RED BANK: MUMFORD YANKS APARTMENT PLAN

Linda Clark addressing Roger Mumford at Thursday’s hearing. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njDeveloper Roger Mumford withdrew his controversial proposal for a 20-unit apartment building on Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank Thursday night.

The move, coming moments before an expected up-or-down vote by the zoning board, was a win for residents who opposed the plan as gentrifying to a low-income area.

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RED BANK: KEEPING FORTUNE’S VOICE ALIVE

Suubi Mondesir with Fortune Foundation co-chair Gilda Rogers last month. Below, Mondesir, second from right, on a 2016 tour of the Fortune house led by builder Roger Mumford. (Photos by Chris Ern, above, and John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By CHRIS ERN

In the summer of 2016, Suubi Mondesir was a rising junior at Red Bank Regional High School when she participated in a tour of a crumbling Red Bank house.

At the time, preservationists envisioned the building on Drs. James Parker Boulevard as a cultural center in honor of its onetime owner, the civil rights journalist T. Thomas Fortune, and Mondesir was present as a participant in the Hugh N. Boyd Journalism Diversity Workshop at Rutgers University.

Flash forward to 2021: The house has been fully restored as the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center, and Suubi (pronounced SOO-vee) manages its media outreach efforts as an intern. But it’s not just a job. Her work at the center aligns with a personal passion for social justice, inspired by Fortune’s work in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, she told redbankgreen in an interview last month.

“What he did is what I am hoping to do as well: to inspire people with my writing, and to speak truth to power,” Mondesir said.

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RED BANK: MUMFORD SHRINKS PLAN AGAIN

The latest changes to plan for 234-240 Shrewsbury Avenue reduced the building to three stories, from four, shown below. (Renderings by Thomas J. Brennan Architects. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Developer Roger Mumford has again reduced the size of a proposed apartment building on Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank.

Whether the zoning board will hear the details at its July 15 meeting is unclear, however. Also on the ambitious agenda: a mixed-used project next door to the borough library; an “exotic car rental” business in a downtown office building; and a gym on residential property.

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RED BANK: PROJECT GETS NO BOARD SUPPORT

Twenty apartments would be built above stores at 234-240 Shrewsbury Avenue under a revised plan by developer Roger Mumford. (Rendering by Thomas J. Brennan Architects. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA plan for 20 apartments and new retail space on Shrewsbury Avenue found no support from the Red Bank zoning board Thursday night.

It’s too tall, too dense, and too out of step with where things should be going, board members told developer Roger Mumford after three hours of testimony.

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RED BANK: APARTMENT PLANS BACK ON DECK

Twenty apartments would be built above stores at 234-240 Shrewsbury Avenue under a revised plan by developer Roger Mumford. (Rendering by Thomas J. Brennan Architects. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njTwo proposed apartment buildings just blocks apart on Shrewsbury Avenue return to Red Bank zoning board for possible approval Thursday night. Read More »

RED BANK: APARTMENT HEARINGS DELAYED

After revisions, a plan to build a house in front of the existing four-family at 70 Locust Avenue was approved. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Much of Red Bank’s zoning board agenda was scrapped Thursday night, when hearings on plans for several large apartment projects had to be rescheduled.

But the board got some work done, approving a plan for new house single-family  house on Locust Avenue.

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RED BANK: VIEWS SPLIT ON MUMFORD PLAN

A rendering of the building, dubbed The Parker, proposed for Shrewsbury Avenue at River Street. (Image by Thomas J. Brennan Architects. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA proposal for four stories of new retail and apartments on Shrewsbury Avenue got mixed reviews at Thursday’s meeting of the Red Bank zoning board.

It’s “huge,” said a board member and one resident. It’s a welcome replacement to the two vacant homes now on the site, said two other commenters.

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RED BANK: APARTMENTS & STORES PROPOSED

Two houses on Shrewsbury Avenue at River Street would be demolished to make way for the project, dubbed The Parker at Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA proposal for new stores topped by three floors of apartments is slated for review by the Red Bank zoning board this week.

Developer Roger Mumford‘s plan would transform half a block of Shrewsbury Avenue, but first needs multiple variances.

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RED BANK: HOUSING LOTTERY SLATED

red bank brownstones catherine street 112619The Catherine Street side of the new Brownstones townhouse project. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Two new townhouse units on Red Bank’s West Side will be available for purchase at a fraction of their market value following a lottery next month.

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RED BANK: FORTUNE CULTURAL CENTER OPENS

red bank fortune house Dozens of supporters gathered on the front lawn for the opening of the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center. Below, a view of the ceremony from inside the restored house. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank fortune houseMore than a century after the departure of its most famous resident, the T. Thomas Fortune House in Red Bank reopened Thursday as a cultural center dedicated to his mission of advancing civil and human rights.

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RED BANK: FORTUNE ‘MIRACLE’ COMPLETED

red bank nj t. thomas fortune cultural centerThe restored T. Thomas Fortune House on Drs. James Parker Boulevard plans to formally open as a cultural center in May. Below, restoration supervisor Spencer Foxworth and foundation member Robin Blair examine a chandelier to be installed. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank nj t. thomas fortune cultural center

An against-the-odds, decade-long effort to save a Red Bank house that was once the home of a pioneering civil rights journalist has reached its improbable conclusion, people involved in the effort say.

This weekend, local history lovers will get their first-ever chance to tour the T. Thomas Fortune House, a National Historic Register structure that not long ago was about to be razed.

