Construction of a new Montclair Arts & Entertainment district adjacent to The Wellmont Theater began this week, closing part of Seymour Street and the South Fullerton and South Willow parking lots. The construction is the first phase of the Redevelopment Plan approved by the Township of Montclair to transform the area into a mixed-used Arts & Entertainment district, including residential and commercial uses, a 220-space parking deck and a public plaza.
In September, as part of the project’s first phase, the development team will break ground on a new 220 space parking deck between Seymour Street and South Fullerton, which will be complete in mid-2019.
Wellmont Theater is asking its customers to find metered parking provided by the Township of Montclair on the streets surrounding the theater and in nearby parking lots.
Additionally, until completion of the new Seymour Street garage, free parking will be provided at Lackawanna Plaza in the lot behind TD Bank for Wellmont Theater concert goers with a ticket on show days. Additionally, concert goers are encouraged to come early to arrange their parking, enjoy the food and beverage establishments of Montclair and utilize ride share if convenient.
“This new mixed-use arts district will transform Montclair into a mecca for the performing arts, attracting people from across the region,” says Montclair Mayor Robert Jackson. “I’m thrilled that concert goers, Montclair residents and visitors will be able to enjoy a pedestrian arts plaza serving as a public gathering spot for music, food and entertainment.”
The Wellmont Theater, an entertainment venue that opened in the 1920’s as a movie house, was retrofitted into a concert venue in 2008 and will serve as the anchor for the new arts district. The project will include a residential, retail, arts and entertainment area and substantial parking options, including two new publicly accessible garages, the 220 space one next to the Wellmont and an additional publicly accessible 320 space garage on Glenridge Avenue.
“We are very excited about our dynamic fall lineup featuring acts like George Lopez, Modest Mouse, Blues Traveler, Slash and Tom Segura—to name a few,” says Wellmont Theater General Manager Anthony J. Morrison.
The plan ultimately includes a 14,000-square-foot landscaped public arts plaza with a walkway to the South Fullerton Avenue. The redevelopment project also includes the construction of 200 new residential units, along with retail and offices, on a site formerly occupied by a Social Security building and an STS Tire & Auto Shop.