Leadglass_1 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. Duryeadining

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


107 replies on “Duryea’s Demise?”

  1. You knew I’d be one of the first people to post on this! This is outrageous. Nothing is safe anymore. People MUST get together and oppose these constant assaults on the townscape. It is just unacceptable. If this is a historic home then Montclair must have some mechanism put into their ordinances to prevent demolition by private developers. Being listed on the State/National Register of Historic Places affords NO protection for privately owned homes using new federal, state or municipal funds to buy, demolish or build on, the property. It is the local ordinance that is key. I am not totally familiar with Montclair’s ordinances but if there is no clause for a waiting period for demolition then there must be one added. The waiting period can be put in to allow the owner to be approached by bidders who want to save the property. They can still tear it down at the end of the waiting period if none appear. But if people are upset enough about this they could form a corporation and buy the property as a group if necessary. We are having the same issue in Bloomfield’s Historic District. If this type of thing upsets you please join us on Tuesday, March 28 at the Bloomfield Zoning Board meeting at 7:30 in the Council Chambers at the Municipal Building and show your opposition to the plan to tear down a historic home on 15 Church Street and put up 11 townhouses. This is a fight for all of us who care about beautiful homes and the ambience of our historic neighborhoods. This type of thing cannot just continue unabated.

  2. Meant to be “affords NO protection for privately owned homes using “no” (not “new”) federal, state or municipal funds…”

  3. This has always been one of my dream houses! I guess that fact that it didn’t sell at its asking price is a sign that my families house won’t sell for estimated value either.
    Its been suggested to my mother that she build a second home on our property and sell both houses. I get the feeling that in a few years people doing that will become the norm, and a once beautiful town will be a crammed together McMansion-land.
    Oh well.

  4. I used to live on Duyea, and I’ve been in that house…..It is gorgeous!!! If the buyer is looking to do a teardown then this is total BS! This nonsense has to stop…for the good of the town…time to organize and hire lawyers….and get a preservation ordinance that works!

  5. What a shame…seems to be happening everywhere you look and the true ambience of Montclair is being lost. Why do ppl want to live in monster houses with no land or yard? I can’t understand it. My guess is all the ‘city-fold’ used to having such a small place with no land are so excited to buy huge places with a little land. Not sure what else it is becuase ‘country-folk’ sure want to keep the land around.

  6. If anyone is interested in looking into how to prevent the demolition of this wonderful house please e-mail me. I know people in the historic preservation community and perhaps I could find out some advice as to whether there are any ways to save this house. In the meantime, those who are outraged should contact the Montclair Historic Preservation Commission and see what can be done based on the existing ordinance in town.

  7. I just read yet another news article about the cooling housing market, and I noticed the difference in this houses asking price verse actual selling price.
    So now i think the market is cooling in our area, and these guys are all trying to get one last squeeze out of the housing market. Sadly, I don’t think these new places will sell at the prices I’ve been told they’ll go for, so welcome to the new ghetto! Just like East Orange – full of beautiful big old Victorians and some new prefab houses, that no one wants to buy.

  8. Van Note’s web page (link in Barista’s article) includes these gems:
    “Jim says, ‘Growing up here gives me a first hand knowledge of the area and helps me match my clients’ lifestyle with Montclair and our surrounding communities.'”
    “He fits in perfectly as part of the enthusiastic Rhodes Van Note team where we cherish the word of mouth recognition our clients give us as a locally owned and operated independent firm that delivers cutting edge technology with a home town touch.”
    So, “home town touch” realtor, would you care to let your home town know if you intend to do a tear down? It would be the home-town-y thing to do, wouldn’t it?

  9. One word: setback
    Montclair’s current codes don’t require much setback distance between houses or between houses and front sidewalks, side property lines, etc. The town could change that if it wished. It could even add unique setback rules for historic districts, if it wanted
    A “giant house” on a 0.4 acre lot will take up a lot of the property.

  10. One other word: TAXES
    The sales price here was very low compared to the house and property size. Probably because the property taxes are high and scared away the buyers.
    Of course, if Van Note actually does succeed in building two houses, we’ll have more burden on the schools and the Town spends more, and our taxes will go up even more.

  11. Actually the property taxes were $24,178, which for the size of the property and the home were not unreasonably high for Montclair (a third of an acre seems to average at least $15-$16,000)

  12. One wonders why the house only sold for just under a million bucks. Based on other sales in the area and it’s relative size and style, it should have sold for no less than $1.5. Given the stampede for homes in the town, there must have been something significantly wrong with the property to warrant such a low selling price.
    As for the additional burden on the schools having 2 homes built on the property, the taxes levied should more than offset this.
    2 big question one should ask about the Montclair Schools is:
    1) Montclair resisdents pay some of the highest School taxes in the State, yet Montclair High did not even make the top 75 high schools in the State. The superintendent of the schools should be called to the mat for this.
    2) What will happen to property values in the town, when recently settled New Yorkers get wise to the fact that the High School is not top notch, and they can get better quality for their tax $ in any number of comparabely priced towns.

  13. Given what has been happening in Montclair lately with the Marlboro in and North Mountain Ave, I can understand everyone’s concerns. However, I think we need to step back and look at this home and this builder individually. First, anyone can look up the fact that although this home has a lot of character and charm, it is in disrepair and has sat on the market for an extended period of time with no buyers. Its not like Van Note out-bid 7 other offers to get this house the first week it was on the market. Builders by nature find properties that otherwise would not be desireable in their current state to the average buyer looking to occupy the residence. Second, I am a follower of the market in Montclair and Glen Ridge and have seen the work the Van Note’s have done and I can assure you it looks nothing like what has been done at the Marlboro Inn. From what I have seen they have enhanced the look of every neighborhood they have built a home in. So let us not paint every builder in town with the same brush.

