Pinnacle Companies’ Statement: Plan for “The MC” Hotel Moves Forward in Montclair

BY  |  Friday, Jul 25, 2014 7:34am  |  COMMENTS (82)

The proposed MC Hotel

The proposed MC Hotel

Following last night’s meeting of the Montclair Historic Preservation Commission, The Pinnacle Companies released this statement:

The Pinnacle Companies met with the Montclair Historic Preservation Commission last night to discuss plans for The MC hotel, an eight-story full-service boutique hotel at Bloomfield Avenue and Orange Road in downtown Montclair. When opened, the 148-room hotel will become part of the Autograph Collection, Marriott International’s exclusive portfolio of independent hotels.

“Although the Historic Preservation Commission’s review and commentary is purely advisory, since the hotel property and the overall CentroVerde project are not part of the Township’s historic preservation zone, we were pleased to meet with the HPC last night, and appreciate that they accommodated us timing-wise, so there are not further delays with The MC,” said Reuben Twersky, vice president of development and project manager for The Pinnacle Companies, developer of The MC and surrounding CentroVerde mixed use development.

“In terms of the scale of the building, the design, and the eight stories plus rooftop bar, we are 100% in compliance with the Montclair Center Gateway Redevelopment Plan,” continued Twersky. “The Township’s Plan is the product of nearly two years of public meetings and input to replace two shuttered car dealerships that closed in 2007, and provides for a cleanup of environmental contamination resulting from the former tenants.”

The MC’s design incorporates multiple set backs and step backs and multiple variations in materials designed to make the building fit in with the streetscape of downtown Montclair. The hotel design includes a pedestrian-friendly entrance on Bloomfield Avenue, a public plaza on the corner of Bloomfield and Orange and a new restaurant and bar. It will extend Montclair’s business center further west, increasing the economic vitality of the Township.

“Architecturally, the most exciting thing about The MC’s design is the two-story public atrium, which adds heart and soul to the community and celebrates the public aspect of the building as a true meeting place,” said Michael Maturo, president, DYAMI Architecture, the architect of record and design architect for The MC. “In keeping with the ‘Gateway’ theme of the Township’s plan, we sculpted the atrium to make it the focus of the building design and opened up the hotel’s entire first floor to the public.”

The hotel’s transparent public atrium on Bloomfield Avenue is designed to welcome pedestrians from the street that can gather for informal meetings, meals and beverages, while hotel guests will enter the building from a circular drive off Orange Road.

“The arrival of The MC hotel is absolutely critical for Montclair to reach its true potential as a destination city,” said Melissa Walker, president & founder, Jazz House Kids and producer of the Montclair Jazz Festival. “From a cultural standpoint and as an economic driver, The MC will improve our ability to attract celebrated artists, enthusiastic fans and special events to our neighborhood.”

“The MC hotel will provide a tremendous high-quality resource for our university that has been missing from the Montclair community for decades,” said Jack Shannon, vice president for university advancement, Montclair State University, New Jersey’s second largest university with 20,000 students. “The MC will allow us to provide local accommodations for our students and families, visiting faculty and staff, national and international speakers, and out-of-town attendees for our growing number of conferences, performances and other special events.”

“The Museum is very excited about The MC hotel, which will bring new energy to a corridor along Bloomfield Avenue in the process of revival. Our area is so key because it lies near the western entrance into town and gives many people their first impression of Montclair,” said Lora Urbanelli, director of the Montclair Art Museum. “Over the past two years we’ve been installing art on our grounds to create a more welcoming setting, and having the new hotel just two blocks from us will enhance that effort. We also look forward to welcoming visitors that the hotel will bring to the museum!”

“We are very excited to work with all factions of the Montclair community to create a central hub of activity with the new hotel and public spaces,” said Brian Stolar, president and CEO, The Pinnacle Companies.

82 Comments

  1. POSTED BY Spiro T. Quayle  |  July 25, 2014 @ 8:11 am

    Twersky can wish all he wants for “no further delays” and wax poetic about his “two-story atrium” ( an interior space having little or nothing to do with HPC review ) but capable exterior redesign takes time and lord knows this building needs it. Had Pinnacle voluntarily taken the project to HPC earlier in the process, before all their time and money was squandered on the buildings absurd design details, they would have gotten good guidance and they and the project would have been better off. Let’s hope HPC does it’s job here and that the Township demands that the HPC recommendations are implemented fully.

  2. POSTED BY flipside  |  July 25, 2014 @ 8:44 am

    “The arrival of The MC hotel is absolutely critical for Montclair to reach its true potential as a destination city,” ….I guess if Montclair achieves that lofty goal maybe the hotel won’t be so out of scale. Manhattan must be shaking in it’s boots with this new competitor only 12 miles away. My question would be are we shooting for Paris or Vegas?

  3. POSTED BY stayhyphy  |  July 25, 2014 @ 8:57 am

    STQ, exterior design and aesthetics really gets the best of you huh?

  4. POSTED BY Spiro T. Quayle  |  July 25, 2014 @ 9:07 am

    Absolutely, stayhyphy. I enjoy walking down the street, looking around, and knowing that human inspiration and effort are both alive and well. I like due process, too. Of course, some people prefer the uglier towns, and they have many to choose from.

  5. POSTED BY Nellie  |  July 25, 2014 @ 9:07 am

    Will Ted Nugent be banned from staying at the hotel?

