Townhouses A Washout On Bloomfield’s Third Riverbank

Bloomfield Third Riverbank Asociation has spent six years crusading against development at a property near Liongate Drive. Now, they’re ready to party like it’s, well, 2007. NY developer, Fefferman/AC Fairways, has withdrawn its application to the Department of Enviromental Protection to build 114 townhouses on the riverbank site. Their blogspot announces the good news.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. When will the government of Bloomfield realize that their “idea” of developing property is just plain WRONG. The citizens of Bloomfield need to clean house so that the fiascos of these failed developments don’t continue to happen. By the way, how many multiple level parking garages can Montclair build, before Bloomfield builds ONE????? 4? 5?

  2. I think there first needs to be demand for parking, such as exists in Montclair, before Bloomfield builds a garage. Another words, people need to actually go to Bloomfield Center before we talk about an expensive garage. I go to the Center occasionally on weekends or in the evenings and NEVER have difficulty finding a parking spot. I may not be able to park directly in front of a business, but I can always find parking somehwere nearby.

  3. todd – fyi – according to NJ transit, in the last four years since the NY direct line, ridership in Bloomfield has gone from 150 to 900 – do you still think a multi level garage by the train station is not needed? Build it, and they will come.

  4. This is great news! The foolishness of developing on this site was driven home by that torrential rainstorm we had back on November 8th (I believe), which turned the Third River into raging rapids that almost completely flooded Brookside Park. (Barista even posted a few of the photos I took that day.)
    My thanks to Nick Joanow and the BTRA for vigorous and relentless fight against this proposal! That said, let’s not let our guard down!

  5. I am not familiar with any previous talk of building a parking garage in Bloomfield Center near the train station. That said, I think it could make sense to do so now rather than waiting for some time in the future when (hopefully) parking became so difficult to find that building the garage became an absolute necessity.
    For one, in order for any type of renaissance in Bloomfield Center to sustain itself, there must be ample parking capacity for both present and future anticipated demand. Growth in the Center could quickly get short-circuited if demand for parking exceeded the current availability, possibly discouraging people from visiting the Center.
    Also, if any land would need to be acquired for a parking garage, it would be much cheaper to purchase now than to wait until the Center was so desireable that the garage became a necessity.
    Was there any plans for a parking garage in the eminent-domain redevelopment plan?

  6. Yes, the Farrand Street lot was to be turned into a multi-deck parking lot which would connect via an overpass over Farrand Street to the planned Stop ‘n Shop (so the people from S&S wouldn’t have to walk over the street to get back to the parking garage). Now that the Stop ‘n Shop and the whole development are apparently defunct, for some reason Bloomfield can’t manage to go ahead and build its own parking deck on its own. I assume it is under the auspices of the Parking Authority but they can’t even manage to fix broken parking meters or think of anything more innovative to put on township streets such as pay and display or some other method that gets rid of the ugly parking meters altogether. I am not impressed with the performance of the Parking Authority to date.

  7. There is no reason why the town of Bloomfield can not build a multi level parking garage on the site of the present surface lot on Farrand St. That alone would entice people and business and commuters to come to Bloomfield. OH, I forgot, the developer doesn’t make so much money building a parking lot on town property. oops.

  8. Pork Roll–Thanks for the words of encouragement. Bloomfield is so on the cusp on coming into its own. Given the fact that we are 10 miles from the greatest city on earth–people travel from all corners of the world to spend just a few days in what is readily available in our own backyard–we have what everyone is looking for: location, location, location. So it would be foolish to be anti-development. But we need to develop in the right places–on the north and south sides of town–with the cooperation of the people who are already invested in those neighborhoods. Hopefully, the days of cramming bad development down people’s throats are coming to an end. We need wider consensus on the most intelligent way to grow our community in an intelligent, sustainable way.

  9. A “pay-and-display” system would be a great idea, especially because (as you note) it would improve the appearance of the streetscape by removing the ugliness of parking meter poles. I first encountered this system in Portland, Oregon (a fairly progressive and innovative city), and thought it was a wonderful concept.
    I’ve only been here a year, but it seems to me that the entire Bloomfield Township government can be characterized by an overall lack of creativity and innovation. The call for fresh perspectives should not stop with the Zoning Board!

  10. bloomfield could certainly take steps to build a parking garage. My hope though that it would be surrounded by first floor retail on its facade.

  11. Don’t be surprised if you see a new Starbucks opening in the area of Bloomfield train station in the new year.

  12. Slightly off topic here–but has anyone else noticed that a Citibank just opened on Bloomfield Ave. just east of Broad (near the post office)? I for one am thrilled. We were in there earlier this week (jump-starting an account that had been dormant since we left NYC), and the service could not have been better.

  13. While I love the concept of the parking garage, the plans for the current garage went hand in hand with the redevelopment proposal. As someone pointed out above, those plans are now mostly defunct. As such, I’m not convinced that a garage is the first order of business for jump starting the Center. I can’t say that I’ve ever heard of spurring development by simply building a garage. Especially, as I stated earlier where parking is not all that difficult (unless you are a commuter looking for free parking!). Try going to the Center on a weeknight or weekend -you’ll find ample parking compared to most towns.
    You don’t put the cart before the horse in this case as garages are very expensive to finance and build. Stand alone garages can not sustain themselves by relying on daily commuters alone. If NJ Transit wants to underwrite the garage’s expense (or some other developer)- fine – build it. But floating a bond to finance the garage, where Bloomfield taxpayers are at risk is, well, risky.

  14. Todd, I agree, there is certainly plenty of parking at the moment in Bloomfield Center. But it seems past overtures made to retailers to try to get them to come to Bloomfield always seemed to flounder and one of the reasons was they cited not enough parking in the downtown area. And of course the ridership of the train in Bloomfield has skyrocketed since Midtown Direct came, and as a result many commuters are parking on residential streets during the day. The ideal would be to get NJ Transit to go in on the parking garage to help commuter parking, and get the additional downtown parking as a perk.
    I’ve also long thought that the big surface parking lot in the historic district which is owned by the College would make a good location for a (very tasteful, historic looking) parking garage since surface parking is just plain ugly. If the town could somehow go in on it with the College they could come up with a plan that would accommodate additional downtown parking as well as student/teacher parking for the College.
    Not everyone would agree with the idea of a parking garage in the historic district and I realize it would need to be done in the right way, not your typical ugly building. But I would hope no matter where they put a parking garage that they could make it aesthetically pleasing anyway.

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