  14. First find out if it is Jim Van Note Sr or Jim Van Note Jr..Then try to confirm the plans before picking apart Jr’s Bio on the Van Note Website..The Van Note’s have restored many old homes in town through the years. I would be surprised if this was in fact true!

  15. you people make me sick. Grow up and mind your own business. Dont you have better things to do with your lives

  16. Why are there no Bed and Breakfasts in this town? In most other “Montclair-esque” towns in New England for example, many big, beautiful and historic homes are turned into B&Bs. With the Marlboro Inn gone there is NOWHERE for family and friends to stay nearby except out on route 46 (Ack). I am amazed that there are not more and am sure that any would do well here.

  17. If there was a market for it, the Marlboro Inn would not have changed hands so many times and ultimately bulldozed. Sounds like a good idea but there is no industry here and there is not enough casual visitors to support a hotel/BB.

  18. In the words of the robot: This does not compute, this does not compute.
    I have been in several houses lately that were in such horrible condition (mold, water damange, rot,etc) that one could easily understand the impulse to tear it down. But this house appears to be in passable condition. I drive by it frequently and it is not sagging or flaking. It is a stunning house and I think competes with the best antique homes in Montclair. It is also an excellent neighborhood. What could be so horrible, that it would go for a virtual song?
    GR Jim– no matter who builds it, it will never come anywhere close to the build quality of a Victorian home. The materials that make a 100 year old house solid do not exist any more. The craftmanship is long gone. Dare I say, the aesthetic sensitivity that made these homes graceful and gracious, seems to be a thing of the past.
    There are plenty of subpar houses in town. Tear those down, Mr. Van Note. Keep your promise to the sellers and make this your showplace and palace. The house will thank you and so will your neighbors.

  19. Actually, Montclair has a law/ordinance against B&Bs. That is why there aren’t any. Not that there isn’t a demand. NE Transplant is right. This town is perfect for B&Bs and it would open more options for people who want to hold on to large and beautiful homes. I know my family would use them.

  20. We live here and pay taxes here..it IS our business.
    I believe Montclair is spending over $10,000 a year per student on its schools…so there’s no way the taxes on a new mid-sized house cover the additional cost to the Town.
    Classrooms are already jammed…25ish kids in a class. After all the new condo units in Town get occupied people will be screaming about the schools, test scores and class sizes. This was a problem before.
    The schools are already the main reason we’re getting a 6% property tax increase this year.

  21. I think we are getting way ahead of ourselves here. I reviewed the article again and it says that Van Note has agreed to meet with the neighbors to discuss what is being done to the home. Let’s be honest, 90% of the people reading or hearing about this have no idea where Duryea Road is. Before everyone forms there own opinion, why don’t you let the people that will be living next to this property hear what he has to say and see the homes that he has built. If they don’t like what they see I am sure they will voice their opinion and then maybe we will be able to discuss this issue like intelligent adults instead of jumping to conclusions.

  22. What truly is a shame is you people will complain about the demolition of a house that is maybe 100 years old but you are the same people who allow the Roman Colosiem of fire houses be built down in the South end. What do you think that costs us in the long run? Where is the compassion for people who are about 100 years old? Like the woman whose toes are coming out of her shoes because she has to walk the length of North Fullerton to get her medication. What about her? I will call her Mary. I was born in this town and I have grown up in this town and the simple fact is, money talks. You want to soak in the beauty of Montclair? Get off your cell phones and get rid of the Hummer’s. Join a big brother program and or identify waste right under your noses. This is the land of oppurtunity, the society of change. While terms like “play date” have flourished we have forgotten about values, hard work, and sacrafice. For your information the Van Note family has been conducting business in this town for longer than that house. They have brought countless families into this town because of its beauty and diversity. They tell the truth when they say our schools are some of the best and our neighbors are of the highest quality and when the potential buyer says ” Wow you have two museums?” They say ” That’s not a Museum that’s a fire house.” They are telling the truth!!! Shame on you for being bored, I pity you for having the time to complain, I challenge you to pick a cause worth fighting.

  23. On the B&B question – I once asked the Town Planner about that ordinance – she said it is one she would love to see challenged, so if you have a plan, bring it to the Zoning Board. I agree – this town, with all the third floors and enormous, out-of-date castles, is perfect for B&Bs.

  24. I lived in the neighborhood for years. I’ve been in the house. It is a fine, beautiful house.
    You start tearing down houses like that in prime locations just to chop the lot in two…and where does it stop? It could happen anywhere in town. How about if it happened next to you?
    We all have causes we care about and contribute time and $ to. If you’re pals with Van Note, and aren’t concerned with overdevelopment in Montclair that’s your perogative.

  25. Brian,
    your schools are not some of the best, and that is a big problem. You have people paying top $$$ in taxes for just OK schools. Where is all that money going. You should ask the School board and Superintendent to explain why Montclair High doesnt make the top 75 schools in NJ.

  26. Explain to me how this town is perfect for B&B’s. That is ridiculous, hmmm excuse me Mr. Town Planner why are we not aloud to have B&B’s. Quality question, nnnttttttttt. I have been in the house, yeah it has charm, but it needs to be knocked down. the neighbors will be kissing the ground they walk on after their property valued has increased by 100K….