  6. POSTED BY progress  |  July 25, 2014 @ 10:27 am

    still so disappointed that we, as a town, and as a society value our cars so much that we degrade even the core of our downtowns with hideous parking.
    https://e13c7623ea07ffe9c5c6-e19f06f73efdb5028989d1916204cd71.r73.cf2.rackcdn.com/63680_1403229786_valleybloom-medium.jpg

  7. POSTED BY State Street Pete  |  July 25, 2014 @ 10:35 am

    Very disappointed to see the Montclair Jazz Festival, the Art Museum and MSU helping the developers with their public relations. Why would they enter the fray in a divisive issue like this? I really really hope Pinnacle does not show up on the donor lists for any of these groups.

  8. POSTED BY flipside  |  July 25, 2014 @ 10:39 am

    @ progress….one of my favorite movie scenes, unfortunately cut short…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTTF2QIHDCM

  9. POSTED BY progress  |  July 25, 2014 @ 10:40 am

    https://e13c7623ea07ffe9c5c6-e19f06f73efdb5028989d1916204cd71.r73.cf2.rackcdn.com/63680_1403229786_valleybloom-medium.jpg

    No main street downtown corridor can ever be successful with parking lots occupying crucial parts of the streets cape. We will have brand new buildings all over the area with tons of people looking for a public space or park (which was an option to replace this hideous parking lot) only to find a weed filled 32 space lot. This location is perfect for a pocket park where people could congregate, there is no park like space in the downtown area and we vote to keep and preserve anything related to the car. How many prime real estate location can we provide for the car. It’s comical that these developments are replacing, a gas station (surrounded by two other gas stations) a car dealership, a car showroom and a parking lot. Car Car Car Car. All people talk about is preservation and aesthetics on this board, where were your voiced when we allowed unlimited amounts of parking lots, gas stations, tire shops, lube shops, car dealerships and everything that comes along with them (traffic, lights, ugly street signs, parking meters) to fill up 30% of our streets cape?

    I am SO happy that Valley and Bloom and the new hotel are taking up the space that these auto oriented spots used to occupy, they were dead zones, places where no one wanted to be unless they were speeding through at 35 mph. That’s not a downtown…those places can go out on rt 3 with all of the other ghoulish suburban sprawl equipment.

  10. POSTED BY gooseberry  |  July 25, 2014 @ 11:04 am

    It’s SO critical for Montclair to have a hotel in town, especially an enormous eye sore such as this one. Where else will the throngs of tourists that flood the town each summer stay? Montclair is on EVERY out of tower’s must see list – the Met, Empire State Building, Central Park, Museum of Natural History and a stop to cultural hot spot, Montclair, NJ. This hotel will no doubt turn into nothing but a hook-up place for married & bored suburbanites/hookers – watch the “vision” crash & burn…

  11. POSTED BY progress  |  July 25, 2014 @ 11:18 am

    so gooseberry….according to your logic…only major cities with world class attractions like the MET and Empire Stte Building are appropriate for a hotel? Then why do places that have WAY less cultural attractions than Montclair (i.e. Woodbridge, Livingston, Lodi etc) all have multiple hotels? All of them with double the rooms of this one. We get it…we are not NY…and just because we are putting a hotel in town does not mean we think we are, or are trying to become NYC. There are suburban towns all over the US with hotels way bigger than this one…are they all empty?

  12. POSTED BY jcunningham  |  July 25, 2014 @ 11:22 am

    “I really really hope Pinnacle does not show up on the donor lists for any of these groups.”

    —good grief. can’t you argue your case on its merits? you have to resort to this sort of unfounded innuendo and introduce the whiff of corruption? how despicable. how telling.

  13. POSTED BY progress  |  July 25, 2014 @ 11:25 am

    I still have not had my question answered about why the small business owners on Bloomfield Ave are allowed to have their store fronts look any way they want to and there is no outrage on these boards on how they are “destroying the appeal of Montclair” Why do we wait for the new stuff, that is replacing dead zones to critique so harshly. It’s because they are big, and corporate and are trying to make money. That is why and that is true. They are trying to make money just like every other storefront in this town. What they are building is way better than about 80% of the storefronts in this town. Empty lots with parking cones and chain linked fences on many of the plots…no outcry. No real push to fill or repair them..big bad Pinnacle comes in and puts up new retail and residential places and they are skewered. The rage on this board when Church Street was made 1000% more attractive and pedestrian friendly was absurd. It is by far the most vibrant and enjoyable place in our town and it is a place that was ugly, cold, vacated and no one wanted to be there…you all have to be kidding me.

  14. POSTED BY progress  |  July 25, 2014 @ 11:29 am

    more “crazy people” in support of this awesome project. Good to hear that the 20 people on this board who will do anything to preserve the status quo are not the only people in town. This is how the majority of people I talk to in town feel about these projects, and the master plan in general.

    “The arrival of The MC hotel is absolutely critical for Montclair to reach its true potential as a destination city,” said Melissa Walker, president & founder, Jazz House Kids and producer of the Montclair Jazz Festival. “From a cultural standpoint and as an economic driver, The MC will improve our ability to attract celebrated artists, enthusiastic fans and special events to our neighborhood.”

    “The MC hotel will provide a tremendous high-quality resource for our university that has been missing from the Montclair community for decades,” said Jack Shannon, vice president for university advancement, Montclair State University, New Jersey’s second largest university with 20,000 students. “The MC will allow us to provide local accommodations for our students and families, visiting faculty and staff, national and international speakers, and out-of-town attendees for our growing number of conferences, performances and other special events.”

    “The Museum is very excited about The MC hotel, which will bring new energy to a corridor along Bloomfield Avenue in the process of revival. Our area is so key because it lies near the western entrance into town and gives many people their first impression of Montclair,” said Lora Urbanelli, director of the Montclair Art Museum. “Over the past two years we’ve been installing art on our grounds to create a more welcoming setting, and having the new hotel just two blocks from us will enhance that effort. We also look forward to welcoming visitors that the hotel will bring to the museum!”

