RED BANK: A CHALLENGED FIVE-STOREY PLAN
A rendering of the proposed One Globe Court project at Mechanic Street and Globe Court. (Rendered by GRO Architects. Click to enlarge.)
By JOHN T. WARD
Questions about the need for a fifth floor surrounded a plan for 50 new apartments in downtown Red Bank on Thursday night.
Capping the four-story building would eliminate the need for height and parking discrepancies, a member of the borough’s zoning board suggested.
The project would replace the one-storey commercial building above. Below is developer Mazin ‘Patrick’ Kalian, center with architect Richard Garber, left. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
As proposed, developer Mazin ‘Patrick’ Kalian’s project at 19-29 Mechanic Street would peak over 56 feet in an area that limits heights to 40 feet.
The project, called One Globe Court, also needs a waiver for a lack of parking, providing 75 spaces on the ground floor, while 88 are required by ordinance.
“Why the fifth floor?” Board member Sean Murphy asked Kalian architect Richard Garber of GRO Architects. “If you removed that fifth floor and kept it at four, you probably wouldn’t need the parking gap, would you?”
Garber acknowledged that this would reduce the total number of apartments to 40, while the number of parking spaces would not be affected.
The plan calls for four floors of apartments above a ground floor parking lot, with 12 one-bedroom units and 38 two-bedroom units arranged in a horseshoe shape, the opening facing north .
It’s estimated that eight units would be considered affordable, said Kalian’s attorney, former mayor Ed McKenna.
A second-floor outdoor terrace would be provided for residents, and some of the units would have balconies.
Unlike the existing building, which has no setbacks from sidewalks, Kalian’s would offer “modest” setbacks, Garber said. It would be carved into the landscaping and the fifth floor would be set back an additional distance.
The balconies would not extend beyond the property line, and the stair and elevator towers that soar 60 feet would not be visible to someone standing in front of Mechanic Street, Garber said. .
“We think it’s a beautiful building,” he said.
Cars would enter and exit the residents-only garage via remote-activated openings on Globe Court. McKenna said the building would not eliminate any parking on Mechanic Street and would add a drop-off spot on the Globe Court side, with the elimination of a right-turn lane, if that suggestion is accepted by the service. police and the borough council. .
The plan has also been carefully scrutinized for the adequacy of the 1.5 parking spaces offered per dwelling, while the borough requires 1.8.
Neighbors and other members of the public were unable to comment on the proposal Thursday evening. They will probably have that chance on October 20, following testimony expected from a planning expert for Kalian.
But the questions posed to Garber, as well as Kalian’s engineering and traffic consultants, also reflected concerns about the height of the proposed building and the availability of parking.
Tom Sabella, a Middletown resident who owns 11-17 Mechanic Street, next to the site, said it would block the “beautiful views” of his third-floor residential tenants.
“I guess there are other people here whose opinions are going to be stifled as well,” he said.
“I would just say, with all due respect, we could build a four-story building right here and it would still block your view,” Garber replied.
“Development is something that brings a number of changes,” he said. “There is going to be a building built here one way or another following the guidelines set by the municipality.”
Hudson Avenue resident Mary-Ellen Mess said the building’s 104,000 square foot area means “you’re going to have a lot more apartments sending a lot more cars” to surrounding streets.
Kalian traffic consultant John McCormack contradicted this claim. He said the apartments would generate half the traffic attributable to the single-storey Globe Court business building, which now occupies the site. It is home to several small businesses, including Feather & Line Hair Studio, a dental practice, and a mortgage office.
With peak hour vehicle movements estimated at 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., McCormack said the project’s impact on traffic would be “unnoticeable”.
Kalian also built the Forum, a four-story, 24-unit project located directly across Mechanic Street from the site. McCormack said tallies showed actual parking usage of 1.1 cars per unit one day and 1.3 another.
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