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RED BANK: BIJOU TOUTS GREEN APPROACH

Architect John Nastasi describes the proposed Bijou project Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Bijou Properties founder Larry Bijou touted his firm’s track record in building environmentally friendly projects in Hoboken when he addressed Red Bank’s parking committee Wednesday night.

And officials in Hoboken, “they don’t want to be Jersey City,” he said, an apparent response to criticism by Red Bank Democrats that their Republican colleagues were pushing a “Jersey City-style high rise vision” for the heart of the borough.

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RED BANK: PARKING PLANS MOVE TO THE FORE

Advocates for a White Street garage have brought proposals farther than any in a dozen years, but still face big tests. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

It starts to get real this week, when more than a decade’s worth of talk about Red Bank parking moves into a new stage.

Proposals by five would-be developers of a public garage, and possibly much more, on the site of the borough-owned White Street parking lot are scheduled to get their first public airing Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: DEMS GOAD GOP OVER GARAGE

The 273-space White Street was at capacity at midday Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank council’s Democrats goaded two of their Republican counterparts Thursday to take sides on pending development proposals for the White Street parking lot.

GOP council members Linda Schwabenbauer and Mark Taylor “are the only two members of the governing body who have not provided the public with their position on the matter in the eight weeks since” five proposals for the site were received, Democrats Ed Zipprich, Kathy Horgan and Erik Yngstrom said in a statement.

“We do not answer to Ed Zipprich,” Schwabenbauer said in response.

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RED BANK: WILL ‘PURE’ GARAGE GET A SHOT?

John Bowers’ plan calls for the borough to build a garage without housing or stores on the White Street lot.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

As Red Bank officials, taxpayers and merchants sort through last week’s data dump of ambitious development proposals for the White Street parking lot, John Bowers may hold the wild card.

That’s because the downtown landlord’s proposal is the simplest, cheapest and quickest — and with the sudden shift by three council Democrats, it may also be the most politically palatable. But will it get equal time?

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RED BANK GARAGE: BIJOU PROPOSAL

A view of the proposed Bijou project as seen from English Plaza looking south, with a warm-weather festival underway. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Here are the highlights of the proposal for a new Red Bank parking garage submitted by Bijou Properties, one of five developers to submit plans in response to a borough solicitation earlier this year.

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RED BANK GARAGE: DOBCO PLAN

An image from the Dobco pitch. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Here are the highlights of the proposal for a new Red Bank parking garage submitted by Dobco, Inc., one of five developers to submit plans in response to a borough solicitation earlier this year.

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RED BANK GARAGE: YELLOW BROOK’S ‘BEACON’

Yellow Brook’s proposed project, dubbed the Beacon, as seen from the northwest. Borough hall is at lower right. The plan incorporates the freestanding Atlantic Glass property at the northwest corner of White Street and Maple Avenue. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

[See correction below]

Here are the highlights of the proposal for a new Red Bank parking garage submitted by Yellow Brook Property Company LLC, one of five developers to submit plans in response to a borough solicitation earlier this year.

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RED BANK: DEMS VOW TO FIGHT GARAGE PLANS

Democrats denounced the five proposals regarding the White Street parking lot as part of “an aggressive course of urbanization” pushed by Republicans. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

[Correction: Councilman Ed Zipprich is the only Democrat up for re-election this year. He’s expected to face off against incumbent Republican Linda Schwabenbauer.]

The three Democrats on the Red Bank council denounced their Republican counterparts late Wednesday for pushing a “Jersey City-style high rise vision” that could result in 12-story buildings with hundreds of residences on the site of the White Street parking lot.

In a press release issued hours after the council agreed to publish proposals submitted by five would-be developers of of a downtown parking facility, Democrats Ed Zipprich, Kathy Horgan and Erik Yngstrom vowed “staunch opposition” to the proposals, which one termed “ridiculous” in size.

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RED BANK: WHERE ARE THE GARAGE PLANS?

Five developers have submitted proposals regarding the White Street municipal parking lot. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Seven weeks after receiving proposals for a possible new downtown parking garage, the Red Bank council may release them this week, Councilman Mike Whelan tells redbankgreen.

But the disclosure still hinges on legal roadblocks thrown up by former Councilwoman Cindy Burnham, who sued the town over the plan immediately after she left office.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL MUM ON GARAGE PLANS

A lawsuit claims the redevelopment plan for the White Street parking lot ignores the town’s Master Plan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1Would-be developers in downtown Red Bank will no longer have to pay fees for failing to provide enough parking, following action by the borough council Wednesday night.

But progress toward a public garage on White Street — a partial solution to what many business owners consider a parking crisis — may have hit a legal speed bump.

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RED BANK: RIVERCENTER RAPPED ON PARKING

RiverCenter’s founding chairman wants the agency to help finance a second garage to go along with the Globe Street facility, above, which is leased to Riverview Medical Center. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A discussion of Red Bank RiverCenter‘s 2017 budget Wednesday night focused mostly on how much juice the downtown promotion agency is using to address a parking shortfall.

At the borough council’s semimonthly meeting, two past RiverCenter chairmen suggested the answer is “not enough.”

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RED BANK: PARKING FORUM OPENS ‘DIALOGUE’

Red Bank “is losing its position as a walking community” in part because of a lack of parking, said Joel McFadden, a White Street jeweler who served as event moderator.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Hoping to get a “dialogue” going with residents about the need for a downtown parking garage, Red Bank merchants hosted a town hall meeting that drew dozens to the borough middle school Monday night.

