Seymour Street Redevelopment Plan in Montclair Wins Achievements in Planning Award

BY  |  Friday, Jul 14, 2017 9:30am  |  COMMENTS (3)

An artist’s rendering of the northern end of the proposed Seymour Street plaza, with the Wellmont Theatre marquee on the right.

New Jersey Planning Officials — an association of the state’s planning boards and zoning boards of adjustment — awarded the Township’s Seymour Street Redevelopment Plan the organization’s Achievements in Planning Award.

The award announcement was published in the organization’s newsletter:

“The Township of Montclair’s Seymour Street Redevelopment Plan advances the vision of creating a regional arts and entertainment destination building on the rejuvenated Wellmont Theater and existing arts assets in Montclair. The concept of an arts and entertainment center was advanced during the preparation of the Township’s 2015 Master Plan Unified Land Use and Circulation Element. This plan builds upon the major interior renovation of the Wellmont Theater completed in October 2015 and the designation of the theater and nearby properties as a redevelopment area. The redevelopment plan provides supporting uses for the theater and broader downtown, including arts and entertainment uses, a public plaza, retail and office space, multifamily residential and new public parking. The plan also includes detailed design guidelines illustrated with examples of built work from Montclair and elsewhere.” *

“I’m truly pleased that the organization which represents planning boards throughout the state recognizes the hard work of both the Montclair Township Planning Board and the Township Council, to develop a plan that clearly articulates the Township’s vision,” said Planning Director Janice Talley.

The adaptive reuse of the former bank building at 491 Bloomfield Avenue also won an NJPO Achievements in Planning Award.

A formal ceremony will take place at an awards breakfast on September 15.

3 Comments

  1. POSTED BY sadie07  |  July 14, 2017 @ 10:44 am

    As a Seymour Street resident, I can’t wait for this nightmare to begin! They should consider waiting to giving them an award for planning after they start this bloody mess. Doubtful it will seem so well planned then.

  2. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  July 14, 2017 @ 7:16 pm

    Restating consultant’s version of the original quote, “I’d rather have a mediocre plan with perfect execution than vice versa.”

  3. POSTED BY davidgreenbaum  |  July 14, 2017 @ 10:05 pm

    Janice,

    I think you meant to recognize the intense work and dedicated application of the architectural literacy of the volunteer members of the HPC (Historic Preservation Commission) as well as the incredible contribution of Ira Smith of Smith Maran who drafted the Seymour Street Plan which served as the DNA for the project. These are the parties that had the most direct and material effect on the evolution of the Seymour Street Project.

    The very same parties that you seek to circumnavigate for the Lackawanna project

    Please have the decency to give credit where credit is due and recognize the value of those who substantially made the difference.

    We are all happy to give you credit for Valley and Bloom and Livingston Town Center…

    Now the question is execution and fidelity to the plan, including quality of materials and sensitivity towards neighbors during construction.

    We are all watching. More and more residents have awakened to the risks facing their quality of life. More and more should and will.

    All eyes now on the critical opportunity for the Lackawanna Site to either substantially enrich the community or significantly detract and degrade the community.

    The community has clearly spoken and the stakes are too high to be ignored.

    I would encourage all parties to recognize and leverage the incredible value of those architecturally literate and thoughtful residents and professionals who volunteer or have been recently contracted to help insure a successful enhancement to the public realm of the 4th Ward, the Bloomfield Avenue Commercial District and the greater Montclair Community.

    This will include leveraging and honoring the historic train station (Nationally, State and Locally Registered Historic Asset) as the core of the Lackawanna DNA, just as Faneuil Hall, The High Line and many other historical asset redevelopment projects have done to creatively activate and bring vibrancy and character to the community.

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