  15. POSTED BY progress  |  July 25, 2014 @ 11:44 am

    @State Street Pete – This has to be one of the most discouraging comments posted here in a long time. Thanks for this gem. Am I to understand you correctly in that CULTURAL institutions cannot opine on the matters of development in town…or are you upset solely because their opinions differ from yours?

    “Very disappointed to see the Montclair Jazz Festival, the Art Museum and MSU helping the developers with their public relations. Why would they enter the fray in a divisive issue like this? I really really hope Pinnacle does not show up on the donor lists for any of these groups.”

  16. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  July 25, 2014 @ 11:56 am

    “In terms of the scale of the building, the design, and the eight stories plus rooftop bar, we are 100% in compliance with the Montclair Center Gateway Redevelopment Plan,” continued Twersky.

    I don’t believe they are in compliance with the Redevelopment Plan, and therefore, not in compliance to the approved zoning.

    The Redevelopment Plan legally supersedes existing zoning and that is why the Planning Board does not have any discretionary authority. That is why the Planning Department had to reverse the Planning Board and allow the HPC advisory review. Now, the architect will have to revise the roof top design or file an application to the Council for a revision to the Plan – effectively asking for a variance or waiver to zoning. If the Council approves the application, it is also effectively – and officially – making this a 9 story building. To me, it was always a 9 story building, but the Council, the Planning Board and the Planning Department went to great lengths to say it was only 8 story with a “rooftop amenity”.

    I have long ago conceded the approved mass and height argument. But, I have not conceded that all involved have to follow the approved zoning.

  17. POSTED BY hrhppg  |  July 25, 2014 @ 12:11 pm

    “There are suburban towns all over the US with hotels way bigger than this one…are they all empty?”

    Well progress considering the entire US hotel industry is now changing their standard practices and moving toward smaller boutique hotels I’m willing to say yes occupancy in those suburban areas is lacking. This hotel is actually an experiment for the chain and they don’t have a clue how it will pan out.

    If the hotel in Bellevue is any indicator then the “by the hour” crowds will soon be here.

  18. POSTED BY carlas  |  July 25, 2014 @ 12:17 pm

    I feel like we are in a Field of Dreams situation. “Build it and they will come” only with Urbanelli, Stolar etc. subbing for Kevin Costner. The economic benefits of construction and the potential of drawing affluent travelers is tempting, sure, but we are putting the cart before the horse?

  19. POSTED BY frankgg  |  July 25, 2014 @ 12:33 pm

    Of course, I truly wish the Hotel Luck and Success but I have seen this mistaken planning situation fail before with Christopher Court (to name one) and I have no confidence in the continuation of this type of development once the community actually sees it built. I hope I’m wrong. Montclair’s main real estate value is fine vintage residential and it seems from the community’s conversations is that they just dont want this type of overscale transformation of Monclair Center.

  20. POSTED BY gooseberry  |  July 25, 2014 @ 12:46 pm

    Progress, get real – Montclair doesn’t have corporate campuses like Woodbridge & have you seen Lodi hotels?! The Art Museum has one significant show every few years & if tourists do come it will be a day trip from NYC or elsewhere. Spend a few days in Montclair? To see what??? I don’t think so.

  21. POSTED BY kay  |  July 25, 2014 @ 12:47 pm

    Unless we build the Mont-Bloom Chunnel, and put a complete subway system under there, we are going to have to accommodate cars and parking. Honestly I would like to know if there is some shangri-la somewhere that exists in a nice state of equilibrium without cars. Even NYC, the most car-unfriendly place I have ever seen, with the most accessible mass-transit system ever, has parking lots! (And people actually drive in there! There’s not enough money in the world to make me want to drive in that city! Aggh!)

    Granted, parking lots should be made to look presentable, but IMHO they are a necessary function of life. What am I missing here? If we don’t build it, they won’t come, right?

    I have a friend who just sold everything – 2 cars and a house in PA – and moved with his wife and baby to Park Slope! Go figure! He says he’s actually *saving* money by renting and dumping the auto expenses, and the subway/PATH fare to Newark is much less than what he was paying to come up from Trenton.

    The point is, we can’t expect someone like this to visit our leafy ‘burgh and enjoy its museums and restaurants… mass transit doesn’t easily bring people to our central business district. What’s the likelihood that he and his wife and infant would get off at Bay St and trudge all the way up the hill to the MC Hotel, stay a couple of nights, visit the MAM and have dinner at Giotto’s, then trudge back down the hill to go home? I think not likely. So someday, if he caves in buys a car, he’d still have to drive out here … and have somewhere to park.

    But again, what am I missing here?

  22. POSTED BY hrhppg  |  July 25, 2014 @ 1:07 pm

    Christopher Court ? Wasn’t that the site of the Marlboro Inn to whom a lack need and profit after decades left it worn down ?

    Well I’m sure THIS hotel will be different.

  23. POSTED BY State Street Pete  |  July 25, 2014 @ 1:16 pm

    My apologies to the three institutions mentioned. I should not have included my last sentence and I was wrong to suggest there could be a quid pro quo without any basis in fact. I took others to task over suggestions of racism in the Nishuane noise discussion when there was no basis for it, and now I’m guilty of doing much the same thing. I have tremendous respect for Montclair Jazz and MAM and support them both, by attendance and financially, so my comment came as someone who cares about those institutions and who would be sad if it went down like that. I wasn’t trying to poison the waters or make innuendo, but it certainly came out like that, and for that I’m sorry.