There, members of the Red Bank Business Alliance served up their perspectives on what they see as a longstanding problem that’s worsened in recent years under a changeover from a retail economy to one driven by restaurants and entertainment.

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RED BANK: TOUTING A ‘SIMPLE’ PARKING FIX

Downtown property owner John Bowers hired an architect to show the borough what it might build without involving a private developer. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Instead of trying to entice a private developer with high-profit-margin sweeteners like apartments and retail space, what if Red Bank addressed its downtown parking problem simply by building a “pure” garage itself?

That’s what landlord John Bowers wants to know, and he’s on a campaign to head off the borough’s White Street redevelopment effort before it leads both taxpayers and merchants over a cliff.

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RED BANK: PARKING FORUM SLATED

Does downtown Red Bank need a new parking garage? If so, how big should it be, what else should it include, and who should pay for it?

Questions like those will be on the table at a town-hall style meeting slated for Monday, February 6.

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RED BANK: SUIT FILED OVER GARAGE HEIGHT

Cindy Burnham, seen here at a candidate’s forum last October, during her unsuccessful council re-election campaign. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1A group of Red Bank residents formed by former Councilwoman Cindy Burnham filed suit Monday to derail efforts to build a garage for at least 773 vehicles in the heart of town.

Burnham, who failed in her re-election bid as a Republican-turned-independent in November after one term, said although she supports the construction of a garage, the eight-story structure permitted under a redevelopment plan authorized by the council last week is “just too high.”

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RED BANK: PARKING PLANS SOLICITED

basie parking 012517 2Count Basie Theatre security worker Dennis O’Keefe working the entrance to the borough hall parking lot Wednesday night. A restaurant owner cited theater activity for creating parking issues last weekend. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1An effort to coax a 773-vehicle garage into the heart of Red Bank cleared another speedbump Wednesday night.

At its semimonthly meeting, the borough council authorized a request for proposals, or RFP, from developers interested in building on the 2.3-acre municipal lot on White Street.

But first, it tweaked the requirements to be more environmentally friendly.
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RED BANK: PARKING CHANGES ON AGENDA

rb plow 021314On the agenda: a change to the ordinance on overnight street parking in winter. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1A possible 773-vehicle garage on White Street isn’t the only parking issue on the Red Bank council’s agenda Wednesday night.

At its semimonthly meeting, the governing body is expected to take action on a number of matters that would tweak parking downtown as well as in residential neighborhoods.

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RED BANK: WHITE STREET PARKING ON AGENDA

rb-parking-white-st-111316-1Got a parking plan for White Street? The borough will accept proposals from qualified developers until April 26. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Park it 2017A call for ideas to remake the White Street lot into a parking garage anchors a busy Red Bank council agenda Wednesday night.

Up for discussion for the the first time is a request for proposals, or RFP, to transform the 2.3-acre municipal parking lot on White Street into a facility that nearly triples the current capacity of 273 vehicles while adding, possibly, housing and retail space.

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RED BANK: PARKING NEWS

rb broad st 011217Under a recommendation of the council parking committee, the left-turn lane from Broad Street into Linden Lane would be eliminated, restoring three parking spaces on the west side of Broad. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1For the first time in recent months, the clamor for and against a new parking garage in downtown Red Bank was absent at the first regular council meeting of 2017 Wednesday night.

Still, there was a smattering of parking-related news.

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RED BANK: MENNA WANTS BOLD, GREEN DECK

menna-whelan-110216Mayor Pasquale Menna, left with Councilman Mike Whelan at the opening of the new cancer treatment wing at Riverview Medical Center in October. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1Parking issues once again dominated as the Red Bank council wrapped up its 2016 meeting schedule Wednesday night.

• Mayor Pasquale Menna sketched out a vision for a environmentally and architecturally bold parking garage on the site of the borough’s White Street parking lot.

• A downtown property owner laid out a plan for erecting a prefab garage that he said would be fast and economical.

• The council extended yet again a moratorium on fees charged to developers of new businesses that win variances for parking shortfalls.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL OKs PARKING PLAN

mike-simpson-121416-3Architect Mike Simpson discusses a schematic he created to illustrate that a 650-car garage atop four stories of stores and apartments, with nearby green space, could easily be created in the White Street lot. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1After nearly three hours of public comments Wednesday night, the Red Bank council approved a zoning change that could result in a parking garage in the heart of downtown.

Now, answers to long-deferred questions on what such a facility might look like, and who will pay for it, can begin to take shape, said business and government officials who endorsed the measure.

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RED BANK: PARKING PLAN MAY GROW

rb-parking-white-st-111316-2The council could solicit formal development proposals for the White Street lot if a measure on Wednesday’s agenda is passed. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_01The hottest of hot topics in downtown Red Bank faces a key hurdle this week when a redevelopment plan that could lead to the construction of a massive parking garage in the heart of downtown faces a key vote.

But first, the minimum number of new parking spaces to be created on the present site of the White Street municipal lot could be significantly increased.

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RED BANK: GARAGE DEBATE PREVIEWED

white-st-lot-110816A public hearing on a key measure in the push for a possible garage at the White Street lot, above, is slated for December 14. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1Argument over a potential parking garage for downtown Red Bank dominated the first post-election meeting of the borough council Wednesday night.

No action related to the gradually advancing proposal was on the agenda. But the brief debate may have been an early taste of what’s to come next month, when the council holds a public hearing on a key step in the process.

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