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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: 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: TWO D.I.Y. SIGN SHOPS OPEN

Joanna Rapuzzi in her newly opened AR Workshop, at 43A Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Do-it-yourself rustic signmaking is now the latest thing in downtown Red Bank, with the recent openings of two franchised workshops downtown.

 

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RED BANK: PUPPY MILL LAW WITHDRAWN

The owner of Bark Avenue Puppies on West Front Street had threatened to sue the borough if it enacted the proposed ban on dogs supplied by breeders. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After seven months of controversy, Red Bank’s proposed ban on the sale of “puppy mill” pets was withdrawn over a failure to win council backing Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: SAXUM SPREE CONTINUES

Located at Broad and West Front streets, Saxum’s latest acquisition has Urban Outfitters as its sole ground-floor tenant. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Morris County-based real estate investment firm has acquired one of downtown Red Bank’s oldest and most prominent commercial structures.

The purchase of the home of an Urban Outfitters store by an arm of Saxum Real Estate is the firm’s third major investment in the town in the past 18 months, and the first for occupied space.

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RED BANK: TWO EATERIES AND A ‘WILD EYE’

The Melting Pot features induction heating elements in tabletops to keep the pot contents melted. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A long-closed Red Bank restaurant re-opens, a new one headed by a pair of vaunted chefs announces its debut, and a new retail shop arrives with an intriguing pitch…

All in the latest edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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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: SIGNS OF CHURN DOWNTOWN

Sonya Cashner plans to open Broad & Brush at 26 Monmouth Street, one of two similar shops coming to town this summer. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Two businesses that offer do-it-yourself instruction in making rustic signs plan to open in downtown Red Bank this summer.

Yeah, that’s a thing, apparently, part of what one of the new contenders calls a trend in “farmhouse decor.”

Read all about that, and more of course, in this custom handcrafted edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: ‘PUPPY MILL’ BILL TABLED

Bark Avenue owner Gary Hager listens as Vyolet Jean Savage speaks in favor of a puppy mill ordinance in January. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank council averted, for now, a showdown over a controversial proposed ordinance that would ban the retail sale of puppies and kittens unless they come from animal shelters and rescue organizations.

At its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night, the council postponed a vote on the measure until June 27 to allow for a possible “compromise,” Councilwoman Kathy Horgan told redbankgreen.

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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: PUPPY LAW MAY END UP IN COURT

Toy poodle pups at Bark Avenue Puppies in February, 2016. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank’s only puppy retailer threatened to sue the borough Wednesday night if the council passes an anti-puppy-mill law that he said will put him out of business.

“I must ask how much of our taxpayer money are you willing to spend on this unconstitutional ordinance?” Bark Avenue Puppies owner Gary Hager asked the council at its semimonthly meeting. “I’m willing to spend a lot, because I have right on my side.”

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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: INDIAN, WITH A MEXICAN TWIST

Sourabh ‘Sam’ Jain plans to open Bombay River Indian Restaurant Saturday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After just two months of vacancy, the space that held Red Bank’s only Vietnamese restaurant is about to open as an Indian restaurant — with a culinary twist.

Also in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn: news of a beauty supply shop putting the cap on its lipstick one last time.

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RED BANK: VACANT SHOP TO GET FACELIFT

The long-vacant building, last home to a seafood shop, is about to get a makeover, as shown in the rendering below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Rendering by S.O.M.E. Architects. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Red Bank retail space that’s been vacant for decades may be on track to revival, starting with a facelift.

The borough zoning board gave unanimous approval Thursday night to a makeover plan for 203 Shrewsbury Avenue, the long-ago home of Bayshore Charlie’s seafood shop.
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RED BANK: ‘PUPPY MILL’ LAW ON AGENDA

A proposed ordinance that Red Bank’s only puppy store claims will kill its business is up for adoption by the borough council Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[UPDATE: On Tuesday, borough Clerk Pam Borghi announced that the council plans to table the proposed ordinance “pending further discussions with all stakeholders.” It’s expected to be reintroduced eat a future date, she said.]

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RED BANK: RESTAURANT SCENE IN CHURN

After months of idleness, gut-job renovations are underway at the Melting Pot in the Galleria on Bridge Avenue. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Red Bank restaurant is preparing to reopen after a long hiatus and change in ownership.

Meantime, another eatery has shut its doors after only six months in business, and a bicycle retailer has pedaled off into the online ether.

Details are below in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: ‘PUPPY MILL’ BILL DEBATED

Bark Avenue owner Gary Hager cuddles Winston, a puppy brought to the council meeting by one of Hager’s customers. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03An effort to limit the sale of dogs sourced from so-called puppy mills sparked extended debate at the Red Bank council’s first regular meeting of 2018 Wednesday night.

For nearly 90 minutes, supporters of the town’s only puppy retailer, Bark Avenue Puppies, argued that the proposed ordinance would kill the shop and reduce consumer choice while having no impact on the underside of the industry.

Proponents of the bill, however, said such concerns were overstated.

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RED BANK: ‘RAILS’ PROJECT GETS ROLLING

A former warehouse and taxi stand alongside the Red Bank railroad station was torn down last week.

What’s Going On Here? Click the read more for the answer, and some renderings of what’s coming down the rails. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Renderings by Monteforte Architectural Studio. Click to enlarge.)

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