  24. POSTED BY tonyrod  |  July 25, 2014 @ 1:21 pm

    Parking can and will be a problem. We know how this story ends, just look at New York where it’s so clogged parking spaces are going for absurd amounts of money. Walkable streets and open areas dissipate stress and encourage people to get out of their cars. Let’s keep that in mind when we look at these developments. Twenty years down the road we could be telling youngsters “I remember when taking a walk was nice instead of a scramble between cars and parking garages.”

  25. POSTED BY State Street Pete  |  July 25, 2014 @ 1:28 pm

    Progress, cultural institutions can state their opinion on whatever they want, they just risk alienating a large portion of the people who support them. And yes I’m upset, but not simply because their opinions differ from mine, but because they are taking a position that may well be beneficial to their bottom line, but detrimental to the town as a whole.

  26. POSTED BY gooseberry  |  July 25, 2014 @ 1:52 pm

    Parking is a problem in NYC because it’s one of the cultural capitals of the world. I would deal with the parking problem/mass transit for a superb dinner and a night at the opera. But what does Montclair offer to anticipate such major parking issues? Even if the town becomes a strip of parking garages to accommodate the throngs, what are they thronging to??? I doubt a few mediocre restaurants on Bloomfield Ave. or various shopping malls is enough. I visited the MAM Picasso show & parking in their lot was no problem at all – if that show didn’t draw the crowds what will? A town with parking galore yet nothing to see. Fools…

  27. POSTED BY Nellie  |  July 25, 2014 @ 3:33 pm

    Maybe the first floor of the hotel should be a casino…Shake Atlantic City up a little bit.

  28. POSTED BY frankgg  |  July 25, 2014 @ 4:02 pm

    State Street Pete….dont worry… you are upset…(like many of us) …and you reacted. You are always a gentleman

  29. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  July 25, 2014 @ 9:50 pm

    SSP,

    The 2 institutions mentioned here are Stakeholders. Stakeholders have always had special status in Montclair, but those with a capital S seem to dominate the others. Both institutions are lending their names in support of this done deal out of the goodness of their deeply non-profit hearts.

    I have absolutely no idea how The MC would significantly impact the JHK on any level…except if they performed on the 9th floor. I’m just chalking it up to they were around and someone asked them.

  30. POSTED BY nhoj825  |  July 25, 2014 @ 10:59 pm

    What kind of tax revenue dose Montclair get from this Hotel?

  31. POSTED BY claremont  |  July 26, 2014 @ 9:02 am

    AHHHHH Now we get done to one of the biggest questions of all concerning this. After all, isn’t that why Montclair has done all this development? Money? So, what is the answer to nhoj825’s question. What is the tax revenue? From what I know they don’t pay the taxes that others pay but they pay something call “payment in lieu of taxes” Montclair in the past has a very poor record of collecting these taxes and the contracts have not been written well. SO, Mr Mayor, TC, and administration of Montclair, did you leave a number of loopholes in the contract like you did at the Siena so collection will be difficult?

  32. POSTED BY flipside  |  July 26, 2014 @ 9:32 am

    There is a part two to nhoj825’s question. How much will it cost the town to service the Hotel? More police to protect the visiting dignitaries? More firemen? New fire equipment to protect a 9 story building? How about waste removal? …..I am sure there is more but my bet the cost to the town will be far greater than any taxes collected. I guess the plan is if the town booms taxes can be raised on surrounding commercial property.

  33. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  July 26, 2014 @ 10:25 am

    Approximately $120MM.

  34. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  July 26, 2014 @ 10:26 am

    That’s for all of G1.

  35. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  July 26, 2014 @ 11:46 am

    Funniest line in the whole press release:

    “Architecturally, the most exciting thing about The MC’s design is the two-story public atrium, which adds heart and soul to the community and celebrates the public aspect of the building as a true meeting place,” said Michael Maturo, president, DYAMI Architecture, the architect of record and design architect for The MC. “In keeping with the ‘Gateway’ theme of the Township’s plan, we sculpted the atrium to make it the focus of the building design and opened up the hotel’s entire first floor to the public.”

    I just have to wonder why these guys are trying so very hard to not let the “halo” be called a focal point. I’ll just have to noodle through that one.

  36. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  July 26, 2014 @ 11:57 am

    Thank you Baristanet for reprinting this press release.

    A good press release is just so informative and helpful. Its timing, what is included, what isn’t, who gets quoted and the placement of their comments. Even the title line is finely crafted.
    This was one of the better press releases.

  37. POSTED BY Spiro T. Quayle  |  July 26, 2014 @ 12:03 pm

    Frank R, thanks for highlighting the memorable line “we sculpted the atrium”. Nice way of saying “we left out some of the floor slab on level two”.

  38. POSTED BY State Street Pete  |  July 26, 2014 @ 12:34 pm

    The new Bloomfield College building on Broad Street, which I think looks a bit like the MC both in shape and materials but much smaller, seems to be just about done, on the exterior at least. To be honest, it’s nicer looking than I expected, but it is quite sterile and average looking. It’s nicer than the buildings that were there, for sure. But again, the question really is what are you striving for? In Bloomfield, we need to revitalize and we’re basically getting a downtown makeover. Montclair could use a hotel, yes, but doesn’t the town have higher expectations for what that hotel should look like?

  39. POSTED BY stayhyphy  |  July 26, 2014 @ 11:55 pm

    “I enjoy walking down the street, looking around, and knowing that human inspiration and effort are both alive and well.”

    Human insparation is collective its always alive and well, what you see is what you get, because you are not personally inspired does not imply otherwise. Why didn’t you develop that lot with something, perhaps more inspirational?

