RED BANK: WAWA MEGASTORE PLAN YANKED

Former Red Bank mayor Ed McKenna, left, grilled Wawa engineer Mark Whitaker over the proposal at a zoning board hearing in March. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[UPDATE: This post contains comments from site ower Frank Sala, who was unavailable at the time of the original posting.]

By JOHN T. WARD

Wawa’s coffee, subs and gasoline prices may have earned it a devoted following, but a controversial plan to build a supersized convenience store and filling station on Red Bank’s southern border has been withdrawn, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: CORNER PROJECT ‘TOO BIG’

The two buildings on the northeast corner of West Front Street and Maple Avenue would be replaced under Mark Forman’s plan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s planning board asked the developer of proposed commercial and residential building at a key corner downtown to make it smaller Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: TRAFFIC TALK SLOWS WAWA PLAN

The Wawa site plan, with the store at top and gas pump island shown in yellow, calls for the creation of a new center lane on Newman Springs Road allowing motorists traveling in both directions to make left turns. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Like a motorist stuck in rush-hour traffic, a supersized Wawa convenience store and filling station proposed for a problematic Red Bank intersection inched forward Thursday night.

At issue as the zoning board weighs the plan: whether the project would make congestion worse or improve traffic flow near the intersection of Newman Springs Road and Broad Street.

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RED BANK: WAWA TOUTS TRAFFIC PLAN

A site plan for the proposed project shows the store at center, the fueling area as the yellow rectangle, and center lane left-turn markings on Newman Springs Road, at bottom. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rather than worsening conditions for motorists, a proposed Wawa convenience store and filling station in Red Bank would come with roadway upgrades to improve traffic flow and safety near a busy intersection, witnesses told the borough zoning board Thursday night.

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RESIDENTS READY TO FIRE BACK AT AVAYA

four-ponds1Four Ponds architect Ned Gaunt gave the first look at color drawings of the proposed homes at the former Avaya property in Lincroft. Below, an opponent of the plan in a t-shirt worn by many in the audience. (Photos by Stacie Fanellii. Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

four-ponds-opponentAs a development company’s team of professionals continued to lobby for approval by Middletown’s planning board of a major residential community in Lincroft, opponents of the plan anxiously waited their turn Wednesday night.

That time is still weeks away, as testimony on the proposed redevelopment of the former Avaya property continued with more traffic study findings and the introduction of the 342-unit housing plan’s schematics that were met with familiar boos in a crowded meeting room.

Waiting patiently for their turn on the floor, three residents who’ve hired an attorney to counter the studies and findings by representatives of Four Ponds Associates sat listening to details of the unfolding plan to convert the 68-acre property from commercial to residential use.

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STUDY: AVAYA TRAFFIC WON’T BE THAT BAD

avaya-t-shirtFour Ponds development opponents were well-represented at Wednesday’s planning board meeting. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Even in a worst-case scenario, traffic in and out of the proposed Four Ponds development in Lincroft won’t have as big an impact on the area as neighbors fear, according to a traffic study presented to the Middletown Planning Board Wednesday night.

The 342-unit development, if approved, would be better— traffic-wise — for the town than a return to professional use of the 68-acre property on Middletown-Lincroft Road, said traffic consultant John Rea, of McDonough & Rea Associates in Manasquan. The site is the former home of business technology giant Avaya, where a vacant 352,000-square-foot building once housed a bustling tech industry until it was closed a few years ago.

“It has been used in the past, and it has generated higher traffic volumes than what is proposed today,” he said.

Members of the board, though, pushed back against a number of statistics Rea offered, saying traffic in that section of town can slow to a crawl and prompts travelers to seek shortcuts.

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