The former Richie Cecere’s Supper Club space (known back in the day for its big band and dancers), at the corner of Label and Erie Streets, has been vacant for years. Now it’s one of several properties being considered in a possible Label Street redevelopment plan near the Walnut Street train station.
Tonight, the Montclair Planning Board will hold a “Public Hearing on Area in Need of Redevelopment (AINR) Study for Block 3307, Lot 7 and Block 3304, Lot 1.”
The properties identified as Parcel 1 in the study are 2,4,6,8 and 10 Erie Street and 7 Oak Place. All the properties are owned by 34 Label Street Associates.
SaveMontclair is crying foul and writes…
This Monday, April 11 at 7:30 PM our Planning Board is scheduled to review two Walnut Street area land parcels proposed for a designation of “ Area in Need of Redevelopment” or ANR so 3 story zoning restrictions can be officially ignored.
One parcel is half the block between Label and Oak Place including vacant restaurant and second parcel is empty lot on Forest and Oak Place corner. A developer has a plan already in place for an 8 story building. This building would replace the factory building currently housing 16 businesses at older construction rental rates. The proposed building is shown here.
The ANR designation is meant to provide financial incentives and flexibility to attract development for dilapidated, dangerous or abandoned property which would otherwise be of no interest to developers.
In this case the ANR designation would help a developer’s interests but alter the charm of this successful mixed-use neighborhood as well as add congestion to the adjacent residential streets. If the ANR designation is stopped Monday night by the Planning Board and not recommended this kind of building cannot be built.
Residents need to voice opposition by calling into Monday’s meeting.
The redevelopment study, which was authorized by the Town Council, provides an interesting history of the area and its many changes with a timeline beginning at 1869.
“Our key land use body should look at the site, surrounding area, zoning, infrastructure capacity and make a recommendation about the parameters for what should be possible there and pass that analysis and conclusion back to the Council. That’s at least my reason for supporting a redevelopment study — to get expert guidance,” says Councilor at Large Peter Yacobellis. “That said, I’m fine with sharing that my initial reaction to this image was not positive.”
Yacobelis added that the “concept” was first presented to himself, Mayor Sean Spiller and Councilor Robin Schlager at an economic development committee meeting.