  40. POSTED BY Spiro T. Quayle  |  July 27, 2014 @ 8:37 am

    Fair question, stahyphy, if I had deeper pockets and expertise in hotel development, I’d have considered it. In the meantime, here’s someone’s idea of inspirational hotel design to start your day. Like you said, I’m “not personally inspired” by this one, but, maybe you are.
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/de/Trump_hotel_Las_Vegas_0475.JPG

  41. POSTED BY PAZ  |  July 27, 2014 @ 8:43 am

    No “Coming soon” signs on the B.C. building in Blmfld. Makes me wonder if Barnes & Noble was just fiction?

  42. POSTED BY wildwoodben  |  July 27, 2014 @ 9:28 am

    I would think the MC hotel will flourish immediatley. A successful brand of renown, the 5-star business hotel model, the dense population with diverse businesses, the lack of competition, the burgeoning economy (DJ 17,000 vs 7000 a few years ago). The Saddle Brook Marriott has been a major success for over 40 years. Now if we can re-develope the police station property and get rid of the gas station, we are on to something. Somehow I trust the business acumen of the Marriott people. When the Mormons found a need for dry goods and their special clothing, in Salt Lake City, they founded the Zion Merchantile. I think they know what they are doing. What about the antiquated and ridiculous liquor licensing issue? This alone could destroy any business in the 21st century. 13 licenses for 33,000 population? Can we somehow update our laws and avoid foot-shooting, finally?

  43. POSTED BY frankgg  |  July 27, 2014 @ 11:12 am

    Yes precisely SSP…and this is a growing problem because the mediocre development and high taxes, the allure of Montclair is fading fast.

    When I posted the Baristanet story about the MC hotel on my Facebook page, I immediately got an outpour from Montclair native friends …..

    How ugly and crazy is this?
 July 17 at 9:38am ·

    

not in my hometown looks like a bad shopping mall plus more traffic
 July 17 at 9:43am

    

Really ugly design. Doesn’t fit the character of the township at all.
 July 17 at 9:54am ·

    It is hideous and if it fails it will stand like an ugly ruin because it will be an eyesore that no one will want to inherit. I had not seen the elevations of the final before. BUTT UGLY…. And I fear that parking in the area will only get A LOT WORSE. 
July 17 at 9:57am

    

hotel sure why not but make it beautiful if your going to spend that kind of money how about a victorian instead of home repo cheapo
 July 17 at 10:01am ·

    ^exactly.
 July 17 at 10:01am ·

    

Looks as if it was designed by a committee of corporate drones.
 July 17 at 10:02am –

    i always thought that montclair was immune from jersey tacitness because the best people came from there
 July 17 at 10:07am ·

    hope the pigeons s all over it 
July 17 at 10:10am ·

    This proposal looks like something they would build in Cleveland.
 July 17 at 10:16am ·

    Not to worry, it is an evacuation center for floods.
 July 17 at 10:21am ·

    

montclair is like a donut “how long can a good thing last”
 July 17 at 10:24am

    

This is what happens when you let people with money and no soul make decisions like this.
 July 17 at 10:27am ·

    can you imaging being a resident on the hill…paying over 50 K a year in property taxes and then the township approves a cheap looking building that blocks your view of NYC 
 July 17 at 10:40am ·

    I used to enjoy the snow capped ridge of Eagle Rock, from my townhouse, across from the crescent parking lot, on South Fullerton. Now I get to see a parking deck and The Siena.
 July 17 at 10:51am ·

    Let’s face it folks! Despite the image that Montclair projects, in fashionable media; this is not the same town that many of us grew up in. 
July 17 at 10:59am ·

  44. POSTED BY Cary Africk  |  July 27, 2014 @ 3:50 pm

    Dear Wild,

    I think Marriott’s involvement in MC is not that deep. Other than a reservation system, and the ability to get Marriott awards, I think the hotels in the “collection” are independent. I don’t believe Marriott will own, or manage, the MC. I would welcome correction if I am in error.

  45. POSTED BY claremont  |  July 27, 2014 @ 6:09 pm

    In looking to do a bit of research on the Marriott, seeking a possible answer to Cary’s thought above, I found something interesting. We were told the hotel’s design factors in Montclair’s surrounding area, Montclair’s feel and etc. Well look what I found. If you go to https://www.autograph-hotels.marriott.com/collection/ and then scroll down, look at the pictures of the Epicurean Hotel/Tampa and the Grand Bohemian Hotel/Orlando. Does anyone recognize a likeness in the pictures of the 2 hotels. Put the 2 Hotels together and don’t they look like the specifically designed Hotel for Montclair? Hmmm Why do I have the feeling that The Pinnacle Companies sold our community many falsehoods just so they could build this on? I get the feeling that their theory was tell them anything just to get it built. Bring in a plan, then make “corrections” to that plan until you have whatever you want.

  46. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  July 27, 2014 @ 7:16 pm

    I would have been happier with the Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando over this design…with one caveat….the Darth Vader Grand Office Complex would be diagonally across the street.

  47. POSTED BY jerseygurl  |  July 27, 2014 @ 7:50 pm

    Of course, Orlando is known for it’s architecture and quality construction of all those vacation time shares.

  48. POSTED BY jcunningham  |  July 27, 2014 @ 8:21 pm

    What a stunning turn of events that frank’s facebook friends all agree with him.

    I can’t wait til he posts comments from his high school yearbook…

  49. POSTED BY stu  |  July 28, 2014 @ 10:38 am

    Will there be an indoor pool in this hotel? Or will the customers just go for a swim in the parking garage once it fills with water?

  50. POSTED BY silverleaf  |  July 28, 2014 @ 11:25 am

    The Marriott Corporation and the Pinnacle folks have got that all figured out, stu. They plan to run a shuttle bus down Valley Road where guests can have a swim at Edgement Park. Why do you think the pond was dredged and a new retaing wall built last year?

