By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI
The building at 700 Cookman Ave., Asbury Park which was called the “ugliest” building in town at this week’s Planning Board meeting, is getting a major face lift including new windows and rebuilt columns.
The building is at the corner of Cookman Avenue and Bond Street and is where the Upstage Club once operated. It is where many musicians, including Bruce Springsteen and Southside Johnny played during their teens. The club opened in the spring of 1968 and closed just a few years later.
Brooklyn Realtor, William Ross and his brother own the building, which had been approved for renovations in 2015.
Ross asked the board for amendments including changing the configuration of the four residential units proposed for upstairs from three two-bedroom and one one-bedroom to all four with two bedrooms.There will be retail on the ground floor of the three-story building.
Architect Daniel Condatore is a partner in the project with Ross and presented a rendering of the proposed facade at the meeting.
Condatore explained that the brick face stucco facade now on the building has been absorbed by the brick underneath and cannot be removed.
He called it a “bad job” and a “travesty” saying it allowed moisture to seep into the building.
Condatore said he found a product through paint company Sherwin Williams, which is an epoxy paint that will closely match the color and is weather tight.
Board Member Michael Manzella said, “What you’ve done is to be commended.”
But Manzella said he wanted to see something added to the long blank wall that fronts on Bond Street citing the historical and significant cultural life of the building and suggested a mural.
Ross’s attorney said he feared putting a mural up because it may invite graffiti, which would make maintenance of
The board suggested a plaque be put on the building noting its musical history, possibly in the front west corner. The plaque must conform to city regulations and will not be more than two feet by three feet.
The developer also said the iconic Thom McAnn sign painted on the back of the building will remain.
Ross also said because of the historic nature, pieces of the Upstage will be collected and donated to the Asbury Park Music Foundation which will auction them off as a fundraiser.