The Story

The English Plaza/White Street Streetscape Project area is a key access point for commercial, business and visitor traffic to Red Bank. It includes the public parking lot between West Front Street and White Street as well as the approximately 340-foot section of White Street from Broad Street to just passed the Investor’s Bank.

The purpose of the project is to provide a safe and efficient access for all modes of travel within the English Plaza / White Street streetscape area as well as provide parking.

Other goals of the project:

  • Pedestrian and Bicycle Compatibility
  • Provide ADA Compliant pedestrian facilities and crossings with connectivity
  • Reduce safety risks for all users
  • Maintain traffic with minimum disruption during construction
  • Avoid or minimize social, economic, and environmental impacts

In the plans are new sidewalks and curbs, additional parking spots, landscaping, and better drainage and stormwater management. When completed, all users – pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers – will have a safer, more pleasing thoroughfare from Riverside Gardens Park to Monmouth Street.

Where It All Began

It has taken several years to bring this project to fruition. In 2016, Red Bank RiverCenter’s Visual Improvement Committee (VIC) identified conditions in need of repair and upgrade in both English Plaza and on White Street. The group quickly identified project priorities and sought funding for improvements.

When RiverCenter received word from the NJ Department of Community Affairs it was eligible for a low interest loan to advance the project, we got down to work.

VIC created a subcommittee that began working in earnest on the Streetscape Project in early 2018.

Stakeholder Input

RiverCenter hired ENGenuity Infrastructure, a full-service engineering & design firm in Red Bank, to assist us with the project. Under the leadership of Jaclyn Flor, the lead engineer, we conducted an intensive listening phase with 24 individual stakeholders representing business owners, property owners, public safety, borough departments and residents. Meetings were also held with property owners that abut the project area.

Five primary goals came out of the listening phase:

  • Improved Safety (lighting, circulation, etc)
  • Improved multi-modal access (pedestrian, autos, bicycles, etc) & parking
  • Improved aesthetics (pavers, artwork, sidewalk furniture)
  • Environmental Performance
  • Economic Viability

Moving to Design

All of the information was prioritized by the project committee and ENGenuity and we moved into the design phase. With the preliminary design in hand, we again met with individual stakeholders to get their feedback.

That information helped the design evolve into the plan posted on this website.

The final design includes re-orienting part of the parking in the middle section of the English Plaza parking lot; aligning the entrance of the White Street parking lot with the entrance to English Plaza; brick pavers; increased lighting; enhanced landscaping throughout the project; benches and furnishings; infrastructure improvements; and a pedestrian boulevard that will run from Riverside Gardens Park through to Monmouth Street.

Putting the Design in Place

The Streetscape Project involves a mix of public property, private land and partnerships: property owners include the Borough of Red Bank, County of Monmouth, and 26 private property owners.

An RFP was created and posted for the Streetscape Project.  Of the seven bidders, the lowest-qualified bidder on the project was Seacoast Construction, East Brunswick.

The project is being financed by Red Bank River Center and the property owners in the Red Bank RiverCenter district, the Borough of Red Bank, and donations.

View Project Plans

Initial Project Plans – View PDF

FAQs

When will the project be finished?
The timetable for the project is 120 days. Weather permitting, construction is slated to begin May 20 on the White Street and then move to English Plaza. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of August 2019.

Why is this project being done during the summer season?
There are many factors affecting the schedule for this project. To fulfill the requirements of the NJ Department of Community Affairs DCA loan, the project must be completed by the end of August. We felt it was impractical to have the parking lot and street torn up during the holiday season.  And, of course, we could not begin construction over the winter months.

Will the Streetscape Project area be closed during construction?
Generally speaking, the area will remain open to vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic throughout the project. There will be localized closures as the project progresses. There should only be a few days where either the entire English Plaza parking lot or White Street will be closed in their entirety. The contractor is required to work in smaller sections and we have built fines into the contract if they close more parking spaces or a larger area than allowed.

Please follow the temporary signs to gain access to the parking areas, stores and restaurants.  Updates about closures will be published on this website. 

What is the construction schedule?
Weather permitting, Construction will begin May 20 on the White Street sidewalks. By early June work will have progressed to creating a new entrance to the White Street Parking Lot. Work will then shift to English Plaza by mid-June and continue in there through July. By August work will include paving, striping and landscaping both the English Plaza and White Street parking lots.

Who is doing the work to improve English Plaza and White Street?
The work is being done by Seacoast Construction Company, East Brunswick, NJ. The contract amount is $1,533,876. The project is being funded by Red Bank RiverCenter, the Borough of Red Bank, and private donations.

What type of work is being done?
The new design includes re-orienting part of the parking in the middle section of the English Plaza parking lot; aligning the entrance of the White Street parking lot with the entrance to English Plaza; brick pavers; increased lighting; enhanced landscaping throughout the project; benches and furnishings; infrastructure improvements; and a pedestrian boulevard that will run from Riverside Gardens Park through to Monmouth Street.

What is the status of the work?
Construction work is proceeding on schedule.

What will the finished project area look like?
Architectural enhancements for the entire area include ornamental lights and a decorative brick walkway extending from West Front Street through the White Streetparking lot. The look will complement the previous streetscape projects on Broad and Monmouth Streets.

Additional improvements will include improved storm water drainage, street and parking lot lighting and crosswalks.

How is the project being financed?
RiverCenter received a zero-interest loan from the NJ Dept. of Community Affairs for $500,000. The remainder of the project is being funded by RiverCenter (capital improvement fund & low-interest loan), the Borough of Red Bank and private donations.

Why is this a Red Bank RiverCenter project?
RiverCenter is the town’s designated business improvement district. Since 1991, RiverCenter has supported the business community by recruiting new businesses to fill commercial vacancies and helping them navigate the various start-up procedures in town. Part of this work is enhancing the district by taking on project to physically improve the district.

Our earlier streetscape projects were Broad Street and Monmouth Street.

We are a designated Main Street NJ district and a 501c3 not-for-profit alliance of local businesses, property owners, residents, and other stakeholders working to enhance and promote Red Bank’s downtown district as a mid-Atlantic destination for dining, shopping, and culture.