  51. POSTED BY frankgg  |  July 28, 2014 @ 11:33 am

    There is an underground stream running under Orange Road in culverts adjacent to the parking garage to take into consideration. This water source is documented.

  52. POSTED BY Cary Africk  |  July 28, 2014 @ 11:56 am

    For a very interesting read on Marriott and what the Autograph Collection, which the MC belongs to, means, see:

    https://www.marriott.com/hotel-development/Autograph-Collection.mi

    especially see the download:

    https://www.marriott.com/Multimedia/PDF/Hotel_Development/AutographCollectionDevBrochure.pdf

    Note that this is a GOOD THING for the MC and for Montclair! It enables the hotel owners and management an opportunity to tap into an excellent array of services!

  53. POSTED BY silverleaf  |  July 28, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

    “retaining” wall

  54. POSTED BY wildwoodben  |  July 28, 2014 @ 1:00 pm

    Marriott has its reputation to protect and would not allow itself destructive new property, is my guess. I enjoy the snideness of swimming at Edgemont and time share bashing in Oralndo. But also marvel at how differently are operated the Marriott Time Square from Stamford CT and Courtyard of Old Town San Diego. I think they do a pretty good job. Predictable and professional comes to mind. If you are driving down the highway and looking for a hotel, the Marriott wins by reputation, over many alternatives. But “no place like home” is also popular with travelers. These two truths alone make me think the new hotel will do alright.

  55. POSTED BY stu  |  July 28, 2014 @ 2:04 pm

    I don’t doubt that a hotel in Montclair would be viable. There is certainly a lack of them in the area and what does exist is pretty low brow. Where I am bothered is by the enormity of this building. It is woefully out of scale to anything on the Ave. When one thinks of Montclair, it’s typically culture, parks, well maintained century old housing stock, as well as progressive social values that usually come to mind.

    It’s funny. When I visualize Morristown, I see both the pretty town square as well as that giant hideous hotel just off of it. I think it’s a Hyatt. When this project is finished, Montclair too will be thought of as a town with all of the aforementioned qualities, plus this hideous hotel erected as a memorial to past town councils who spent more than they received.

  56. POSTED BY claremont  |  July 29, 2014 @ 8:21 am

    First of all, good sleuthing Cary on finding those pages I didn’t see when I was on the website. Second when I speak negatively against the hotel I can’t include Marriott in that.They are a good chain of hotels and stand for a certain quality. They didn’t build it, however I am sure they had a big influence in it, but the size and etc is exactly what I am against. Stu’s post is well spoken and I agree with his intent and thoughts. We need development on empty lands done respectfully and this just plainly isn’t!! The last part of Stu’s post says it all……..”plus this hideous hotel erected as a memorial to past town councils who spent more than they received” Therein lays the problem!!! Today’s TC isn’t much better.

  57. POSTED BY wildwoodben  |  August 01, 2014 @ 9:15 am

    If it was Motel 6, there might be concern. But Marriott? Cannot do better. The center of town deserves an iconic edifice. We have enough frozen yogurt stalls, nail salons, bank branches, gas stations especially those with $3.89/gal when the market is $3.29. Also, we have 5-6 groceries within easy reach. A nice hotel fills the bill pretty well. The links to Marriott sites makes the case they are the one to occupy, for sure. We should be grateful considering what might have been.

  58. POSTED BY flipside  |  August 01, 2014 @ 10:05 am

    But..but..but..what is going on in Montclair? First Ted Nugent and now a Marriott! Marriott was founded by Mormon missionaries…no wonder it is extremely well run and perennially makes the list of “best places to work”. Mmm…I wonder if this is a set up for Romney ’16 (He was on their board until he ran for President) …or maybe there just weren’t any hotel chains founded by community organizers for Montclair to choose from.

  59. POSTED BY State Street Pete  |  August 01, 2014 @ 12:18 pm

    “The center of town deserves an iconic edifice.” I couldn’t agree more, but we haven’t seen one yet.

  60. POSTED BY stayhyphy  |  August 01, 2014 @ 12:42 pm

    @ wildwoodben. Refreshing to hear this take on Baristanet. While the minority continue to know what “most people” in Montclair want, they fail to understand why this is exactly what downtown needs largely as a result of some distorted vision of “their” Montclair.

  61. POSTED BY parkour  |  August 01, 2014 @ 2:02 pm

    @wildwodben thank you so much for your thoughts. I feel like I am on here alone in a sea of discontent towards the MC and all new forms of developments and disruption of “our Montclair” It’s gotten to be a bit highbrow, snobbish and altogether too much. Not too mention completely inconsistent and misplaced. As you mentioned there are so many other places worthy of harsh critique on Bllomfield Ave…the endless surface parking, four gas stations, dead zone back ATM’s an nails salons all with their own version of neon advertising and untended storefront windows, and this brand new building that will do nothing but bring life back to a vacant corner of town can literally do not right.

    It will do well and the vast majority of citizens and business owners that I have spoken to welcome it, and other projects like it (Valley and Bloom) with very wide open arms. We need to hear from those people more often…otherwise it’s hundreds of snarky, cynical posts with one-liners about the ring on top of the building desperate to get a chuckle out of a few posters in Baristaville who claim to know what’s best for the other 36,000 people in our town.

  62. POSTED BY stu  |  August 01, 2014 @ 2:04 pm

    “In keeping with the ‘Gateway’ theme of the Township’s plan, we sculpted the atrium to make it the focus of the building design and opened up the hotel’s entire first floor to the public.”

    I look forward to hosting my investment club’s meetings in their lobby.

  63. POSTED BY hrhppg  |  August 01, 2014 @ 2:13 pm

    I love the idea that this is needed because hotels are sorely lacking in our area. Apparently sorely lacking now mean I can’t see it from my porch.

