Owner of Former 'Diva Lounge' Building Looking to Expand, Consults Historic Preservation Commission


MONTCLAIR, NJ - During the historic preservation meeting on March 23, council members heard testimonies from a variety of Montclair residents and business owners. In addition to updates to multiple houses in the town, two owners of local businesses were presented their plans to renovate certain areas of the exterior of their building.

As a referral from the Planning Board, Application 2489: Montclair Property Associates, LLC., located at 369-371 Bloomfield Avenue, presented a Site Plan for adaptive reuse and expansion of their building to add eight additional dwelling units.

The proposal was presented by local architect John Reimnetz who has designed a plan to renovate the buildings located at 369 to 371 Bloomfield Avenue, which used to house the Diva Lounge. Currently, an auto repair shop is using a portion of this building.

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According to Reimnetz, his firm has designed a plan to expand this building and add 10 additional dwelling units, two in the existing building and eight above the existing parking lot area. There will also be four retail spaces, as well. However, there are still many details still to be worked out, Reimnetz stated.

“We are proposing to keep the original building and to do larger construction on the empty parking lots,” he said.

This application is set to be presented to the Planning Board on April 3.

Also on the agenda, was 555 Bloomfield Avenue which is HPC App. 2017-3, whose owner wished to replace the storefront of his building by moving the entrance slightly and replacing and fixtures which have begun deteriorating.

“We have been spending a significant amount of money making upgrades to the building and we were fortunate enough to get T Mobile as a tenant,” he said. “If this storefront is not changed, it is going to collapse,” he said.

However, the HPC was not able to approve this application because they felt as though they did not have enough information regarding the position of the new door.

The remaining testimonies were from individuals who were referred to the HPC by the Planning Board or the Board of Adjustments. While they were not required to receive approval from the HPC, they were sent to appear before them as a way to help them improve their proposal.

The Board of Adjustments and Planning Board referred two residents to the HPC to discuss adding additions to their homes. Application 2499: Scot & Sabrina Formey of 7 Linden Avenue were seeking a side yard setback variance for an addition.

Other items on the agenda included: 

An application 2495: Mark Green & Kristen Poppele of 29 Afterglow Way, were seeking a front yard setback variance.

Referral from Planning Board – Application 2507: Grafton Inns, Inc. 114-116 Walnut Street. Minor Site Plan for enlargement of outdoor deck and patio.

Referral from Planning Board – Application 2489: Montclair Property Associates, LLC. 369-371 Bloomfield Avenue. Site Plan for adaptive reuse and expansion of building to add eight dwelling units.



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