Montclair Tree House Project

Last week, while we were talking tree houses, our good friend Wheeler Antabanez was just a branch away. Check it out here. And the MLS listing here. And on Craigslist. Press release in the jump…

Montclair, New Jersey – April 2, 2009 – Evicted from his apartment, jobless and virtually penniless, Montclair resident Wheeler Antabanez took to the skies in a last ditch effort for shelter. Utilizing a small plot of land in the Lackawanna section of downtown, Antabanez single-handedly built a soaring two-bedroom tree house.
“A close friend of mine passed away and left me with this tiny little property.” Antabanez says, “It was too small for a normal sized building, but perfect for the tree house.”
High above the pedestrians, Wheeler built himself a happy home, offering incredible views of downtown Montclair. Unfortunately, upon completion, he was slapped with 15 building code violations, 22 fire code infractions and thousands of dollars in municipal penalties. With help from his neighbors he was able to raise enough money to pay off some of the fines and apply for back permits, but it just wasn’t enough. The tree house eventually passed every inspection, but Antabanez still can’t afford to pay the remaining fines and taxes.
“It’s a very sad day, but I have no choice. The tree house is now on the market.” Antabanez said.
Antabanez, 32, an unemployed writer and artist, wrote about the ups and downs of tree house life on his website. Although the entire property is currently for sale, Antabanez hopes the Montclair Art Museum will take notice of the tree house and relocate it to the museum property. He writes, “I envision the tree (and house) replanted on the museum’s lawn with an exhibit inside, detailing how it was made… I would be willing to let the museum have everything for free. All they have to do is move the tree ¬æ of a mile up Bloomfield Avenue.”
Conceding that the Montclair Art Museum probably won’t pay to relocate the tree, Antabanez is offering the property, listed at $149,999 to the right buyer, provided they agree to certain criteria. “I want green people,” said Wheeler. “I envision the right owners to be an adventurous young couple, with stable jobs and good credit, who are looking for an unusual living experience.”

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  1. This is the creation of Matt Kent. He has a unique past, from caldwell troubles to exploring the entire length of the passaic river and writing about it in Weird NJ. He is an accomplished Author, and an all around good guy

  2. What a nut, what a story. Probably Thoreau, were he alive today and living in Montclair, would be in a treehouse. Why doesn’t Baristanet hire this guy as a roving video reporter? I’m sure he’d work like a dog for a month for a fraction of what jerseygurl makes in an hour, of which 15 mins is probably spent preening.*
    *This statement in no way is intended as a slight or criticism of jerseygurl or any other gurl for that matter within or without Baristaville. Preening is a natural activity and is not evidence of any mental disorder.

  3. Two words: “forced perspective”. The guy is certainly handy with dowels and glue, I’ll give him that.

  4. I’m reminded of the “tree huts” that were installed in Madison Square Park from fall through just a few weeks ago Not as stylin’ as the Wheeler Antabanez version, but then, no one was expected to live in these. They were art.

  5. .. careful, marsupial. Quokka has sent out a large hunting party to track you down. They deign to dine on ‘roo meat tonight…

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