MONTCLAIR, NJ — A new supermarket chain will be coming to Lackawanna Plaza, but not without controversy.

By a 5-2 vote, During Montclair's planning board meeting on Monday, officials approved the application to redevelop Lackawanna Plaza as a mixed-use project. It was also revealed that German supermarket chain, Lidl, will bring a new store to the location.

The two objecting Planning Board members, Martin Schwartz and Carmel Loughman, spoke out because the plan calls for demolition of a historic portion of the train station. The historic shed will be demolished to expand the parking lot.

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During the presentation, the Lidl grocery store was proposed by the Hampshire and Pinnacle Companies as part of the larger development project. Pinnacle is no stranger to development in Montclair, as they are also responsible for other development projects including the Arts Center and the MC hotel.

The proposal included 111,726 square feet of retail and office space and154 units of residential housing. 31 of those units are to be set aside for affordable housing.

When the Pathmark supermarket chain closed its doors in 2015, many residents were concerned about the shortage of affordable food options for residents and seniors with limited transportation, living in or near the 4th ward. 

Lidl sent a representative, who also spoke saying that the company chose to place a store in Montclair because of the proposed pedestrian-friendly layout. 

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