RED BANK, NJ-PRC Management Co., based in nearby West Long Branch, NJ, is proposing to build a five-story, 85,000-sf office building on the site of a former auto dealership. The property would also have some 5,000 sf of retail on the ground floor, including a restaurant. The proposal will be brought before the planning board for the first time on June 25.

While some concerns have been expressed over the project’s impact on traffic Downtown — the developer would likely have to facilitate some traffic-related road improvements — one interesting aspect of the proposal might be the fact that it will include an adjoining five-level, 314-car parking garage. Indeed, according to some observers, the parking garage might be PRC’s bargaining chip.

This northern Monmouth County community has seen a rebirth over the last decade, with its Downtown section a magnet for upscale retail (the vacancy rate is only 3%), restaurants, entertainment, special events and business. One regional magazine has labeled Red Bank as “New Jersey’s hippest town.”

The problem has been that the city doesn’t have enough parking to handle the load. The borough council recently rejected a separate $8.4-million parking garage, mostly over concerns about traffic at the specific location and the project’s financial projections. Funding for that parking facility had been expected to come from the sale of an existing multi-story garage to Riverview Medical Center, which leases much of the facility.

According to Red Bank Mayor Ed McKenna, he and other city officials have been talking to PRC officials about opening their project’s proposed parking garage on weekends when the office complex would be closed. Specifically, town officials hope the facility could be used to help provide parking for the nearby Count Basie Theater, a 1,500-seat venue for top-name entertainment that doesn’t have its own parking facility.

No details of a possible agreement have been made public. According to a published report, PRC is said to be open to some sort of an agreement, according to attorney John Giordano, who has been representing the development firm. Further details of a possible agreement will be discussed at the June 25 planning board meeting.

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