BANK GOES TO PLAN B ON FORMER HOV HQ

old-khov1The former Hovnanian Enterprises headquarters in Middletown is in the midst of a complete makeover and almost ready for tenants. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Following a failed proposal to open a bank with a drive-through at the old Hovnanian Enterprises headquarters on Route 35 in Middletown, the building’s owner, Valley National Bank, has moved on to a new idea: completely overhauling the three-and-a-half story, box-like building and leasing it out.

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MIDDLETOWN ESTATE SPLIT GETS AN INTRO

hillendale-farm-31Arthur and Leslie Parent’s home at Hillandale Farm, as seen from Chapel Hill Road. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Objections to a plan to subdivide an historic estate in the Chapel Hill section of Middletown were not heard at Monday night’s zoning board meeting, but at least a couple of them were addressed.

The board limited each of its four scheduled hearings to an hour, thereby delaying any public outcry over Arthur and Leslie Parent’s plan to subdivide their 5.1-acre property on Chapel Hill Road. The time limit allowed only for an introduction and overview of plans for the parcel by a civil engineer.

The residents will get their chance, though, said Chairman James Hinckley.

“One thing that is guaranteed: the public will always have its right to be heard,” he said. “Sometime it takes more than one hearing.”

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BANK EYES FORMER HOVNANIAN HQ

old-k-hov-hqIt’s been a few years since anybody’s operated in there, but a bank hopes to make the old Hovnanian home base its new digs. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

For the first time in four years, the former headquarters of home builder Hovnanian Enterprises has a serious candidate to take up residence in the Middletown building overlooking the Navesink River.

Neighbors don’t want it.

Valley National Bank, which is listed as the owner of the 27,000 square-foot, four-story building, has submitted plans to build a drive-through at the Route 35 location and use the other three levels for already-zoned office use.

The Wayne-based bank chain, with branches nearby in Red Bank and Middletown, is in the midst of zoning board hearings as it seeks a variance to use the property for bank purposes, said Jason Greenspan, Middletown’s planner.

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