  27. I recently bought a house and am very familiar with sale prices. There are no great deals out there. Houses do not slip through the cracks. This huge old home sold for less than $1 million. I have seen houses half that size sell for $2 million. If this was such a coveted house in great shape there would have been multiple bids the first day it was on the market and it would have sold well above the asking price. The fact is that there is apparently enough problems with this house that only a builder would buy it. Some of the biggest problems with these old homes are structural, things that the average person cannot see. If you are in the neighborhood I suggest you attend the meeting and then maybe there will be a basis for your argument. Until then all that anyone here is doing is giving good people a bad name.

  28. Alphachimp63,
    I am not sure how long you have been in Montclair but they have never been a top rated school system. If you are going to pay all of those taxes and want one of the best school systems in the state, I am not sure why you didn’t buy in Glen Ridge. I grew up in Montclair and love the town, but I moved to Glen Ridge because it has superior school system.

  29. I have no idea when the meeting is. It just says it in the article. I have nothing to do with this issue and don’t live in the neighborhood.

  30. I concurr with my mildly retrded friend dave. you people make me sick as well. while I do not care for the designs of the homes built on the marlboro inn site I also do not think it is my job to lord over property decisions that are not my own.

  31. Is it just me, or doesn’t it seem like a lot of Realtors buy the very homes they’re marketing in this town?

  32. GR Jim why don’t you go back to your postage stamp of a town and get on their Blog of inane information. You are a pompass ass who probably has dog that looks like you.

  33. I guess we can debate all day about whether this particular house should be torn down, but what concerns me is the trend I see developing to do more of these tear downs. I’m originally from Chicago and for years I’ve been seeing this happen in some of the older more desirable suburbs of Chicago.(similiar in character to Montclair) I often wondered why we never saw the proliferation of tear downs here. I thought/hoped it might have to do with a sense of pride and appreciation of the original character of the town. But apparently it was simply a trend that took awhile to make it’s way to the east coast. Last summer I went to a friends house in a Chicago suburb and even tho it had only been 3 yrs. since I’d been there, I didn’t recognize her block and honestly thought I’d made a wrong turn. About 3/4 of the houses had been torn down and replaced with 1 or 2 Mcmansion things. I really think once this starts happening, it can start to become the norm.

  34. We keep talking about historic integrity. St. Casians was almost 80 years old when they made it into monolithic proportion. Where were the complaints? Montclair lost it’s historic integrity when the disparity of wealth drew its line down Walnut. Go to New street and Mission and talk to me about historic integrity. Why in Gods name do we get closer to budgeting 100 million a year in this town? Where is it going? Why isn’t anyone writing?

  35. If people want new houses why don’t they move to where they are building new houses and live there? GR Jim, I don’t know why the house went for under the asking price. Maybe because there are a lot of idiots out there who are nouveau riche and only want a “new” house that no one else has lived in, and are only willing to pay $1.5m for a brand new house. But there are ways to market a house to those who appreciate a historic, beautifully crafted house that has memories in it as well as wonderful features that you don’t get anymore. I don’t think that the house has any strange structural defect that couldn’t be fixed, not if the pictures are real. This is greed, pure and simple.

  36. Brian, just because people care about historic preservation doesn’t mean they don’t care about other issues as well. I happen to be involved in a number of volutneer organizations. What is your point? If we care about historic preservation it means we don’t care about poor people?

  37. What’s fascinating about this particular example is that usually a modest home is being scraped for a much larger one. This house is huge. It’s pretty unusual to have a large, beautiful house demolished for 2 smaller ones.
    I must say, this is a rather interesting thread. GRJim I don’t recall anyone calling Mr. Van Note a bad name. There seems to be a healthy concern about the possibility that he wants to tear down a lovely house. Of course, telling the sellers that he intends to revive it to its original glory while privately planning to tear it down, doesn’t exactly put him in the Gentleman category. But that is just my humble and completely ignorant opinion.

  38. Sad to say, but It has quite a few architectural elements that would translate very well to a 2006 Christmas ornament to go along with your Marlboro Inn 2005.

  39. Thought I should add to this debate that a realtor friend of mine who took a walk through said that it was truly in poor shape inside, and that it would have taken a huge infusion of cash after the purchase to make it livable. It also has a doctor’s office attached (ergo someone’s note about getting allergy shots there), which would make it nice for some, and not great for others. If it was on the market for that long and went for that much under asking price, what were the odds that someone would finally come along with the financial ability to buy it and renovate it so that they could live there?
    I’m passing along second-hand info, clearly, but before people decry this as yet another instance of developers gone awry, perhaps we should get all the facts. And if no one is willing to buy it and put the money into it that it needed (and use the doctor’s office), perhaps we should not be so quick to condemn someone who will make it a more desirable properly while, hopefully, keeping it true to its origins. I say hopefully, because none of us know of course. But if he’s willing to meet with the neighbors at the start, it may be a good sign.
    I do concur that it looks magnificent from the outside, but, hey, I don’t have the financial ability to buy it and keep it up. Let’s see what he does.

