Hotel Montclair: A Different Story

One of the first things we heard at the Hotel Montclair meeting earlier this month is the proposed structure is seven stories rather than the allowable five. The Star Ledger then reported the hotel will have “nine stories in all.” And when we got the architect’s rendering, we had to concur that “seven” is really nine. Montclair resident Victor Weingast has checked the math…From The Montclair Times:

Re: Hotel Montclair.
While math may not be my strongest suit, I am fairly confident of my counting ability. Based on the artist’s rendition of Plofker and Co.’s latest assault on Montclair, I would like to know how anyone can call this a seven-story building.
Counting from the street level, I do count seven stories, but then there is what appears to be another three stories worth of glass structure on top of the seven stories. Don’t these count?
And while we’re talking about counting, you state the site will have 137 rooms, with floors one to four having 25 rooms each; floor five with 23 rooms; and floors six and seven with six each. Again, I make no claims for my math skills, but 25 times four plus 23 plus six plus six equals 135, not 137.
The merits of a hotel in Montclair are worth exploring. Creating more congestion, and a gargantuan eyesore to boot, is not a solution.

Click here to sign up for Baristanet's free daily emails and news alerts.


  1. “Plofker and Co.√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s latest assault on Montclair “?
    “A gargantuan eyesore”
    Sounds apt!

  2. 5, 7, or 9 it’s all just a game of manhood for that guy isn’t it? I’m guessing 5, that’s why he won’t just go away.

  3. Does Montclair have a fire dept. vehicle that can rescue someone from a 9th story window?
    Or is a new ladder truck part of what the developer will toss in to sweeten the deal?

  4. Plop on
    Plop off
    Plop on
    The Plopper
    You plotz for a Plofker,
    but I plotz for thee.
    Oh, plotz for no Plofker,
    but oh, plotz for me.
    Don’t let a plotz
    for a mere Plofker go,
    but plotz for me, for I plotz for thee so.

  5. Do we have enough electricity in the grid for this… or will us taxpayers have to foot the bill for the upgrades…
    word is the sienna is to much to handle already.
    this is serious

  6. haven’t you noticed a PSE&G trucks all over Blmfld ave ??????????????????????????????????????????????

  7. Montclair’s Land Use manual
    Montcair Code
    Chapter 347
    347-2 (34717)
    “Where parking is contained either within or underneath a building, parking levels, even if below grade, shall be counted as stories for the purpose of determining maximum permitted building height.”
    This means we are technically talking about 10 stories for this hotel. I think the Plofker group stated that the site was approved for five stories. Pretty aggressive.

  8. Sorry folks, but I closely examined the architectural renderings of the proposed hotel, and it is indeed only five stories. Just do the math: The first floor is actually considered (and rightly so) the ground floor. The second floor is not actually the second floor–it is the lobby. The third floor doesn’t exist at all–it is a mezannine in the classic sense. And the fourth floor has been replace by the upper mezannine. The fifth floor is indeed the first floor, the sixth floor is the second floor, and the seventh floor is the third floor. And the eighth floor is of course, the fourth floor. The next two levels are the penthouse and upper penthouse. So actually, I was wrong. The proposed hotel only has FOUR floors–NOT FIVE. Why in the world anyone is complaining about a four-story hotel in downtown Montclair is beyond me.

  9. Digital Technology has replaced the relevance of the use of artist’s renderings in seeking public or township approval for a building project. Artist’s renderings have always been used to give the sence of what a proposed building could look within the context of its site in order to aid the public in understanding the reality of a project. Artist’s renderings can also be used as a device. I’ve taught architectural rendering classes for continuing education credits for architects at the Institute for Classical Architecture in NY and do think that the liberties that the renderer may take could result in an image that is too far from the reality of the real context. True to scale street context elevations along with digital photographs and Photoshop allow the architect to render an almost real image.
    The Montclair Building Department does not have building heights on record, just the number of floors, therefore, artists renderings here are just inaccurate guestimates and should not be used in any decisionary process. The only accurate instrument would be true to scale street context elevations, but the architects would have to measure the surrounding buildings themselves. The Planning Board Meeting for the Marlboro Inn was absolutely shocking. I was a guest on the Board that night and John Wynn and I were the only two votes against the Christopher Court Project. I did a street section to illustrate my point about the density of the volumes, but the other council members just looked at it as if it were a glass of cold water. Are these people qualified to be on a Planning Board or to make these extremely important decisions?
    My impression of the Hotel rendering is that it represents a nine or ten story building sited on the corner where the South Park Restaurant is and not on the parking lot next to the church. But it is only an “artist’s rendering.”

  10. “Are these people qualified to be on a Planning Board or to make these extremely important decisions?”
    Some of them aren’t competent enough to be using a toothbrush.

