MONTCLAIR, NJ — A mixed-use project in Montclair’s still-developing “arts and entertainment district” recently landed three key tenants. And when they open their doors next year, developers hope the community will literally be climbing the walls with anticipation.
Earlier this month, Hoboken-based Ironstate Development Company and Brookfield Properties announced that leases have been signed for the first three retail and office operators setting up shop at the partnership’s mixed-use development nearing completion in Downtown Montclair.
Here’s what’s coming to Montclair sometime in the first two quarters of 2021, developers said:
- The Gravity Vault – “A thrilling, indoor rock climbing experience for people of all ages”
- One River School – “An innovative program that has transformed art education for thousands of students across the country”
- Summit Medical Group – “A multi-specialty medical practice”
The three businesses will be located along a swath of Bloomfield Avenue near the Wellmont Theater that’s being hailed as an up-and-coming “Arts and Entertainment District” in a town already known for both.
The project will also include a 200-unit apartment building, as well as hundreds of parking spaces.
Here’s how Ironstate Development Company and Brookfield Properties described the project in a news release:
“Occupying 2.5 acres along Bloomfield Avenue, the new mixed-use development includes two buildings which straddle Seymour Street and complete the block alongside the Wellmont Theater. Two South Willow will feature 200 rental apartments, 234 parking spaces, and 38,000 square feet of street-level retail and arts spaces, including The Gravity Vault and One River School. Much of the retail space will front on the Wellmont Arts Plaza, a former portion of Seymour Street which will be converted into the 12,000-square-foot public outdoor space. Featuring extensive landscaping, outdoor seating, and multiple art installations, the Plaza is expected to host open-air performances and other events. The theater’s box office will open onto the Plaza and create a bustling atmosphere during all seasons of the year. A second, seven-story building at 1 Seymour Plaza will rise just southwest of the Wellmont Theater and will include 40,000 square feet of medical office space home to Summit Medical Group and 200 parking spaces. The project also includes a five-story municipal parking garage which will house 315 parking spaces at the intersection of Glenridge Avenue and North Willow Street.”
According to developers:
“Designed by Marchetto Higgins Stieve and Minno Wasko, with interiors by Kara Mann Design, the new buildings will respect historic architecture and brickwork at adjacent buildings like the Wellmont Theater. Both buildings will feature predominantly brick facades to blend contextual design with modern amenities and best-in-class commercial spaces. An unobstructed view of the surrounding landscape and Manhattan skyline will be enjoyed from the office floors and from a rooftop amenity in the Two South Willow residential building.”
Developers released the following details about each leasee.
With its location on the Wellmont Arts Plaza, the opening of One River School will be a major step toward cementing the pedestrian space as a destination for arts and culture. Launched in 2012 in Englewood, NJ, One River School has grown to 13 locations across the country, its popularity attributed to a proprietary method for teaching a wide variety of art and digital programs to students of all ages that instills fun while allowing them to create inspiring artwork and grow their skills. The school’s state-of-the-art Montclair facility will comprise approximately 3,300 square feet of space, including an exhibition area to help support regional artists by showcasing their work. Classes will be grouped by age and skill level, and students can start any time without any long-term commitment.
“Montclair represents the cultural capital of Northern New Jersey,” said Matt Ross, Founder of One River School. “We want to be part of this community and believe this new destination will enhance the arts vibe that already exists here. We’re so excited to have the Wellmont Theater as a neighbor, in my view the cultural benchmark for live music in suburbia.”
Ross has a personal connection to music, having served as the CEO of The School of Rock, the revolutionary music school with locations around the world. After leaving that post, he developed a passion for continuing art education. “I saw firsthand what music education could do in the right format,” said Ross. “We’re now doing that with art.”
The Gravity Vault
The Gravity Vault Indoor Rock Gyms had been attracting residents from Montclair to several of its New Jersey locations for years, leading its co-founder, Lucas Kovalcik, to jump at the opportunity to expand to the township with its 11th outpost. Started in 2005, the concept offers memberships, instruction, private climbing sessions, parties, camps, competitive climbing teams and more. Each facility is custom designed, and the gym’s 12,000 square-foot Montclair space will be the first facility for the brand dedicated purely to bouldering. Bouldering is a form of rock climbing that is done on shorter walls that are scaled without ropes or harnesses and the facility will be geared toward climbers of all experience levels. The facility will also include a Yoga area, boutique fitness gym, group exercise area and an expanded retail shop.
“Montclair is an amazing community, and we are excited to finally have found the perfect space and partner to open our facility with. We view our facilities as community centers, rooted in the neighborhoods we build in and bringing people together from young and old, novice to expert climbers alike. We thrive where people can come together and climb and help one another reach new heights and then go out and enjoy all that the area has to offer,” said Kovalcik. “We love the culture found along Bloomfield Avenue, and can’t wait to open our front doors directly across the new pedestrian walkway to the Wellmont Theater. Ironstate and Brookfield understand how to create a destination and bring in complementary amenities and services that will attract visitors and give them a reason to stay.”
Summit Medical Group
Summit Medical Group, a physician-owned, for-profit, multispecialty medical practice headquartered in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, will occupy 40,000 square feet of office space at 1 Seymour Plaza. Summit Medical Group has more than 80 locations throughout New Jersey.
“Summit Medical Group has a long history of providing comprehensive multispecialty care, conveniently under one roof,” said Karen Graham, Chief Operating Officer of Summit CityMD. “We are excited to expand our roots in Montclair with a medical practice that will provide primary care and high-demand specialties including women’s health, pediatrics and more. We are proud to be a part of the development that will bring a vibrant collective space and destination for the community.”
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