Montclair Planning Board Member Says New Skate Park Possible At “No Cost” To Montclair Taxpayers

A petition to get a skate park in Montclair brought back an issue that has been discussed since 2005.

Montclair, NJ – Montclair’s youth have wanted a skate park since 2005. Now, Montclair Planning Board member Martin Schwartz says it could happen if the town is willing to make a deal with a marketing company and having a public-private partnership finance the project.

Think a skate park funded by promotional signage, like billboards or naming rights.

Schwartz, who has a background in corporate communications, reached out to Pennsylvania-based Catalyst Experiential; the company’s on-site promotion signage displays would generate enough revenue to cover design and construction costs for a skate park. Catalyst has helped other towns fund projects including a dog park and an amphitheater.

Montclair would need to designate the land for the new park and agree to having promotional signage. Schwartz says Montclair is reviewing possible skate park locations in Erie Park, Rand and Nishuane Parks; he believe signage could be “tastefully integrated.”

Schwartz says he reached out to fellow Planning Board member and 2nd Ward Town Councilor Robin Schlager and Town Council Economic Development Committee member — 4th Ward Councilor Renee Baskerville and 1st Ward Councilor Sean Spiller — to review his sponsorship concept.

According to Schwartz, similar sponsorship opportunities were originally proposed by a Board of Ed-appointed residents subcommittee years ago. Those recommendations suggested even using advertising on school bus side panels to help generate added revenue that could fund educational and recreational school amenities.

Schwartz says all of those sub-committee recommendations, including enhanced space rentals of existing school facilities – have never been implemented.

“We are leaving hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars on the table from missed foundation, government, corporate and high value donor private solicitations over the years,” he says. “We do have some grant submissions, but they are not systematically undertaken, tracked and lobbied. These all could be greatly enhanced by more collaboration and bundled project initiatives with our many non-profit organizations here, even the Board of Education.”

5 COMMENTS

  1. Based on the signage the Township allows at Kaveny Field @ Grove & Walnut, the Township doesn’t know how to do tasteful. Wouldn’t it be simpler to use Clary Anderson Arena for skating in the winter and a skate park in the warmer months? Are we over-thinking this? Regardless, who assumes the liability exposure?

  2. Montclair adults have been waiting for a senior/community center since probably before WWII! That should rather be the priority.
    Edgemont Park House is still waiting for the hot water The Mayor falsely proclaimed was added back in August. (And Edgemont Park House is NOT a “Senior Center,” despite TV34’s event screens calling it so.)

  3. A very god idea. Provide a public amenity for a targeted audience but unload the public costs. Sure we need a senior center. We also need more programs all of for those in need and we need more tutoring in the schools. But here’s a way to provide something long desired for kids — without more taxpayer outlays. Why not?

    The only issue I see is will the signage be too tacky and poorly impact a park. And that’s a reasonable discussion. Kudos to Schwartz for at least making a creative attempt…since people have been talking about doing this for years without ever delivering.

  4. Senior Center approval is working it’s way through the township approval process for the United Way building by way of expansion and renovation. The problem with the skate park is that everyone seems to want one but no one is going to want it near their house. Erie Park is a good spot that seems under utilized. There are a couple of homes over there that might not want the noise but I doubt you’e going to find a location better suited within town limits that won’t upset someone.

  5. Actually, Little Mountainside Park (above Laurel Pl) is perfect. Everyone thinks this is County owned, so it flies under there radar. Montclairskier, you can appreciate the potential downhill possibilities. We excavate a little level area for the pre-teens. Everyone can use the train to reach it (<$4 roundtrip within Mtc).

    the realworld,

    Any love for my creative attempt to address an unmet need for the OK, Boomers?