MONTCLAIR, NJ - Architects from Marchetto, Higgins and Stieve Architecture Planning and Urban Design firm in Hoboken attended the Planning Board meeting on March 27 to present their plans for the Seymour Street Redevelopment Project. Although this project has been in the works for over a year, this was the first time Marchetto, Higgins and Stieve attended a public meeting in Montclair to showcase their work.

This was the second site plan hearing on this application.

“This process began for us literally years ago with vision workshops, then it became part of our vision and master plan and then part of our redevelopment plan. We had multiple public hearings and as a town we then voted on a passed a plan that we then passed onto the governing body who then approved it. We are now at the point in the project where we are faced with deciding on a specific redevelopment plan for how this redevelopment plan will be carried out,” explained Jason DeSalvo, Vice Chair of the Planning Board.

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Principal Bruce Stievi presented a Powerpoint presentation which explained not only the design they created for this location, but the research they did in order to come up with it.

“Montclair has a very exciting downtown area with a variety of architectural styles,” said Stieve “We understood that when we designed this building, we needed to be sure it felt as if it was ‘of Montclair’ and not something in another city.”

In order to begin designing these buildings, the architects looked to nearby buildings for inspiration including the Welmont Theater, The Madison Building and The Crain Building. Although the original plans began with a more modern look, it eventually evolved into a much more historical look.

This mixed use plaza, located on Bloomfield Ave and along Willow Street and Seymour Street, incorporates residential apartments, 18,000 square feet of retail space, a parking garage with 130 parking spaces and 10,000 square feet of performance space in the back. There will also be a courtyard for residents as well.

Currently, with no tenants who have expressed interest in this location it is difficult to determine the type of businesses which will move into these buildings. Because of the size of the arts space, it may only be large enough for an art gallery or a dance studio.

While board members were pleased with the overall design some were concerned with some of the modern details of the designs.

The next hearing on this redevelopment will be on April 24.