  40. I’m a contractor here in town and I have to agree with the sentiment of most, underchecked over development. I think we need to find a way of compelling developers to maintain existing homes and lots. Montclair is running the risk of over developing, just take a look at the “Hempstead” tragedy. More over, has anyone noticed how many properties are sitting on the market, both new and old. Montclair is not an island, new housing sales are down, interest rates are up and the things are slowing down. But the problem is not the developers, they see an opportunity to make quick cash and go for it, leaving the scene of the crime as quickly as they entered it. The problem is both the residents and the misfocused planning and zoning boards. The answer is pretty simple, you have to become appropriateness police. We need to look at certain types of projects (new houses, new developments, major reconstructions,and subdivisions of property) and decide whether or not we feel they are appropriate for the fabric of the neighborhood in which they are being proposed. The current onslaught of regulations and limitations only creates more loopholes for cagier developers (and contractors alike) to weasel their way through. Our reactionary stop gap approaches fail to address the core issue of if a project is appropriate. Case in point, the 15ft height limit on accessory buildings (garages). While it may make sense not to have a three car garage with a 22ft peak on a Cape sitting on a 1/10th of an acre lot in Upper Montclair, a 22ft peak garage on a large house in the Estate section that sits on 1/2 and acre is all together a different animal. Its a shame but Montclair is losing the very uniqueness which attracts people to this place.

  41. NOOO It can’t be. Why is it that every house I love gets torn down?
    Maybe they could have sold it to a real family if it had not been painted green. But no matter, there was so much about that house to love. In fact that whole street is very sweet.

  42. There is one house in town that is new and is so well designed that I bet you don’t know it is new. It is on the south side of Bellvue and it is colored various shades of beige. It has a car port on the side and even mimics the house next door. I love that house. I don’t know who the developer was, but that is one house that fits in beautifully with the whole neighborhood.

  43. you all should just mind your business and if it was such and important house than one of you should have bought it and saved it. But no you tightwads just love to talk and complain and stick your noses where they don’t belong. Put your penneys together and go around and save every old house that is just so bueatiful or just shut up and let people do what they want with the property that THEY own. It’s really none of your damb business. If it were such a crime don’t you think someone would have stopped it all by now. I hate old homes so I love the fact that it will be torn down and a nice new home will be built in it’s place. Modern craftmanship is what I love and the Van Notes do some of the finest and most bueatiful remodeling and building in this community. So nothing but the best and nicest looking home or homes will be built on Duryea. Some lucky person will get to buy a quality home built by quality people and not have to deal with some bueatiful piece of crap that is ready to fall apart.

  44. Pokey, you are exactly the type of person I was referring to who don’t like old houses. So go buy a new house somewhere else. You wouldn’t fit into that neighborhood anyway. You don’t even know how to spell “pennies.”
    I’d like to commend “Builder” on his thoughtful post. Builder, you bring up some interesting points about the ways developers try to get around regulations, and the good intentions of regulations possibly not making sense in various situations.

  45. K. Hovnanian, the mass-builder, has announced a new division, devoted to “bash and build”. Unlike the traditional KHov model of stuffing hundreds of houses on open fields, this model calls for buying specific houses, knocking them down, and building a (much) bigger house on the lot.
    The initial towns selected for this honor are Madison, the Chathams, and Morris Twp. Close to the MidTown Direct, lots of older 1950s houses on big properties.
    Morristown Record has an article about it today. As long as KHov stays inside the setbacks, they don’t need variances.

  46. Very well put, Builder. I couldn’t have expressed this issue any better or with more fairness. Redevelopment needs more careful thought and individual attention.

  47. Well, bash and build is a better idea than building these cookie cutter type communities on open fields.
    Some areas have character (Montclair, Millburn/Short Hills, Chatham) but have homes that just look very antequated. If a new home could be put into that environment, with larger rooms and modern amenities, then why not?
    Over the years, everything else in this country has gotten bigger – so why shouldn’t homes?
    In fact, I’d argue, that these communities eventually would not survive if these homes were not being built, because eventually the younger buyers would remain uninterested and would rather live elsewhere in a community with more modern homes.

  48. Homes look ANTIQUATED? That’s because you’re living in a HISTORIC town with HUNDREDS of years of history. Screw anyone who doesn’t want to live in a town because of the age of its homes or trees. Move to Phoenix, you shallow morons. Stan, your swim in the SHALLOW end of the pool leads me to believe you’re somehow in league with the builders. When last I checked, Montclair, Millburn/Short Hills, Chatham, Westfield and Morristown have NO problem drawing young homebuyers with lots of money to spend fixing up “antiquated” houses.
    As for Pokey, take the “mind your business” crap over to a Plofker thread, so you can see how soundly it is defeated there as well. It is indeed in the interest of the entire community when greedy land speculators with no respect for the town’s history or the people who live there attempt to tear down its character and pack it with cheaply built vinyl and sheetrock monstrosities that DETRACT from the character and quality of life of the community.
    I railed for it on the Plofker thread and I’ll rail for it again here: I’m tired of developers coming on this board and to this town and railroading their ridiculous proposals through a FLACCID zoning board who obviously doesn’t give a damn about any EXISTING Montclair residents — just about POTENTIAL residents it can draw in through clear cutting and warped math (sure, bringing in more residents brings in more tax money — WHICH THEN NEEDS TO BE SPENT ON INFRASTRUCTURE AND EDUCATION FOR THOSE NEW RESIDENTS AND THEIR CHILDREN!!!). And frankly, I’m tired of blathering on about it on this board. Anyone who shares my view should clamor for more open zoning meetings, for REFERENDUMS on zoning issues and for the REMOVAL of municipal administration that allows such things to happen. Shut the developers up by SHUTTING THEM DOWN!!!

