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RED BANK: PARKING REVENUE STILL ON TABLE

pasquale menna, michael ballard, red bank njCouncilman Michael Ballard, center, and Mayor Pasquale Menna on election night 2017. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s mayor and council say they’re “hopeful and optimistic” about implementing the recommendations of a bombshell parking study delivered this month.

The assertion was made Tuesday in an unusual press release that appeared to walk back comments made by Mayor Pasquale Menna and Councilman Michael Ballard to redbankgreen last week, when they termed a key recommendation in the report potentially “catastrophic” and a “terrible hit” for taxpayers.

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RED BANK: ‘WEANING’ FROM METERS UNLIKELY

Using meters to fund town operations leaves the parking utility “without adequate financial resources” for maintenance and upgrades, the report found. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxesOne of the key recommendations of a bombshell study of Red Bank parking appears unlikely to be adopted by borough officials anytime soon, redbankgreen has learned.

At issue: the council’s annual siphoning of the surplus generated by parking meters and kiosks in order to slow property tax increases. Ending the practice, says Mayor Pasquale Menna, would be “catastrophic” for taxpayers.

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RED BANK: PARKING SYSTEM FOUND ‘BROKEN’

Carrie Krasnow, with study co-author Brian Bartholomew looking on, addresses the audience at the Red Bank Primary School Thursday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank might soon need another 220 or so parking spaces downtown, but it doesn’t need a parking garage just yet, a pair of experts say in a long-awaited study unwrapped Thursday night.

Instead, local officials first have to fix a “broken” parking management system, they said.

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RED BANK: PARKING STUDY UNBOXING SLATED

red bank nj parking white street[Correction: Meeting to be held at primary school, not the middle school.]

More than a year after a push to redevelop Red Bank’s main parking facility ran into a wall, the results of a parking study will be unwrapped Thursday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: COUNCIL SAYS ‘BYE-BYE, 2018’

red bank nj councilman mark taylor cole At his last meeting as a councilman, Mark Taylor posed with his infant son, Cole, as his wife, Ashley, took their photo. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank council wrapped up 2018 last week with swan songs for two one-term members of the governing body, one of whom was the youngest ever elected in the borough’s history.

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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: UPDATED ‘RAIL’ ROLLS TO OK

RED BANK, nj, denholtz, railAn architect’s depiction of the proposed Rail multiuse project, as seen from the intersection of Oakland Street and Bridge Avenue, with St. Anthony’s Church at right. (Rendering by Rotwein+Blake. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAn expanded version of an ambitious mixed-use development proposed alongside the Red Bank train station got the express treatment from the borough planning board Monday night.

 

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RED BANK: DEVELOPMENT ISSUES AT THE FORE

downtown red bank njRed Bank RiverCenter’s new strategic plan for the central business district is scheduled for unveiling Monday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See correction below]

By JOHN T. WARD

Three issues that could alter the look and feel of Red Bank for generations arrive at key inflection points Monday night.

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RED BANK: PARKING GRIPES, IDEAS ECHOED

Parking consultants Carrie Krasnow and Brian Bartholomew listen to restaurateur George Lyristis at the Red Bank Middle School Monday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Like visitors circling the White Street lot in search of a spot, Red Bank merchants and residents took another spin at solving downtown parking issues Monday night.

In the same auditorium where a similar forum was held 14 months ago, about 50 participants showed up at the borough middle school to advocate for improvements, many of them echoes of long-standing complaints and suggestions.

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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: SAN REMO SITE ADDED TO PLAN

Denholtz has acquired the home of San Remo, at right, and the former Racioppi’s restaurant, at left. Both will be demolished and incorporated into a project with apartments and retail. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

An ambitious bid to remake properties alongside the Red Bank train station is about to become more ambitious, redbankgreen has learned.

In the process, a popular Italian restaurant is closing.

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RED BANK: FIRST WORKSHOP’S A MARATHON

Instead of taking their usual places on the dais, the mayor and council members sat around a large conference table for the meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank council’s first-ever workshop-only meeting proved to be a marathon of matters large and small Wednesday night.

Among the topics discussed at the three-and-a-half-hour session: ways to “deal with the issue” of vehicles parked indefinitely outside the home of an unspecified Bank Street resident, though it was widely understood who that was.

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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: MIXED-USE BUILDING WINS OK

An architect’s rendering, below, of the new building proposed for 160 Shrewsbury Avenue, above. (Rendering by Michael Monroe. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank planning board last week approved a mixed-use structure proposed for the site of a home on Shrewsbury Avenue.

Developer Bekim Kosovrasti’s plan calls for the demolition of the existing house at 160 Shrewsbury, at the corner of Earl Street, and replacing it with a 7,500-square-foot, mixed-use structure.

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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: 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: BIG PLANS FOR HUMBLE PROPERTY

An architect’s rendering of the new building proposed for 160 Shrewsbury Avenue. (Rendering by Michael Monroe. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A humble and easily overlooked Red Bank property could become the latest addition to the rapid redevelopment underway along Shrewsbury Avenue.

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RED BANK: STORM BRINGS TICKET BLITZ II

A car left on South Street during the storm. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

For the second time this year, a  snowstorm that plopped about a foot of snow on Red BankWednesday and early Thursday came with a blizzard of parking tickets.

Police issued 260 parking violations during the storm, tying a one-day record set during a January 4 storm, police Chief Darren McConnell tells redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: NO TICKET BLIZZARD, EITHER

By JOHN T. WARD

This week’s snowstorm was no match for a January blizzard, both in terms of of the amount of white stuff left behind and the number of parking tickets issued by Red Bank police.

In contrast to the ticket blizzard that racked up 260 parking violations during the January 4 and 5 storm, the latest storm prompted just 25 tickets, police Chief Darren McConnell told redbankgreen.

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