    So I’d love to hear from the 36,000 other people in town – when is the last time you needed a hotel room for yourself or a relative ?

    My own answer in the 80’s and they stayed at the Marlboro Inn.

  64. POSTED BY zephyr  |  August 01, 2014 @ 2:41 pm

    I don’t know what the result of this hotel’s construction will be.

    I do know, having lived here since the late 1990’s, is that this town has VASTLY improved from when I first got here. Church Street is AMAZING now, so vibrant and so full of life.

    The building in the area of the Bay Street and Walnut Street train stations has so much improved those neighborhoods.

    I really hope that construction begins soon on moving the police and town hall to the Lackawanna shopping center area, that place really needs some revitalization like what’s been done near Walnut and Bay Street.

  65. POSTED BY cspn55  |  August 01, 2014 @ 3:00 pm

    tourists don’t generally come to a place like Montclair except for maybe the Wellmont or parents weekend at MSU. Most hotels in suburbia tend to focus on being event spaces and destinations. weddings, corp events, bar mitvahs….you can have the event there and then guests can stay over. I would think that this will be like the Washington’s HQ – or whatever it is called now – off the green in Morristown which is a good sized hotel that has been a hotel for a while now.

  66. POSTED BY progress  |  August 01, 2014 @ 3:26 pm

    @Zephyr…you are spot on in your assessment that Montclair has VASTLY improved in the last 15-20 years. In my opinion, literally every single new addition, repurposed building, TOD, enhanced streets cape design has greatly improved the lives of everyone in this town. To walk down Church St is to see what can happen when we think clearly and generate pedestrian centered spots rather than solely focus on every town meeting on how to get our cars from one place to another more efficiently. It is a complete 180 from the last 50 years which glorified the car and developed our entire existence around life in an automobile. We are just starting to learn how depressing and soul crushing that type of landscape is. 95% of suburban NJ looks the same. Strip malls, huge lots of private homes and Mcmnasions…if we make the right decisions and keep this momentum going Montclair WILL be a destination because of how different it will be from everywhere else. Imagine is all of Bloomfiled Avenue and Walnut Street and Bay Street looked more like Church St does right now? People would flock here because those are the ypes of places humans seek to be in….they are the places we paint in pictures, and pay thousands of dollars to vacation in. Charming, pedestrian friendly spaces became so obsolete and actually illegal to build due to the auto-centri zoning of the second hall of last century…we are now waking up to what a town could and should look like. Montclair is leading the way in this regard…we have 6 train stations to do this around…it is going to be a very exciting 10-15 years to watch the free marketer respond to this new type development and demand more of it.

  67. POSTED BY frankgg  |  August 01, 2014 @ 9:16 pm

    Good Progress has been made in the last 15 – 20 years with the re purposing of old familiar buildings with truly sucessful results, like theTrain Station & the old Livery building across the street, several other stations, the Hinck Building, the YMCA, the Banz Building, Academy Square, the Hillside Avenue Church complex, the Ironworks, Egans and the surrounding buildings, to name some. Really great building additions have been made to buildings like the Art Museum, MKA, The Highschool, Glenfield School and the Library. New buildings like the Fire Station and the beautiful Tudor retail building in Upper Montclair Center. The great new restaraunts and shops on Church Street work really well and have vastly improved the quality of life of the street. Walnut street too. Several of the large redevelopment projects over the last 15 – 20 have been vast disapointments and unsuccessful. this is not progress. All of the sucessful projects that i have mentioned above were given much thought while planning. We must be mindful to move forward in a positive direction to achieve progress.

  68. POSTED BY stayhyphy  |  August 01, 2014 @ 10:29 pm

    “mindful to move forward in a positive direction to achieve progress” = your very narrow perception (square peg in a round hole). All of the successfule projects that you mentioned were planned at different times and in different circumstances (location aside). Montclair is a different municipality today than it was even 10 years ago. It is in the middle of a massive transformation which while very positive for Montclair seems troublesome for you. Learn to live with it.

  69. POSTED BY frankgg  |  August 02, 2014 @ 11:08 am

    I respectfully disagree with your perceptions, stayhyphy. I know Montclair quite well and have a trained eye from Cooper Union. In the past ten years, I’ve worked in the Lower East Side and chaired panel discussions on re development for New Museum. My reactions are due to my frustrations in seeing mindless development decisions being made by individuals who are aparently underqualified, resulting in mediocre redevelopment. Currently, Montclair Center is mainly used by people who live there and in the surrounding walkable neighborhoods. The homeowners who pay the bulk of Montclair’s taxes and long time residents just dont go there anymore. They say its off their radar. I prefer shoping in the South End Center, Upper Montclair Center, Brookdale or Caldwell. It iritates me to see “strip mall fabulous” design creeping into Montclair Center. It just alienates people from Montclair. Its not the square peg, but instead the round hole thats got to go.

  70. POSTED BY willjames  |  August 02, 2014 @ 12:11 pm

    Granted I’m only one person, but:

    I don’t live within a walkable distance from Montclair Center, and yet I go there a lot, and I enjoy going there. I’ll refrain from making an unsupported (you know, by actual data) generalization, but I figure I might as well throw out there that I appear to be a counterexample to Frank’s statement above. Perhaps others who happily visit Church Street and environs will chime in, too. When I do visit Montclair Center, there sure do seem to be a lot of familiar faces there.

    By the way, I’ll admit that I don’t pay “the bulk of Montclair’s taxes.” Is there anyone who does?

