, TAXES & MORE

A consultant was hired to conduct a long-awaited parking study following the failure last year of plans to redevelop the White Street lot, above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

At last Wednesday’s meeting of the Red Bank council, these things happened:

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RED BANK: RIVERCENTER KICKS IN ON PARKING

The borough council is expected to choose a consultant next week to assess parking needs in downtown Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Stalled since the November election, an effort to address parking issues in downtown Red Bank appears about to get back on track next week.

That’s when the borough council is expected to designate a parking consultant, to be paid for in part with funds from Red Bank RiverCenter.

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RED BANK: DOUBTS ON PRESERVATION LAW

Homes along Washington Street, in the borough’s designated historic district, would be affected by the ordinance, as would properties beyond the district’s borders. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Does Red Bank’s Historic Preservation Commission need more teeth?

The borough’s planning board began chewing on that question Monday night, and seemed not to like the taste of it.

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RED BANK: LOOKING UPSTAIRS FOR PARKING

Local officials say the usage mix and vacancy rates of upper floors downtown factors into parking needs and taxes. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

As the Red Bank council goes back to the drawing board in search of  parking solutions after last year’s abandoned flirtation with five developers, local officials admit they’ve got a problem upstairs.

They don’t know how much parking to allocate for upper-floor office and residential tenants downtown. Nobody, it turns out, has been keeping tabs.

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RED BANK: SCAVONE FACT-CHECKS BURNHAM

burnham-101816-1Council President Cindy Burnham at the West Side Community Group’s candidate’s forum Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge) 

Election_2016_Plain

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank RiverCenter went on the offensive Wednesday in response to a call by incumbent Councilwoman Cindy Burnham for its elimination.

A day after Burnham, a former Republican seeking re-election as an independent, told an audience that “we need to get rid of RiverCenter,” the autonomous entity’s executive director wrote letter that challenged her on several points, including the sum it collects from downtown property owners.

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RED BANK: DOWNTOWN GETS INSTANT MURAL

rb mural 060416 4A team of painters, including 13 students from the visual arts program at Red Bank Regional, worked on the mural throughout the day Saturday and into early Sunday. (Photos by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb mural 060416 3Racing to finish before an expected rain, a team of artists and volunteers painted a two-story mural in downtown Red Bank over the weekend.

Overlooking the parking lot for Buona Sera restaurant at Monmouth Street and Maple Avenue, the mural promotes a film festival scheduled to light up movie screens in town next month.

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RED BANK: FILM FEST MURAL GREENLIGHTED

rb IFF Mural 051116A scan from a flyer given out at Wednesday’s council meeting shows a rendering of the proposed mural, at left, and the building it would go on. At bottom right is a 150-foot-tall mural the artist, Misha Tyutyunik, helped create in SoHo. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A prominent black wall in downtown Red Bank may soon be covered with a two-story-high, somewhat psychedelic mural.

The borough council greenlighted the makeover Wednesday night after an organizer of a film festival scheduled to hit town this summer offered it as what he called a “gift” to the town.

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RED BANK: PARK THIS WAY

rb parking 041916LicPlate1Council President Cindy Burnham, left, and downtown business owners Wendy Jones and George Lyristis gathered to watch the installation of a new parking sign at Broad Street and Wallace Street in Red Bank Tuesday morning. All three expressed hope that better signage for the underutilized East Side lots will relieve pressure in the White Street and English Plaza lots. 

Red Bank Flavour, a consortium of downtown restaurants, picked up the$1,500 tab for the sign; Burnham said she hopes to have the borough install six more.  (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: LONE PARKING SIGN TO GO UP

rb wallace 041416 1Below, a rendering indicates the size and height of the sign, but not the actual location; it’s to be installed on a lamppost at Broad Street and Wallace Street, above.  (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb parking sign 041316 3After years of clamoring by merchants and others, downtown Red Bank is about to get new signage indicating the existence and location of its underutilized East Side parking lots.

“Signage” as in a single sign.

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RED BANK: INDIE FILM FEST SET FOR SUMMER

basie screen 070114The big screen at the Count Basie Theatre, seen here during a live broadcast of the 2014 World Cup, will serve as the home screen for a film festival scheduled to run in July. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

ClapboardKept on a restricted diet for the past eight years, Red Bank-area fans of independent movies will finally get to binge again this summer.

An outfit called Indie Street — in conjunction with Red Bank RiverCenter, three major entertainment venues and even the borough middle school — is planning screenings of as many as 30 films over five days in July.

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SEA BRIGHT: THE MOCO’S GOT MOJO

Press release from Monmoth County Arts Council

8cb44e05-02fd-413a-903f-4acfa7b97e7dFor its annual Celebration of the Arts fundraiser, the Red Bank-based Monmouth County Arts Council celebrates the recently established MoCo Arts Corridor initiative — and honors a trio of dedicated individuals from around the greater Red Bank Green — in an event presented under the banner “The Arts Mean Business.”

Scheduled for Friday, October 23 at Edgewater Beach & Cabana Club in Sea Bright, the 7-10 pm occasion features a silent auction, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and buffet dinner, all enhanced by performances and exhibits spotlighting the work of several Monmouth County artists — and all dedicated to the ongoing support of such MCAC programs as the Teen Arts Festival, ArtHelps, and the Arts Education Awards.

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