  49. If all of you want the house to stay as it is..Offer the Van Notes 1.5 million and do what you want with it. You are all just a bunch of cry baby’s because you see someone that made a great deal and stands to make a substantial amount of money off of it and your pissed. This is not the first house the Van Notes have tourn down and rebuilt on the property. If you look at the work that they have done, you will see that they comply with Montclair’s llok and build nice houses on good size lots and the work is second to none. So if you really don’t want this house demolished, put your money together and make them an offer. They sound like business men and making 500K for doing nothing sounds like a deal they wouldn’t be able to refuse. Otherwise, the house is sold and deal with it! They can do whatever they want as long as it complies with the town. And it sounds like “THEY” did their homewwork already before they bought the house.

  50. Don’t worry about J Van Note knocking down this historical house. If he does, this will be his last.

  51. Emily, why do you say it will be “his last?”
    Does anyone think there will be enough community uproar that J Van Note will determine it’s not worth the damage done to his reputation and real estate career (and his mother’s firm, which employs him) to proceed in demolishing the house? Do the Rhodes Van Note realtors realize that this will hurt their reputation and their core business? It would be nice if someone from RVN said something to clarify what’s going on.

  52. Mauigirl….here is two pennies for you, so why don’t you put it in your piggie bank and go save the world from everyone that does something you don’t like!!! Everyone has a right to make a living doing whatever they wish. For some it’s buying old delapidated houses and nocking them down to build new bueatiful homes. Sorry you don’t like that but that’s just how life is. What you don’t like someone else may. So who’s right, you wholikes old homes, or someone who likes new built homes. It’s a matter of opinion isn’t it. The Van Notes build bueatiful homes and I am sure that they will take into consideration the surrounding homes and build a new home that fits in with homes around it. Everyone better watch what they say here because you could ruin someones reputation or business. And that would be a CRIME!!!! Would you want someone to start up some crap about you to make you lose face in the community????? So think twice before you speak. You may not like what may happen to this home but it doesn’t give you the right to trash Jim Van Note or anyone else. Remember we are all human here so act like adults!!!

  53. Pokey, I never said word one that would trash the Van Note reputation. I’m sure they build nice homes. However, if he did indeed tell the house’s owner that he was going to restore the house and then went back on his word, I question his integrity. But that is only hearsay so I am not saying anything against him.
    And I stand by my statement that if you want a new home, go buy one where they are being built; don’t encourage the tearing down of older homes to build new ones. Remember, OLD homes are in limited supply. New ones are limitless.

  54. ok, Pokey, the word is spelled beautiful.(you might want to write that down) And if you are on the PR team for Mr. Van Notes I suggest he rethink the wisdom of hiring the idiot brother in law. As for the notion that “Everyone has a right to make a living doing whatever they wish”, I’m guessing you really liked that Academy Award winning song, “It’s hard out here for a pimp”.

  55. First, I would LOVE to know why the original post has change from “directly” quoting Jim Van Note to now “ASSUMING” that he told the listing agent Oneida Mendez-Laws that he was going to restore this historical house???
    Second, If this house was such a “historical house” (which included a doctors office and was also considered a two family home) than why was the BEST offer lower than the asking price???
    AND lastly, If you are so upset by this…you should be asking yourself -Why didn’t I feel it was THAT “historical” enough to BUY!!

  56. The guy knocked down his own house and put up a new home. It’s big, but it’s a large property. Tastefully done, camouflaged by trees, but not the same small farmhouse that once occupied the property.

  57. first of all, try looking at the other homes in town which have been restored by the Van Notes. You will see the style of these homes fits into the beauty of Montclairs quaint surroundings. We all love our historical homes in town, but if its structurely unsafe, why not remove it in a neat and safe manner. If everyone is so concerned about this particular property, they should gather their own money and purchase it together. How come everyone has to make their opinions known, but does nothing about it! The Van Notes are taking alot of unnecessary abuse for trying to make the neighborhood an even more charming place then it is already. If you knew the Van Note family for the kind people they truely are, you would not ridicule them for buying this property. Give it a chance. Let them show you how charming it will be when its completed. I can assure all of concerned residents whatever happens on that land, you will be pleasantly happy,especially the people of Duryea Rd.

  58. Ok spellcheckers….spell this….KISS MY ASS!!!!! How was that?!?!? Did I get that one right!!! I am done with you idiots. Nock down the damb house as quick as possible so I can watch all these people cry!!!! I will flip the bill for the demo party!!!

  59. It is unknown whether this house is structurally unsound. And as for why I didn’t purchase it myself, this was the first I heard about it.

  60. It always amazes me how some people can jump on non-issue like this and not address the bigger issues facing Montclair. First lets try and understand some of the facts.
    1) This 22 room house was on the market for months (a year?) without one bid. If this house was such a “historic” landmark or if it was in such great shape it would have been sold or at the least had one bid put in on it.
    2) You need to ask whom would have bought this 22 room house. An architecture; who could have made several town houses within the structure? Or a zealous developer trying to duplicate the Marlboro Inn experience? Or maybe the state or county who could have made it into a transition house. I wonder if you were living next door how happy you would be that this so called “historical” house was saved then.
    3) As mentioned by several above, the Van Notes have established themselves as a class act in all facets of the real estate market in Montclair; selling, rennovatons and building new houses. Every house they have done work on has added value and beauty to Montclair.
    4) The Van Notes will be meeting and presenting the architect plans for the 2 houses to the only people in this that really count; the Duryea neigbors. If the neighbors, whom have been very quiet here, like what the see and hear then this is closed.
    Finally, if those who posted comments here should take that energy and apply it to the Montclair political process and either create stronger historical commitee in Montclair or vote only for those candidates who will change the zonning process in Montclair. Otherwise, just keep on posting while developers you realay need to worry about like those doing the Marlboro Inn property will continue to change the face of Montclair.

