RED BANK: WEST SIDE HOMES NEARLY READY

riversedge 042716 3Several units at River’s Edge, like the one above at the western end of Bank Street, offer expansive views of the Swimming River. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

riversedge 042716 4A long wait is about to an end as builder Charlie Farkouh puts the finishing touches on the most ambitious housing development Red Bank’s West Side has seen in years.

Farkouh tells redbankgreen he’s nearing completion on the 15-unit River’s Edge project, replacing several derelict houses at the western ends of Bank Street and Drs. James Parker Boulevard.

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RED BANK: LONG-STALLED CONDOS STARTED

charles farkouh 100615Builder Charlie Farkouh on the Bank Street portion of the project earlier this week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A planned condo complex with a knotty, decade-long history of false starts is finally going into the ground on Red Bank’s West Side.

Rumson builder Charles Farkouh, who acquired the project in August, tells redbankgreen he’ll have the 15-unit River’s Edge project, which spans several lots at the western ends of Bank Street and Drs. James Parker Boulevard, finished in 12 to 14 months.

“Full steam,” said Farkouh, as workers prepared footings in a large excavation abutting a steep bank overlooking the Swimming River on Tuesday. “It’s happening.”

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MEXICAN MARKET PLANNED ON SHREWSBURY

197-shrewsbury-ave

Juan Torres is looking to move his Juanito’s brand to Shrewsbury Avenue, formerly the home of Red Bank Furniture Emporium. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI rcsm2_010508

There’s an appetizing item on the Red Bank Zoning Board‘s plate tomorrow night: Mexican.

The mini-empire of authentically Mexican eateries and retail food outlets, Juanito’s, is looking to spread into a space at a recently shuttered Shrewsbury Avenue furniture store.

Juan Torres, who owns Juanito’s Restaurant, Juanito’s Grocery and El Guero Grocery, is seeking the board’s approval for a short list of variances to open up Juanito’s Market at 197 Shrewsbury Avenue.

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YMCA AMPING UP THE OUTREACH

lisa-christianThe Y’s new executive director, Lisa Christian, outside her Middletown office. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It was anything but a smooth, low-stress transition for Lisa Christian when she stepped into her role as the Community YMCA‘s president and CEO in June.

“It’s been interesting,” Christian said. “I started the job and went into two litigation discussions (with Red Bank). That’s a very unusual component in a new job.”

Now that those two lawsuits the Y filed against Red Bank — one over the zoning board’s rejection of a proposed expansion, and another over the sale of the previously borough-owned building at 51 Monmouth Street — are poised to end amicably, Christian can focus her efforts where she wants: the community the Y serves.

“I think our donors and our supporters, and even the people who aren’t very close to us, are very happy that The Y is not going to be spending time in court, but doing what we’re supposed to be doing,” Christian said.

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RIVER’S EDGE OK’D; PLANS PATH TO NEW PARK

rivers-edge21One of the houses to be torn down as part of the River’s Edge condo project, which gained approval to add more units Thursday night. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Just like that, the RW @ River’s Edge condominium project is going to be a little bit bigger than originally approved.

And in gaining the zoning board’s OK, a new detail emerged: there’s a new park planned for Red Bank, not far from where River’s Edge plans to build. And its developers say they want a hand in getting to the park, too.

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RETURN OF THE RIVER’S EDGE

rivers-edgeWork on a condominium project at the end of Bank Street has stopped while the developer seeks a change of plans. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

When Red Bank’s zoning board meets tonight, it will hold a public hearing for final site plan approval on a West Side development that already has the board’s OK. Construction even started, too.

Huh?

That’s what some people are saying about the return of the RW @ River’s Edge condominium project. And not many know why.

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BANK SAYS STORES WOULD DOOM PROJECT

courtyards-at-monmouthRobert Cogan, architect for the Courtyards At Monmouth proposal, gives his segment of the three-hour testimony to the zoning board Thursday night. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Representatives of the bank looking to build 57 residential units on a desolate corner of Monmouth Street have no doubt that if they get borough approval, their project will be a success in Red Bank.

They’ll just have to wait to find out if they can even step on the path toward approval.

After three hours of testimony from a handful of lawyers and experts representing the property’s owner, Amboy Bank, the zoning board short-circuited the group’s pitch for the evening and continued the hearing until next month.

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BASIE MARQUEE GETTING A FRESH LOOK

springsteen-basie-marqueeBy September, a new electronic marquee should be hanging over Monmouth Street, theater officials say. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The familiar sight of a man using a long pole to change the names of the acts on the Count Basie Theatre marquee will soon be a memory.

The Red Bank venue, which recently earned historic landmark status, is heading into what CEO Numa Saisselin calls the “Let’s Face It” phase of a multimillion dollar, multiyear renovation project.

It starts with an updated marquee and will finish with a new facade, one that will nod to the building’s past, he says.

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ZONING CHANGE FOR YMCA ADVANCES

ymca-facadeThe Community YMCA could get another shot at expansion if the borough council approves a proposed zone amendment. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The official opinion is in, and now it will be in the hands of the Red Bank Planning Board to determine whether a stretch of Maple Avenue should permit recreational facilities that already has one: the Community YMCA.

Borough Planner Richard Cramer writes in a report that the borough council’s recent introduction of an ordinance amending the borough’s zoning law to allow recreational facilities such as the Y to operate on Maple Avenue fits in with the borough’s Master Plan, said Mayor Pasquale Menna.

Currently, the YMCA is nonconforming and operates as a variance in Maple Avenue’s professional office zone. The nonprofit’s pushed for the zoning amendment after a losing bid to expand the facility last month.

“It is consistent with the master plan,” Menna said. “It makes sense to not discriminate against the Y.”

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