RED BANK: THAI FOOD & CLOTHING CHURN IN

Mos Neammanee owns Rice Box with his brother, Khomsun. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallOne step back and two steps forward for Red Bank’s central business district?

A Thai restaurant and a clothing boutique open next door to one another downtown, while a Broad Street business quietly calls it quits. Read all about them in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: PIZZERIA & JUICE BAR CHURN IN

Another pizza restaurant plans to take the vacant former home of Pacini’s at 177 Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Commercial real estate activity may be down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Red Bank continuues to attract small shops that want in on whatever action is happening.retail churn smallx

In this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn, we’ve got word on a new pizzeria and a juice bar signing leases, and the sale of a giant building in the heart of downtown.

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RED BANK: BREAD-BASED CAFÉ TO OPEN

michele ellis great harvest 102020 2Michele Ellis in her new restaurant on Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallWith restaurants struggling through historically poor conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, it might seem absolutely nuts to start a new one.

But the owner of a bread-based eatery that plans to open in Red Bank this week says key lessons of the past eight months are, well, baked into her plan.

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RED BANK: GYM PLANNED FOR CORNER SITE

The former home of Atlantic Glass on Maple Avenue is getting a tenant after a long vacancy. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallA high-visibility Red Bank building gets a makeover for use as a gym; movie screenings return to White Street; and an insurance agency takes over a storefront.

Read all about them in this early autumn edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: COVID-19 CLAIMS TWO BUSINESSES

Claudette Herring and Lauren Phillips at Via45 Monday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallIt was a day of mixed emotions for the owners of two Red Bank businesses as they closed up shop Monday.

At Via45, restaurateurs Lauren Phillips and Claudette Herring ended an 11-year run on Broad Street. Around the corner on Monmouth Street, Marissa Clifford oversaw the final children’s birthday party at Paint A Tee.

This 400th installment of Retail Churn has the details on those latest economic victims of the pandemic and other changes in the downtown mix.

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FAIR HAVEN: PD, DPW, PLANS IN REVISION

Borough Engineer Rich Gardella, at upper right, discussed concept plans for the public works yard on Third Street during the council meeting Monday night. Below, a 2019 rendering showing a DPW building repositioned to Third Street. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

fair haven, nj, dpw conceptIt’s back-to-the-drawing board time as Fair Haven officials try once again to advance two significant capital projects.

One is a proposed new police station, which was the driving factor behind two controversial, and failed, property acquisition efforts in recent years.

The other is a public works yard makeover that not long ago appeared on track to yield residential lots the town could sell to fund later projects. That may no longer be the case.

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FAIR HAVEN: FACILITIES ON SPECIAL AGENDA

fair haven police station 071520 2The police department has outgrown the former schoolhouse that houses it, officials say. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicSix weeks after Fair Haven’s council killed a controversial plan for a new borough hall and police station, the question of what to do instead may have an answer.

On Wednesday, officials announced the council will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, August 25 “for a borough facilities review and discussion.”

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RED BANK: ZONING BOARD RESUMES WORK

A two-family home would be created in a structure now used for offices at 234 Maple Avenue. (Google Maps photo. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

Sidelined for five montD-19 pandemic, Red Bank’s zoning board is scheduled to get back to the business of deciding variance requests Thursday night.

On the agenda: a marina fuel tank and the conversion of offices to residential use.

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FAIR HAVEN: PURCHASE PLAN SCRAPPED

fair haven 623 river 022120 4The proposal called for a $3.4 million purchase of the office complex at 623 River Road, followed by an estimated $9.6 million in site redevelopment. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicFair Haven’s council has scrapped a controversial plan to buy a River Road office building for $3.4 million.

Monday’s action marked the second time plans for a proposed home for a new borough hall and police station have fallen through, and left officials turning to plan C.

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RED BANK: NEARLY NEW CALLS IT QUITS

After 27 years in business, Janice Brown has closed the Nearly Newly clothing store on Monmouth Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallAfter a career as a Pan Am stewardess, Janice Brown found her second act in 1993 as a Red Bank retailer, selling stylish vintage clothing.

But in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brown has decided to close the shop.

Read all about the end of the Nearly New Shop and other changes downtown in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: RETAIL DAMAGE, BUT HOPE, TOO

red bank forge alex montaperto 052020Alex Montaperto in Forge, her English Plaza shop, which hasn’t opened though it’s been ready for nine weeks. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallWith the dust settling from one of the worst economic blows in American history, the damage to Red Bank’s retail scene is starting to come into focus.

Business shutterings and aborted lease deals are on the rise – no surprise – but there are also a few glimmers of optimism.

