Pinnacle’s Brian Stolar and Montclair Planning Director on Lackawanna Plaza Development

Lackawanna

Following the Lackawanna Plaza development meeting last night, developer Brian Stolar and Montclair Planning Director Janice Talley sent the following statements:

Brian Stolar writes:

Lackawanna Plaza in Montclair is owned by HP Lackawanna 2013 LLC, a partnership of The Hampshire Companies and The Pinnacle Companies. Pathmark will be closing its store soon due to the bankruptcy and restructuring by its owner, A&P Company (which is selling 120 stores and closing 25).

Brian M. Stolar, president & CEO of The Pinnacle Companies, said, “We are in discussions with other grocery store operators now to replace Pathmark. Some aren’t candidates because their existing stores are too close to Lackawanna Plaza, or this location isn’t part of their business plan. However, we are negotiating with several prospects. Our goal is to bring in a food store operator that will well serve the Lackawanna neighborhood and the Montclair Township overall.”

The ownership of Lackawanna Plaza will work with the Township of Montclair on a redevelopment effort that would modify existing C1 zoning regulation to be more in accordance with modern development practices. These include adding mixed uses for the property (including retail, office and residential development), structured parking, sustainable energy-saving practices, and affordable transportation options including bike shares, shuttles and zip cars.

Montclair Mayor Robert Jackson has confirmed that the Township is working to coordinate shuttle service to the ShopRite in Bloomfield for neighborhood residents after the Pathmark closes. It is expected that the approval process will take a total of 12-15 months and construction of a new food store will take an additional 18-24 months. Lackawanna Plaza’s owners have offered to contribute to this shuttle program.

Additionally, the ownership is working with the Supersuds Laundromat in Lackawanna Plaza to maintain laundry service for the neighborhood.

“We are committed to working with the new ownership group to maintain service in the Lackawanna neighborhood as long as possible, and we look forward to the potential opportunity to be included in the new overall development,” says Michael Murphy, owner of Supersuds Laundromat.

Finally, the ownership will work with the Township of Montclair to provide appropriate affordable housing in line with NJ’s Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) guidelines, as well as younger and aging Montclair residents who need lower priced housing than is available in the current marketplace.

Janice Talley, Montclair Director of Planning and Community Development, writes:

“Lackawanna Plaza is sorely in need of new investment and Montclair Township, working with local residents and the property owner, is working diligently to craft a plan that will create an attractive place that meets multiple objectives regarding land use, open space, site design, sustainability and mobility. It is understood that there will be competing issues and conflicts as we move forward, but this consensus-based, bottom-up planning approach provides the best means to address these conflicts in a fair and equitable manner.”

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