Tag Archives: River Road

Former FH Sunoco at a Standstill

Site of the former Fair Haven Sunoco gas station Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Site of the former Fair Haven Sunoco gas station
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

It seems as if plans for future development at the Fair Haven Sunoco station have run out of the gas to drive them home.

One thing, though, seems pretty clear — that the site at 626 River Road won’t become another gas station.

The site has been completely cleared of underground tanks and remediated for safe development. But it’s static and empty, with no sign of any sort of comeback — not yet, anyway.

“There’s no tenant,” Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli said. “It’s in a state of limbo between Sunoco and someone who may or may not be under contract (to develop the site). The site has been decommissioned and debranded, so one would assume that was done for a transfer of title. Maybe, maybe not.”

Who that title would have been or is in the works of being transferred to, the mayor said he did not know.

As for the notion of another gas station, not only have the tanks to make that a reality been removed, but “that business model in a small town is shot,” Lucarelli said. “Any new gas station being built right now is something like a WaWa or a Quick Check, with 16-24 pump operations on big highways.”

There used to be several gas stations between Rumson and Fair Haven. Now each borough is down to one.

Fair Haven is in the process of reworking its master plan. There has been talk of some zone changes and alterations.

What sort of development do you think the site, now zoned for business, is ripe for? 


Finishing Up Fair Haven Streetscape

By Elaine Van Develde

The uncharacteristic March cold staved off progress for a bit, but with the spring warmth come the finishing touches of the Fair Haven Streetscape project.

And with the final phase of work, that will continue for about another three weeks, comes a minor traffic delay, with one lane closed, during daylight hours on River Road.

“We’re executing the rest of the Streetscape East program,” Mayor Ben Lucarelli said. “We started last fall at around Buena Vista Avenue on the north side, just to get that last part of the project started, then winter kicked in.”

As with the rest of the Streetscape project that spans from the business section by the Acme and now through to the Rumson border, sidewalks are being replaced on both sides of River Road and the consistent historic-looking lighting is being installed.

The last part of the east portion of the project is under construction on the south side of River Road, from Buena Vista to Oak Place, or roughly 911 River Road where the Shrewsbury Yacht Club sits, Lucarelli said.

Next, the project will be competed on the north side of River Road in the same area.

An Artful Welcome to Fair Haven


By Elaine Van Develde

You may have noticed by now that there’s a new look for the light pole banners that line Fair Haven’s own Main Street — River Road.

The banners started appearing in August, the result of a long-thought-out debate over how to best welcome visitors in an aesthetically pleasing way with a lot of local heart.

What a committee ended up deciding was to call on a famous Fair Havenite who has a strong love of the borough and a signature artistic talent to match it — Mike Quon.

“We wanted the banners to be different,” Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli said. “Looking around at what other towns have done, we found that most had the classic blue fabric with white print and once iconic image. We also didn’t want to re-do what we had done for the centennial (which was to hold a contest among the kids and choose a winner). Those banners were blue and white and depicted the Albertina (the signature steam ship on Fair Haven’s logo).

“The committee was looking at clip art and all sorts of other things, none of which seemed to be quite the right fit. Then Mike came to mind. We ended up with the perfect solution — a nice aesthetic to celebrate Fair Haven and a local artist.”

Quon’s hallmark style is his “whimsical” view of favorite places through use of bright colors in what has been dubbed a “bold brushstroke.” He is the son and nephew of original Disney animators. His father, now 101, worked on Fantasia and sketched the original drawing of Dumbo the Elephant.

Last year, he gifted Fair Haven a couple of renderings of iconic spots in town, one being the Fair Haven Dock.

“An especially great thing about these very unique banners is that Mike’s colors are so cheerful,” Lucarelli said. “They will be particularly appreciated as a warm kind of greeting in town when it’s cold and all the leaves are off the trees.”

Quon’s time and talent were donated for the project. The borough paid nominal expenses, such as printing and materials costs.

To learn more about Quon, check out his website at quonart.com.