  61. The house was on the market for about 150 days. There were other bids, but since Van Note waived the inspection issues (oil tank?) his was considered best. I guess despite not answering anyone about his plans, according to “Earl”, he will be knocking the house down. Sure the houses may be nice, but let’s not act like he’s doing anyone a favor, except his wallet.

  62. saw it earlier today as I drove by — it sure looks like fitting 2 houses onto that one lot will require a variance.

  63. I know for a fact that Jim Van Note offered to buy a bit of someone’s land to enlarge his own lot on a dead end street, that backs up to Yentacaw Brook Road. His plan was to make the dead end a thru street and sell his house at the end of the dead end, and put up one or 2 more houses in his lot.
    When the owner of the home that butts up to his refused to sell, the Van Notes then bulldozed the small house, leaving one wall up and made a Mc Mansion.
    This town really needs to address building codes and zoning laws before Montclair looses all of it’s charm and lovely buildings such as the one in jeopardy now.
    Driving around Long Island and looking at the track homes of the 1990’s and later is depressing, looking at the corner of Watchchung and Grove still makes me sick………
    Please Montclair wake up before it’s too late!
    And what’s with leaving one wall up to avoid “new building tax” how just is that?
    The Lorax
    Paved Paradise

  64. The Lorax,
    The fact that you are calling the house they did at the bottom of Inwood Avenue butting up to Yantecaw a McMansion completely discredits anything that you spewed out in that last posting. I defy anyone to look at that new home and say that it is anything but one of the most beuatiful homes in Montclair and I would go further and say THE most beuatiful newly constructed home in town. Secondly, do you really think that the Van Note’s would jeopardize their reputation and the business that they have worked so hard to grow for one piece of real estate? Everyone needs to let the process play itself out and the people of Duryea Road will determine whether they need to call on the bleeding heart liberals and all the Blue Wave freaks that this town has attracted in recent years. Until then, you people have your hands full with teh guy looking to put two houses in his backyard on N Mountain.

  65. Probably a bit late, but to respond to an earlier comment that it would take a huge infusion of cash to make 4 Duryea livable, I looked at the house last fall and while it would take a couple hundred thousand to make it a state-of-the-art great house (which would still be a bargain), the house was very livable and really only NEEDED to be redecorated. It is a solid, solid house with thick granite walls and great interior woodwork and wonderful details. It was redone and decorated last in the 60s. You’d only need to tear up carpets, redo the floors, redo a couple of the 60s baths and the kitchen and it would be an amazing house. The doctor’s office could have been converted to a rental unit or incorporated back into the house very easily. We were very tempted to make an offer and if I knew I could have gotten it for $995k, I probably would have. If they do tear it down to build 2 houses it would be very sad, no matter how nice or tasteful the houses are. One of the big things that attracted me to Montclair is the fact that people restore these wonderful houses, not knock them down for townhouses.

  66. Lorax, I think your rambling topped the list for the stupid, have you ever even been in the house on Inwood, it is absolutely stunning and far from being a McMansion, lovely home on gorgeous lot.

  67. Does anyone know about Egan’s buying Oppeniheimers? Is anyone familiar with Oppenheimer’s? Probably not. Once you get as far as Egan’s and your Pompass asses are unable to go any further or you would never be caught dead past Watchung Ave. Egan’s has more then doubled its space and will use the back parking lot for an outdoor bar. Why are we so quiet when a business as old as Oppenheimer’s goes the way of the dodo and so loud when the houses go? The reason is as old as this town. Race!!!! No one gives a damn about the poor in this town. Sure lets quadruple the size of a foreigners business, who by the way has directly affected one of the greatest historical sites in Montcalir, Tierneys. What about this people!!?!? I have been to the town meetings. None of you are there. Get off of your lazy asses and help save the town, not some house that was not meant to last that long anyway. Worry about the people man!!! Screw the
    houses. The Van Notes made their bones early and their houses are beatiful. Don’t balme them because you are jealous. They are hustlers, straight up and down. Pat them on the back and hope to God one day you have enough money enjoy their work.

  68. i’m not fully understanding the overwhelming distain for the van note’s development projects in and around montclair. i have seen a number of homes that i was told were theirs and have been impressed with the overall results. it appears that some people have targeted this builder as the cause of what ails this growing community. montclair is a town is becoming increasingly more urban than suburban environment thus causing the historic concerns of the town to give way to larger, more economic forces. if the town deems these economic concerns a healthy offshoot of the growth one would anticipate people taking advantage of these economic opportunities. real estate investment in the private sector is not an altruistic endeavor. to think as much is ignorant.

  69. Sounds like a swell guy….”misleading” the sellers about his plans to bulldoze their house…when there were alternative bids from people who actually wanted to fix the place up and live there!
    And such nice friends Mr. Van Note has too: Lenny, Brian and GR Jim. Next time we need an inspiring lecture on free enterprise we know whom to ask!

  70. Do they call you Backsore b/c you have such a boring life that all you do is sit on your a$$ and spew inuendo and hearsay on Baristanet about people you know nothing about? Maybe getting off that back of yours and doing something productive would be a start. Unless you were privy to the conversation between Van Note and the seller, I really don’t think its fair to comment on what was said. Furthermore, I do not know who Brian and Lenny are and don’t condone some of the things they are saying either. What I do know are the Van Notes and their work and you should gather some knowlegde of the situation like I have before disparage other people.

