CentroVerde Groundbreaking Ceremony Today, Developers Optimistic About Including Hotel

centroverde groundbreaking
Officials were all smiles at the groundbreaking.

A gloomy sky did little to dampen the mood at this morning’s ceremonial groundbreaking for Montclair’s controversial CentroVerde project. Mayor Robert Jackson, who called the event “an auspicious occasion,” spoke enthusiastically about an increase in ratables for Montclair, as did other local officials, and developers from LCOR and The Pinnacle Companies.

The silver shovel souvenir.
A silver shovel souvenir.

The Bloomfield Avenue property, which currently stands as Phase I of the Montclair Center Gateway Development Plan, will include 259 residential units, 571 parking spaces, 23,055 sq. ft. of office space and 22,340 sq. ft. of retail space.

“We’re committed to the longterm success of the project,” said LCOR Senior Vice President James Driscoll. “We look forward to seeing people live here, work here, and shop here.” When Driscoll mentioned plans to build a hotel as though it were a done deal, whispers filtered through the crowd.

LCOR's Driscoll, Mayor Jackson, Councilor Spiller, Pinnacle's Stolar.
LCOR’s Driscoll, Mayor Jackson, Councilor Spiller, Pinnacle’s Stolar.

“The hotel isn’t definite, but we’re confident we’ll get it,” Pinnacle Companies CEO Brian Stolar told Baristanet before the ceremony. “We’re in conversations with the top four hotel companies in the world: Marriott, Hilton, Starwood and IHG.”

Montclair Town Manager Marc Dashield, one of the many visibly pleased local officials at the event, said just before the ceremony began: “We’ve been waiting a long time for this. It’s real now.”

centroverde lunch
Nicest lunch ever served in a parking garage.

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  1. Fortunately, CentroVerde is not in existence yet. What if it was and they had included a hotel? We wouldn’t be able to rent our houses out for the superbowl.

  2. It is good to see Mayor Jackson in the company of the industry he has worked for his entire professional life. All good colleagues celebrating. We get to know his interests more clearly.

    Following his promises and praise for all the “ratables” that Centro Verde will deliver for the town, would Mayor Jackson publicly announce how much income he expects the town will generate from this new eyesore in 2013, 2014, . . . 2020? Would he also announce his expectations for the number of new employment positions to be during that period and how many of those positions he expects to be filled by people from Montclair?

    Could we then also see a cost projection for the additionally needed police and fire protection; town services; road work for this project; water, sewage and electricity infrastructure improvements; and the number of new children attending Montclair Public Schools?

    Mayor Jackson should demonstrate his NAACP “extraordinary leadership” by telling us his reasons for praising this project, using the terms he employed during his election campaign.

    It was indeed heartwarming to see the hundreds (thousands?) of Montclairians who turned out for this “historic celebration.” What a remarkable statement on the town’s leadership. No wonder they needed to block off Orange Road for a podium on top of a mound of dirt and lunch served over oil stains. The town’s people will need to learn to live with the “inconveniences” of this project for years to come. At least the weather was able to provide an appropriate backdrop. Baristanet got it right from the beginning: “gloomy.”

    @frobnitz If you were a visitor to Montclair, would you rather stay at a mold-infested Sienna or in a traditional Montclair home? Your humor is truly appreciated, but even in the hypothetical the threat never existed.

  3. Thank you, idratherbeat63, for our daily dose of humor writing. Is there anything or anyone you would not complain about? (I imagine you will jump at the opportunity to go off now on another 7 paragraph rant).

  4. I already know that the mayor is a developer, but I am disturbed to see my councilman, Sean Spiller, enthusiastically participating in this travesty. I see this as a huge eyesore, crowding an unsustainable number of people into a small area and causing all kinds of expensive problems down the road. These development-friendly council people will never get my vote.

  5. I love these groundbreaking photo ops. Those are the cleanest shovels I’ve ever seen and it looks like that fresh mound of dirt was plopped right next to the pavement so the politicos didn’t have to get their shoes or their souvenir silver shovels mussed.

    As long as they have the shovels out, why don’t they build that skate park some people wanted on that empty lot at the corner of Mission Street and Bloomfield Ave? Might keep the kids busy.

  6. Looks like Holiday in Cambodia is not proper for Baristanet. My apologies, got a little carried away this morning.

  7. idratherbeat63 –

    The DK’s still exist, but they aren’t fronted by Jello Biafra anymore, so it’s just not the same.

    Reminds me of Joe Strummer’s version of The Clash without Mick Jones and Paul Simonon.

    Not for nothing, but Isn’t that Essex County’s own Joey D second from left?

  8. @bebogun Your rendering of Holiday in Cambodia was great. The original lyrics can be found all over the Internet. You did a good job of making them Montclair friendly.

    @mistercranetown “not for nothing” or “nothing for nothing”

    @unmitigated gall Those (fake) “silver” souvenir shovels are needed for the coming Council meetings. That is where the real “dirt” gets shoveled.

  9. Where were all you yappers about Centro Verde’ when it was coming up for a vote originally at the planning board and the Council? Hardly anyone spoke out then about the “eyesore” or the density back then. To complain now afterward is just Monday morning quarterbacking.

    To little too late as the saying goes. The time to get involved was under the past Council when they were going over all of the details and voted to approve.

    Enjoy your car charging stations.

  10. Perhaps it is because the past Council ran on a preservation platform and no one was expecting that anything like this could happen. Its not just Monday morning quarterbacking….its more like shock.

  11. You’re wasting your time with that post spotontarget, there’s not a single thing that happens in this town that these crazies on this site don’t feel the need to complain about in some capacity.

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