Read all about some of the changes downtown in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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FAIR HAVEN: FACILITIES PLAN ATTACKED

fair haven theresa casagrande 030520Fair Haven Administrator Theresa Casagrande at Thursday night’s event. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven residents found a lot to dislike about a proposed $3.4 million purchase of real estate for borough use when they gathered at Bicentennial Hall Thursday night.

They barraged borough Administrator Theresa Casagrande with questions and complaints about the plan’s financial impacts, the displacement of business tenants and more.

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FAIR HAVEN: FACILITIES PLAN AIRING SLATED

fair haven 623 river 022120 4The consolidation plan contemplates the borough buying 623 River Road for $3.4 million. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

With little more than a day’s notice, Fair Haven has announced a public presentation over a proposed plan for a new borough hall and police station.

One council member called the alert “terribly short notice” and asked that a key vote on the proposal be tabled.

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FAIR HAVEN: TENANTS HOT OVER TOWN DEAL

fair haven 623 river roadThe borough plans to buy 623 River Road, outlined in red. The star indicates the firehouse property. (Google Maps image. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Over the objections of business owners and residents, Fair Haven’s council initiated a plan Monday night to buy a River Road site, where it would create a new borough hall and police station.

Even the council’s two newest members, Democrats whose November election signaled a change in the status quo, agreed that the new facilities are “a need, not a want.” But tenants of the target building said the changes would tear at the fabric of the town.

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FAIR HAVEN: TOWN IN DEAL FOR OFFICE SITE

fair haven 623 river roadThe borough plans to buy and raze the office building at 623 River Road, the mayor says. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See clarification below]

By JOHN T. WARD

After getting derailed last year, Fair Haven’s ambitious plan to consolidate borough facilities in new locations are expected to get back on track Monday night.

The town now plans to acquire and demolish the office building at 623 River Road and replace it with a new borough hall and police station, Mayor Ben Lucarelli told redbankgreen Friday morning.

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RED BANK: BOARD SUED OVER TWO DECISIONS

red bank, nj, vna, 176 riverside, saxumThe owners of the Colony House apartments, at right, claim the plan for the VNA site, at left, violates their property rights. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

Two months after approving one of the largest development projects in Red Bank history, the borough planning board has been sued over the decision, redbankgreen has learned.

The suit arrives as the board is defending itself in a lawsuit concerning a proposed Hampton Inn just across the street.

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RED BANK: BRUNCH, AND MORE, IN CHURN

red bank 20 broad brunch 020420Brunch opened last week at 20 Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallEaters have a fresh new option for breakfast and lunch in downtown Red Bank.

Read all about chef Ray Tutella’s venture and other business comings and goings in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: SHELL GETS SHOP OK ON THIRD TRY

red bank shell stationThe car wash at left is to be replaced by a convenience store. (April, 2019 photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After a favorable zoning change last year, Red Bank’s lone Shell station won approval to add a convenience store Monday night.

A neighbor called the proposal “lipstick on a pig.” The planning board’s chairman called it “a better pig.”

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RED BANK: PROJECT REVIEW GETS UNDERWAY

red bank 141 west front 011620 2.jpgAn architect’s rendering showing the West Front Street side of the proposed project, with the existing office building at left. (Rendering by Feinberg & Associates. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA plan to build 150 apartments atop an existing restaurant and parking deck in downtown Red Bank got its first taste of public scrutiny Thursday night.

While descriptions of the project by an engineer and an architect for developer PRC Group took up most of the three-hour zoning board hearing, it became clear that the plan’s scale, and impact on traffic, are likely to be issues.

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RED BANK: MASSIVE DEVELOPMENT ON DECK

red bank corporate plaza west front elevationA proposal to add 150 apartments to the Red Bank Corporate Plaza complex on West Front Street is scheduled to go before the borough zoning board Thursday night.

As previously reported by redbankgreen, the project would shatter the borough’s limits on building height, density and more if approved.

Here’s what you need to know about the application. (Rendering by Feinberg & Associates. Click to enlarge.)

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FAIR HAVEN: STATION NOW IN HOUSING DEAL

fair haven 626 river rd 011420The former Sunoco property on River Road could get 14 apartments under the plan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA vacant gas station envisioned as the site of a new Fair Haven borough hall just a year ago would instead get 14 apartments under an affordable housing settlement detailed by officials Monday night.

At a special council session held at Viola Sickles School to address the town’s legal obligation to accommodate low-and moderate-income earners, residents also heard about a plan for a two-family home to be built by Habitat for Humanity in a residential neighborhood.

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