  71. You look at it as a lecture, we look at it as the truth. Van Note’s aside, we are looking at a change in Montclair. It is not singular to the housing market or its builders. It is at many different levels. What dosen’t change is the arrogance and or ignorance of the community to its core issues. You see the problem as the builders, I see it as the homeowners. No one is coming in this town and buying anything if the prices weren’t so ridiculously out of control. It has been a seller’s market for 5 years. Now that the charm is wearing off and we have woken up and looked at our neighbors we get nervous. If you have called this town home for any length of time you have yourselves, and only yourselves to blame. Having you cake and eating it to has only made you stupid.

  72. GR Jim: ” you should gather some knowlegde of the situation like I have before disparage other people.”
    The irony is so rich! Thank you.

  73. I apologize for my spelling/grammar, but before Friday I have never even heard of Baristanet and don’t plan on being a regular in the future. So excuse me for trying to write quickly while at the same time getting back to my “JOB”. Ever hear of that word? A hint, its completely unrelated to the word “Backsore”! Good day.

  74. Hey Backsore,
    Some of us work Jackass. You got time to edit? We don’t. Turn over, shovel in a Lean Cuisine and leave the comic releif to us.

  75. Irony central…look in the mirror…read your own posts…about disparaging people you don’t know and….got nothing better to do than post on Barista…. You’re posting more than me!
    Thanks for the comic relief!

  76. Backsore
    I highly doubt you did your due diligence. There was never any misrepresentation, there is no need to disclose your fututre plans of your intentions. Who honestly needs a house of that size?

  77. My problem with the Van Notes is that to me, a realtor is supposed to be a realtor, selling EXISTING homes to those interested in them. But I guess there’s nothing to stop them from doubling as developers, unfortunately.
    As for Brian’s comment: “Van Note’s aside, we are looking at a change in Montclair. It is not singular to the housing market or its builders.” That is the whole point. It is a change that is happening everywhere in older communities. The teardown and the incongruous infill. It will spread everywhere until no town will look different from any other town and none will have any character. But if those who support this are OK with that, then there’s nothing more I can say.

  78. backsore – i’m not sure what gave you the impression i have a stake in any of this. while i did grow up in montclair i am no longer a resident. these “other people” you alluded to did not buy the house and your contention that they were willing to repair it is unfounded. i would question your motives for speaking poorly of people you do not know using facts that you cannot confirm concerning a purchase you have nothing to do with.

  79. lenny: my only Motive is that I live in Mtclr, love old houses, used to live in that neighborhood, and am familiar with the house.
    It seems rather clear Van Note is planning a knockdown and wasn’t upfront with the sellers. If the Town/neighbors don’t stop him, and he’s so short-sighted as to bulldoze that beautiful distinctive house, I hope he loses his shirt selling his little dime-a-dozen spec houses in a crowded (Hempsted, etc) market.
    Regarding the other bids: a) “Realtor” posted this above: The house was on the market for about 150 days. There were other bids, but since Van Note waived the inspection issues (oil tank?) his was considered best.
    b) also see the comment from “aw” above

  80. backsore, I am sure he will make more money on this one deal then you will have made your entire life giving happy endings on bloomfield avenue.
    Realtor doesnt know a thing, there was a brand new oil tank put in the basement prior to closing so his theory of wiaved inspection issues is false.

  81. this is all hearsay and conjecture. the use of postings on this site as a basis for character assassination shows your lack of integrity not van notes. the only thing that is “rather clear” is that you have called out someone’s name on a website and attached many disparaging remarks to it.

  82. Backsore,
    You are making the assumption that what someone blogged on this issue is true. If you do not know that Van Note “wasn’t upfront” and misled the sellers, then you should not be making such accusations. And please stop making ignorant remarks about the quality of the homes they build. Everyone has gotten multiple bids the first week they are on the market and are sold to a very satisfied buyer. You mentioning the Hempstead properties in this forum really shows your lack of knowledge on this issue and also brings out the root of the problem.

  83. GR Jim,
    Take it easy. I am sure Backsore is well read and completely informed. I know she would not have spouted off at the mouth about these types of things and made slanderous remarks on a public website unless she was absolutely certain about her words. I would even bet there is also some personal issue at the heart of her disparaging renmarks that all of us might be able to help with. Backsore, aside from the obvious, what troubles you? You can’t be seroius about “save the old houses”.Come on you can talk to us.

  84. The bottom line is this. Look at the body of work the Van Notes do. Look at the history of all the jobs they have done over the years. Every house is renovated in a classy and elegant fashion, geared to the neighborhoods surroundings. They will never ruin the integrity of one particular street just for kicks. The Van Notes are very serious and thorough in a craft they enjoy doing, such as building homes. please lets not make a mockery of this issue without knowing all the facts.All you negative people out there criticizing the Van Notes should take a good look in the mirror and ask yourselves are there more important things in the world to worry about! Montclair is a great community where most people enjoy walking around and just talk with each other. Lets focus on enjoying our town instead of concerning ourselves with what other people are doing. It would be a much happier world. Remember we all have to earn a living and we all do it in different ways. Stop trying to destroy the reputation of such good people for the sake of free speech! You all would be better people for it.

  85. SMAC for President!!!!!LOL
    Have the VanNote Renovations team build you a new home on Duryea!!!! I’m sure it will be top quality……as usual!!! Keep your heads up VanNote family alot of us love what you do and appreciate it!!! Keep up the good work!
    Don’t hate the player, hate the game!!!!