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RED BANK: FINAL FADEOUT FOR GUITAR PLANT

Now being developed for townhomes, the lot between Catherine and River streets was once home to the Danelectro guitar factory. Below, a Danelectro with the distinctive “coke bottle” headstock. (Photo above by John T. Ward, below courtesy of Lorie Mouklas. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Without fanfare, a half-dozen factory buildings on Red Bank’s West Side were leveled last month, making way for new homes.

Among the structures razed was one that deserves a final flick of the lighter from rock music fans. In the early days of rock ‘n roll, the building at 10 River Street churned out low-priced but distinctive-sounding electric guitars, some of which helped launch the careers of rock superstars such as Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page.

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RED BANK: MASKS ADD FLAIR TO MAYOR’S BALL

Not everyone at the fourth annual Red Bank Mayor’s Ball wore masks, but there were plenty of attendees adding touches of lacy, sparkly and feathery mystique to event, held Friday night at the Oyster Point Hotel to raise funds for Holiday Express and the borough’s animal welfare efforts.

Mayor Pasquale Menna, at right, hosted. Among those honored were Holiday Express founder Tim McLoone, who performed with the Atlantic Coast Band featuring the Shirleys, and Detour Gallery owner Kenny Schwartz, above right. 

See who you know in redbankgreen’s photos below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: MUMFORD DROPS PARKING BID

Developer Roger Mumford with a rendering of his proposal last June. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

One of the two remaining private-sector contenders to redevelop Red Bank’s White Street parking lot has pulled out, citing frustration in dealing with the borough government.

In the process, he left behind a pair of smoking tire tracks.

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RED BANK: DEMS TO SEEK PARKING STUDY

Councilman Erik Yngstrom now heads the all-Democrat parking committee.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After a post-election lull, Red Bank Democrats plan to bring in a parking consultant to offer guidance on how to fix parking issues downtown, Councilman Erik Yngstrom said Wednesday.

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RED BANK: SICKELS SENDOFF, H2O ON AGENDA

Stanley Sickels at a planning board meeting in 2013. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s most powerful unelected official is slated to get an official sendoff at the semimonthly council meeting Wednesday night.

Also on the agenda: the town’s heaviest water users would be subject to higher minimum charges under a measure slated for introduction.

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RED BANK: PARKING AGENDA IN TRANSITION

A builder may be chosen to redevelop the White Street lot this month, and a parking study could soon follow. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Amid recriminations and calls for a fresh start, Democrats began taking the wheel in the drive for a possible new parking structure in downtown Red Bank last week.

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RED BANK: NEW HISTORY IN FORTUNE HOUSE

Restoration work on the T. Thomas Fortune house is underway in conjunction with the construction of 31 apartments behind it, where an elevator tower is visible. Below, builder Roger Mumford shows off an original decorative corbel removed from just below the roof line of the house, and, in his left hand, a replica made from mahogany. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After a decade-long effort to save it from the wrecking ball, Red Bank’s T. Thomas Fortune house is in the midst of a restoration that has served up some additional history.

Part of the Second Empire-style mansion on Drs. James Parker Boulevard may be much older than previously believed, says developer Roger Mumford, who is racing to conserve what he can of the structure even as it crumbles before his eyes.

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RED BANK: BUILDERS BALK AT ‘NET 500’

Roger Mumford unveiled a new version of his development plan, one that calls for a park along Maple Avenue between White and Monmouth streets, seen at right in the rendering above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The two finalists vying for the right to redevelop Red Bank’s White Street parking lot both raised concerns about their ability to meet a non-negotiable condition set by downtown merchants: that a new garage add no fewer than 500 public parking spaces to the 273-already there.

Moreover, one of the builders insisted that a definitive study to determine the actual parking deficit downtown is needed, a claim that some business owners have dismissed as an unnecessary speed bump en route to what they contend is a decades-overdue parking solution.

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RED BANK: PARKING GETS TWO SPOTLIGHTS

An effort to redevelop Red Bank’s largest downtown parking lot — and, some would say, ensure the economic viability of the downtown as a whole — moves to a new stage Wednesday night.

Or, more precisely, it moves onto two stages.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S NEXT FOR PARKING?

The redevelopment plan for the White Street parking lot is slated for recission next week, but will have to be redone at some point, says Councilman Mike Whelan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Now that Red Bank’s elected officials have agreed, unofficially, to restart a drive for a downtown parking solution, what happens next?

Two government meetings on one night, for starters.

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RED BANK: POLS PULL U-TURN ON PARKING

The redevelopment plan for the White Street parking lot, outlined in red above, will be rescinded in an effort to end a lawsuit and address concerns about building size, borough officials said. (Image by Google Maps. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s search for a downtown parking solution took a U-turn Wednesday night, when the borough council put in motion a plan to derail a pending lawsuit by former councilwoman Cindy Burnham that members say has impeded progress.

In what was also described as a “compromise” between Republicans and Democrats over proposed building sizes , the council agreed to scrap a contentious nine-month-old redevelopment plan for the White Street parking lot.

At the same time, it knocked out, without much explanation, three of the five developers vying to build a parking deck, and more, on the 2.3-acre site.

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RED BANK: PARKING GARAGE HEARING SLATED

The council will hold a public forum on proposals for the White Street parking site later this month, says Councilman Mike Whelan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Almost six months after they were submitted and three months after they were the subject of hasty presentations, five proposed plans for the redevelopment of Red Bank’s main downtown parking lot will finally get a public hearing, redbankgreen has learned.

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