  71. POSTED BY frankgg  |  August 02, 2014 @ 12:35 pm

    Yes, willjames, the bulk of Montclair’s Taxes are paid by the residential homeowners. There is actual data and I hear the opinions expressed by the homeowners who are my clients. Unsupported? No not so.

    I enjoy going to Applegate Farms more than Montclair Center. It is a much better and (in my opinion) more successful community destination than Montclair Center at this point. Its survived since 1848…there are historic buildings…silos…farmhouses…safe rooms…a manor house (on Park) ….its lively…fun…full of people…no parking tickets…it dosent break your bank account going there frequently…I LOVE it

  72. POSTED BY jcunningham  |  August 02, 2014 @ 12:38 pm

    frankgg,

    i’m not sure most readers of baristanet are clear on your position here–are you for or against this development?

  73. POSTED BY whippersnapper  |  August 02, 2014 @ 12:47 pm

    Does Applegates get a break on property tax though because of the historic nature and preservation of its buildings? Granted Im sure they pull in a fair amount of $$ but if they are paying full tax on that property and then on income god bless them.

  74. POSTED BY flipside  |  August 02, 2014 @ 1:07 pm

    frankgg,
    I understand your views on nostalgia but Montclair is changing. People that don’t like it will move out and people (mostly younger with high incomes) will move in and take their place. The new people will move in because of the activity and the action with no regard if the new development is historically correct. They will come not because of how Montclair used to look or how it could have looked but because what Montclair has/will become. You are a historian, Montclair is a great example of how architectural tastes changed from one generation to the next. I am sure your arguments have been heard before and will be heard again. Don’t be surprised if one day a glass and steel iPad looking building becomes the centerpiece of downtown Montclair. Montclair is a high turnover town and how it “used to be” is forgotten every 10 years. That is not good nor bad….it’s just the way it is…..

  75. POSTED BY willjames  |  August 02, 2014 @ 1:28 pm

    Frank,

    I was making a joke.

    No single person, not even a small coalition of people who show up at a council meeting, pay “the bulk of Montclair’s taxes.” The only entity that does so is, as you say, the sum total of people who pay municipal taxes. Does that entity (the sum total of all residential taxpayers) have a single, unified voice? Do they *all* share the same opinion? Well, no–obviously they don’t. At least one residential taxpayer (i.e., me) stands as a counterexample.

    Is it possible that a majority of all those taxpayers agrees with you? I suppose so. But I have no idea, and neither do you, despite the on-the-ground, man-on-the-street testimonials you recount here. Why? Because you simply cannot possibly have talked to enough people about this to have an accurate sense of what the majority of Montclair taxpayers think.

    A better way, perhaps, for you to phrase your opinion on this is to say something along the lines of “I have spoken to some very wealthy residents who pay very high taxes, and those people don’t like this kind of development one bit.”

    If you state it that way, then the rest of us–the ones that I like to call the “lowlanders”–can decide if we even care what the wealthy landowners on the mountainside prefer.

    (And then we can have another one of those oh-so-lovely in-the-round discussions about how all of us “average” homeowners should be thankful for the largesse of the ultra-wealthy on the hill, because without them, this town would be a dump. I miss those days, and the bare “red in tooth and claw” expression of the sentiment that always seems to be lurking under the surface here in our dear clear-mountain township.)

  76. POSTED BY frankgg  |  August 02, 2014 @ 1:59 pm

    flipside…do you know how many local residents would like to move out but can’t afford to take the loss on their investment if they sell at this time? Many have enough difficulties paying their taxes on time. These are are the imaginary wealthy people from the hill that you think I am talking to, willjames. Many residential properties sell over asking price right now, but compare the sale prices of residential properties here to other comperable towns and you’ll see that our property values seem way too low.

  77. POSTED BY flipside  |  August 02, 2014 @ 2:42 pm

    Frank…I am sure plenty of “hill” people would like to move. I can’t blame them…70k+ for taxes, another 70k for upkeep, 100k for private schools. I know being “rich” is frowned upon these days but the taxes they pay coupled with the money they spend maintaining their beautiful homes is an asset to the town that shouldn’t be sneered at or taken for granted. I believe it when you say they can’t sell….buyers looking to take on that tax liability are few and far between.

  78. POSTED BY wildwoodben  |  August 02, 2014 @ 3:24 pm

    Make no mistake, the market for mansions is a small one. Houses in the range of 400-900,000 receiving multiple offers does not prove anything relevant to those valued at 2-3-4-5 million. Generally, there are not enough houses for sale in Montclair for the demand of buyers wanting to move here. And, and each property is one example, not a universal truth. Selling a home, mansion or not, is one of life’s major challenges. We should be happy so much demand exists.

  79. POSTED BY frankgg  |  August 02, 2014 @ 5:17 pm

    Thats true, wildwoodben and flipside. flipside, I lived on the hill til 2007. My mother lived there too. These days, I dont think its uncommon for households to spend 20k or 30k a month to live there, not including recreation or private education. Its frustrating that its hard to sell our high end properties for over 3mil when they sell quickly at much much more elsewhere.

  80. POSTED BY jcunningham  |  August 03, 2014 @ 9:10 am

    frankgg,

    your heart wrenching stories about the plight of the wealthiest among us has truly touched my heart. can you recommend a charitable organization to which one can contribute to help offset their horrendous recreation and private education bills?

  81. POSTED BY frankgg  |  August 03, 2014 @ 9:34 am

    The high property taxes is a reality that cannot be ignored.

  82. POSTED BY frankgg  |  August 03, 2014 @ 2:32 pm

    Say “down with the wealthy” all you want but that’s who’s paying the most for public social services and public education in town.

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The developer of the Seymour St project will install a big crosswalk between Fullerton & Willow. Unfortunately, the Township wants it in the wrong place.

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