  11. Haven’t we seen this movie before? It’s playing at Grove and Watchung, and as the great Yogi put it, it’s deja vu all over again —
    at an even more crucial, town-defining location.
    I don’t understand why Montclair would even consider getting into bed
    with those whose last gift to us is widely considered a permanent eyesore. Didn’t these folks deceive the town council — or did the
    council deceive us? — in everything from the architects’ renderings
    (where the Marlboro McMansions have more green, open space than Brookdale Park) to the blurry process by which it was all approved
    (the town council said no, then yes, there was another offer, then there wasn’t), all over the desperate pleas of those who live nearby.
    Now already the hotel has more floors than allowed and the town is CONSIDERING LETTING IT HAPPEN!
    May I say this bluntly: We’re dealing with a Donald Trump with a
    better haircut, with as much ego and almost as much cash.
    When will we learn?

  12. Could the wonderful folks who run this site (Merry, non-secular, Christmas, all, plus best wishes for all other relevant holidays) some time include at least a link to a photo of Mr. Plofker? Now I’m curious if he even half-resembles the demon he’s consistently painted as. Joyeux Noel!

  13. Could the wonderful folks who run this site (Merry, non-secular, Christmas, all, plus best wishes for all other relevant holidays) some time include at least a link to a photo of Mr. Plofker? Now I’m curious if he even half-resembles the demon he’s consistently painted as. Joyeux Noel!

  14. According to the NY Times marriage announcement that comes up when googling “Steven D. Plofker”, Mr. Plofker has a master’s degree in city planning from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

  15. That is true, besides having a law degree from Rutgers i believe, mr plofker does indeed have a masters in city planning from Harvard

  16. In the restaurant business, one of the surest signs that someone is not going to be an able manager is if that person holds a degree in hotel and restaurant management. I wonder if it’s the same in city planning, and that the bigger name the school, the more it’s a sign that the person will have no idea what they’re doing?

  17. New Baristanet comment policy: Baristanet provides a lively place for discussion, dissent and witty repartee, but recently some commenters have taken too many liberties with this privilege. From now on, commenters on are responsible for all legal consequences arising from their comments, including libel, infringement of copyright or actions that threaten a third party. By submitting a comment, you agree to indemnify Baristanet LLC, its partners and employees from any legal action arising from your comments. Please report inappropriate comments to

  18. On a dark street in Montclair,
    cool breeze in my hair,
    Warm smell of mojitos, rising up through the air.
    Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light,
    My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim,
    I stopped cold out of fright.
    There he stood in the doorway; I heard an eerie death knell.
    And I was thinking to myself this ain’t heaven, this is hell.
    Then he lit up a candle, and he showed me the way.
    There were voices down the corridor, I thought I heard them say:
    “Welcome to the Hotel Plofkerfornia!
    Such an tacky place, such a garish space.
    Plenty of room at the Hotel Plofkerfornia,
    Any time of year (any time of year) you can find it here.
    His mind is Lucifer-twisted, he’s got the Mercedes Benz.
    He’s got a lot of chummy, chummy pols, that he calls friends.
    How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.
    Some dance to remember, I dance to forget.
    So I called up the captain, “Please bring me some wine.
    Haven’t had anxiety like this since 1969.”
    And still those voices are calling from far away
    Wake you up in the middle of the night, just to hear them say:
    “Welcome to the Hotel Plofkerfornia,
    Such a tawdry place, in a monster space.”
    They√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢re livin’ it up at the Hotel Plofkerfornia√¢‚Ǩ¬ù
    What a bunch of lies, bring your alibis.”
    Mirrors on the ceiling, the cheap champagne on ice.
    I looked in my closet, and found a bunch of mice.
    And in the master’s chambers, they prepare for the feast.
    But I know what’s coming, another tax increase!
    Last thing I remember I was running for the door.
    I had to find the passage back to the place I was before.
    “Relax,” said the mayor, as he hovered around Steve.
    “You can check out anytime you like but you can never leave.√¢‚Ǩ¬ù

  19. city/town/urban/regional planning – i really wouldn’t harp on that point because irrespective of what the school names its specific degree, it’s all the same. you might get some slight variations in the focus of the curriculum depending on where the school is located (i.e. a major city vs. a more suburban setting), but that’s about it. you get the same general skills in most programs. irrespective of plofker’s degree, the man is still a developer and he does NOT do context-sensitive work. whether that’s the harvard GSD’s fault or his, i cannot say.
    as for a competent planning board, i don’t know what everyone expects when it comes to expertise and competence in the planning field. the board is set up so that it consists of average denizens with some outside technical assistance from actual planners. you can’t expect them to make these kinds of sophisticated decisions. i work with a planning board in another state and i find this frustrating on a daily basis–they know VERY little about planning. I’m definitely not criticizing the system–because i think having lay people make decisions about their town’s future form is imperative–but its the sacrifice that comes with it working this way. at least in New Jersey they’re now mandating some formal, albeit brief, training for PB members. definitely a step in the right direction.

Comments are closed.