MONTCLAIR, NJ - On Saturday, May 12, Montclair Township officials, friends and family gathered together at One Greenwood Ave. for a ribbon cutting ceremony welcoming Sound on Sound Recording Studio. The state of the art facility selected Montclair, making it possible for artists both local and international to have the opportunity to record in the township. Though many were in a celebratory mood, considering it progress, some residents voiced concerns over whether Montclair will remain affordable.
Located in the One Greenwood Ave. lot on the second floor, the studio is located near public transportation. It also sits near a historic site of the Lackawanna Terminal. The opening comes at a time of a major boom in new businesses and luxury housing/condo developments to the area.
Owner David Amlen said that he chose Montclair because he was familiar with the area. "We were located for 30 years in the Times Square area."
Amlen added, "Once development began and rents started going up, it was time to look for a new place that was affordable and fit what we wanted to create. Prior to the move, I worked with Outpost in the Burbs and my current wife raised her children here, so I'm familiar with Montclair."
He continued, "We were looking and the owners were looking too."
The facility, located on the second floor, houses two studios A & B and are available for rental.
Tony Drootin, studio Manger, said, "It's a great opportunity as so many artists now have a state of the art facility locally, servicing communities and its artist with a choice to come and do their recordings here and not have to travel to New York."
Montclair Mayor Robert Jackson welcomed Sound on Sound saying, "We are really thrilled that you are here."
"This is another stamp of approval with what were are doing in the arts as well as small businesses that are opening. We will be supportive where we can and we look forward to a great partnership." The sentiment was echoed by the attending council members and former mayors.
Amlin added, "Sound on Sound Studios is honored and excited to be recognized by Mayor Robert Jackson of Montclair Township in New Jersey."
He said, "Sound on Sound Studios is proud to be part of the already vibrant creative community that Montclair represents. We thank Mayor Jackson for his recognition of us as a valuable addition to this community."
Following the ribbon ceremony, attendees received a tour of the facility.
Also in attendance were former Mayors Robert Russo and Jerry Fried, Fourth Ward Councilwoman Dr. Renee Baskerville, Deputy Mayor Robin Schlager, First Ward Councilman Bill Hurlock, Joann Smalls of Montclair Center BID, and Gail Prusslin of Outpost in the Burbs.
Fried, who is also the former Mayor of Montclair, stated that he was pleased with the economic development, but concerned about the affordability of Montclair. "It's really an awesome example of economic development in bringing a world class studio to Montclair."
Fried took the opportunity to also express concerns that residents have echoed with the increased development expansions.
"We must continue to ask 'who is this all for,' as affordability of living in Montclair is in question with 40% of the Township being renters and being priced out effecting the diversity of the township."
Montclair has long been considered an arts community that celebrates the arts and attracts artists that live and work there. The convenience of having a studio in the township is seen by many as a welcome addition for those who otherwise would travel to New York City to record.
For information on Sound on Sound Studios go to: www.soundonsoundstudios.com
Natalie Heard Hackett contributed to this article.