How many beautiful homes in Montclair will meet the fate of the wrecking ball? That’s what folks on Duryea Road in Montclair are worried about, after a 22-room home, featured in the History of Montclair by Henry Whittmore, was purchased this week (closed 3/22), by realtor Jim Van Note. When the deal went to contract, (Van Note’s offer was highest and best), the sellers and listing agent Oneida Mendez-Laws were under the impression that he would buy the property and renovate it, restoring it back to its former glory. By the time of the closing, Van Note would neither confirm or deny talk of demolition and a different plan, one that involved building two brand new houses on the residence’s 0.81 acre lot.
The fact that the home has a historical designation (a document that along with a Metrocard will get you on the subway) and gorgeous details like soaring leaded glass windows may not be enough to save it from the wrecking ball. From Mendez-Laws, we hear the sellers were none too happy about the possibility of their historic home being demolished (the fact that Van Note got the 22-room manse with taxes of $24,178 for $995,000, when it was listed for $1,175,000, and now might build and sell two props at a million plus each, should also make them very unhappy).
Mendez-Laws asked if Van Note was indeed going to demolish the property, could the sellers have one of those glass windows? No such luck (he said he would be “needing” them). We have a call into Van Note and hope to get an answer one way or another as to his plans. We understand Van Note also has plans to meet with his new “neighbors” on Duryea Road. Perhaps the residents of Duryea can get organized like the folks on North Mountain Ave. —Liz George