The Hampshire Companies, together with their joint venture partner, Pinnacle Companies, have received approvals to proceed with their redevelopment plan for Montclair’s Lackawanna Plaza. The 216,772-square-foot mixed-use redevelopment plan will revitalize the once vibrant complex through the strategic development of a range of modern retail, office and residential spaces while preserving historical elements of the century-old station. Construction is slated to start later this year.
Originally constructed in 1913, Lackawanna Plaza began its life as an important stop on the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad until the station’s closure in 1981. Following its use as a transit hub, the buildings comprising the Plaza housed a Pathmark and several other retail tenants up until their vacancies, including that of Pathmark, in 2015. Since that time, Montclair has been left without a centrally-located grocery store and the Plaza has sat mostly vacant.
Hampshire and Pinnacle’s redevelopment plan seeks to reactivate the once-vibrant Plaza through the creation of much desired retail, residential and office spaces while preserving the unique history of the existing buildings. The site will be anchored by a brand-new, 28,509-square-foot Lidl grocery store on Bloomfield Avenue. By bringing Lidl to Montclair, Hampshire and Pinnacle will return a grocery store to Montclair, filling the vacancy left by Pathmark in 2015. In addition to Lidl, the plan calls for 35,714 square feet of retail space and 21,032 square feet of office space. A 153-unit mixed-use residential building is also planned for the east side of the site along Grove Street.
Reflecting the deep history of the Plaza, significant steps have been taken to preserve or replicate a significant portion of the station’s original 1913 Grecian Doric style. These steps include salvaging 21 existing steel columns from the train platform for usage on the building’s façade, integrating train platform canopies into the roof of Lidl, restoring the iconic horse trough, preserving the historic waiting room and concourse, and creating a memory board and plaque at the entrance of the Plaza to highlight the history of the site.
“It is rare for a developer to be given a chance to breathe a second life into a site that holds such a special place in a town’s history. We would like to thank Mayor Jackson and Montclair’s municipal leadership for their collaboration and consultation in helping us craft a plan that will truly respond to the needs of the surrounding community,” said Robert T. Schmitt, Principal at The Hampshire Companies. “We look forward to executing our redevelopment plan for Lackawanna Plaza to bring valuable community amenities and rateables to Montclair while preserving the aspects of the site that have made it so important to Montclair for over a century.”
Along with the Lackawanna Plaza redevelopment project, Hampshire is currently making several additional investments in Montclair. Opening this spring, Hampshire and Pinnacle’s 159-room MC Hotel, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, will bring a premium, full-service hotel to Montclair for the first time since 1938. To the east, straddling the border between Glen Ridge and Montclair, Hampshire is also constructing a 45,735-square-foot state-of-the-art medical office building across from Hackensack Meridian Health’s Mountainside Medical Center, which is scheduled to open in early 2020. Fully pre-leased by Hackensack Meridian Health, the development will provide doctors and healthcare practitioners with the space needed to continue to deliver high-level healthcare to the area’s residents.
James E. Hanson II, President & CEO of The Hampshire Companies, added, “For many years, Hampshire has adhered to an organizational focus on creating projects that bring sustainable, transformative change to local communities. We have long understood that a truly successful real estate investment is not reflected solely on balance sheets but how it responds to the needs of the community and those living within it. Our investment in Montclair is emblematic of this focus and will help bring important spaces to one of New Jersey’s most dynamic towns.”
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About The Hampshire Companies
The Hampshire Companies is a full-service, private real estate firm based in Morristown, New Jersey. The Hampshire Companies is a vibrant, dynamic organization that combines creative vision and superior execution, thereby enabling it to create and enhance value in real estate investments. Additional information on The Hampshire Companies is available online at HampshireRE.com.
About Pinnacle Companies
We are an industry-leading urban redevelopment company that builds one-of-a-kind enclaves in landmark locations. We believe that a life made simple is a life well lived. Thus, our primary objective is to transform the busy lives of many into a more fulfilling existence brimming with high-tech convenience, remarkable ambiance, and unforgettable experiences.
R&J Strategic Communications