Developers broke ground today on a residential and commercial project in downtown Montclair, marking the first phase of a 4-acre redevelopment plan on Bloomfield Avenue.
The firms, LCOR and the Pinnacle Cos., plan to build 259 residential units, 50,000 square feet of office and retail space and 571 parking spaces, representatives said. The $100 million project at the corner of Valley Road is expected to be complete between late spring and late summer 2015, transforming the site of former DCH Auto Group facility.
LCOR, a Berwyn, Pa.-based developer, and Montclair-based Pinnacle gathered with local officials today to formally kick off construction. The mixed-use project marks the first phase of the Montclair Center Gateway Redevelopment Plan, which the township adopted in late 2011 as part of its efforts to revitalize its downtown.
The so-called Centro Verde project at 638 Bloomfield Ave. follows Pinnacle's work on the Siena at Montclair, a condominium and retail development completed in 2007. James Driscoll, a senior vice president with LCOR, said Pinnacle's success in the township made it an attractive partner in its search for mixed-use and residential development opportunities.
That was amplified after Pinnacle worked with township officials to amend their Gateway redevelopment plan to "allow for an institutionally-sized, mixed-use project."
"At that point it became an attractive opportunity for us," said Driscoll, whose firm acquired the development site this spring.
He added that Montclair, like other municipalities, is trying to "ensure that they're doing the next right thing for their citizens." But the Essex County township has been a good partner by taking extra steps to that end, he said.
"Montclair has had the ability to do the next right thing in a more proactive way than maybe others have been able to do," Driscoll said. "They've been able to actually deliver on their visions."
The second phase of the Gateway project could include a hotel.