  86. I smell the STINK of corruption. I have been looking for houses in Montclair for a year. I have YET to see a 22 room house that went for UNDER a million (and for almost $200g under asking!). And the taxes are relatively reasonable, for a house and lot of that size. It is clear that brokers are taking the best houses for themselves, and their Donald Trump pipe dreams, and selling their clients the schwag. Hell, I was losing out on bidding wars this summer — houses half that size were going for over one million. There is something so wrong and corrupt here. And for the record, I would have renovated that sucker…..

  87. Duped,
    Put that pipe down. No one knew about it because, it is a peice of crap. If you seriously have that much money to waste, give money to the little league teams in our town so they can buy better equipment and pay umps and referees better. Donate to after school tutoring programs so these idiots walking around we call our children don’t embarass us anymore then they already do. The shake-and-bake colonization of this town started years ago when our schools were the best. We were hailed as fully integrated, I think the word “tolerant” was thrown around, like that isn’t the most backwardly racial comment I have ever heard. Now we have these part time associates of Bendini, Lambert and Locke dropping words like corruption without any thought of ramifications to the Van Notes and or themselves for being so carless. Make sure you have your ducks in a row people before you go around insulting ones integrity with your own moral charts that you carry in your wallets. Think before you speak, because unlike your husbands we are not numb to your blathering just yet.

  88. I thought I was done talking about this issue then I see someone like “Duped” make such assinine comments that I cannot physically hold myself back. For you to be so ignorant to say that “it is clear that brokers are taking the best houses for themselves” is astonishing. Do you really think that a property that has been on the market for a significant amount of time with no offers is considered one of the best houses? Do you think all of the brokers get together collectively over a few shooters at Tierney’s and decide which houses they are going to shelter from the public this week for their own personal benefit? This was not a Rhodes Van Note listing. Do you really think that the selling broker would forgo a larger commission just so they can sell it to a fellow broker for less? These comments and the countless others on this website really gives me reassurance that moving from Montclair to Glen Ridge was a good decision. Its unbelieveable how this town has changed in recent years and is now infested with 40,000 liberal freaks all having a cause and very few that really know what they are fighting for.

  89. This commentary is geared mainly toward Mauigirl and Backsore. Your ignorance is priceless and has amused me greatly. First of all, I nave not heard the sellers comments to confirm nor refute the alleged conversation and agreement with Mr. VanNote to “renovate” rather than rebuild the property. Until then, this is just hearsay and conjecture.
    Secondly, do any of you people who have been crying about the fate of this house realize that over the years the VanNotes have “renovated” many more homes than they have rebuilt in Montclair.
    Lastly, the homes that they rebuild will still be around 100 years from now and very much coveted for their architectural charm much like the property on Duryea. If and when that time comes and someone feels it is better to rebuild that to restore the home they should be entitled to do so!

  90. From the article: “That’s what the folks on Duryea Road are worried about.”
    Who on Duryea Road is actually worried? Just curious if anyone posting here an actual neighbor of this grand victorian?
    Interestingly, if you drive by, you’ll see that the homes facing this large mansion are smaller and closely spaced, so a subdivision into two lots would not necessarily ruin the look of the block. Although it’s heartbreaking to think of anyone tearing down a house that stunning (from the outside it is GORGEOUS). How sad that such a property could not find a buyer who could respect it and nurture it back to its former glory. Feels as painful as the idea of cutting down those old-growth trees on Champlain Terrace. I hope the developer thought long and hard before taking this on-weighing the profit potential against the bad PR and community outrage that’s surely to come his way. (Look at what the Marlboro Inn has done to that developer’s name and image.)Knocking down historical old houses seems like a great way to get a figurative black eye in this town.
    Just a sad state of affairs. What does this bode for other grand old properties in need of major TLC-like the mansion that the Montclair Co-Op school put back on the market?

  91. You all are being duped. These brokers/developers are subdividing properties all over town, selling off that crap, and ruining great neighborhoods. And you sit here and defend them…classic!
    p.s. There appear to be many bitter brokers posting on this site. Even some that do not live in Montclair…wonder why? (Hi GR Jim…muah!)
    p.p.s. I AM moving to Montclair…and will be needing people to do my lawnwork (interested deez?)

  92. Duped,
    I live in Glen Ridge b/c Montclair’s schools are inferior and the people that have infiltrated Montclair are not like the one’s I have become life long friends with growing up. I had a choice and am very happy with my decision. Not sure what your comments are insinuating, but I am not a broker just someone who follows the market closely and thinks people like you are a disgrace to yourself, your friends and your family. Come to Montclair, you’ll fit right in.

  93. In reply to JK – regarding my “ignorance.” I never purported to know the full story behind this house. I said it looked to me as if it was restorable, and I stand by that. I never said Van Note didn’t build nice houses elsewhere or restore them – I didn’t claim to know anything about this realtor, and still don’t. All I know is this house is beautiful and shouldn’t be knocked down. There may be reasons that pushed it into this situation – never said there weren’t. But I love old houses, and don’t like to see them knocked down. We can disagree without you calling me ignorant. That’s just rude.

  94. JK, bring something new to the discussion or zip it up. You are a long-winded palgurist. As for Deez, I’m not sure what to make of you aside from you being a very angry individual. Maybe your aggression could be excercised by tending to some yardwork as Duped suggested.

  95. Fat Sam add something to the conversation or take yourself to the salad bar. We are having a discussion about real issues. This is also the USA, last time I checked. There can be outbursts from the retarded all day. Deez fire away!! Fat Sam in his race to be witty and yet well read mis-spelled the word plagurist. Any one who has half a brain must know it has all been said before anyway. Mauigirl, whats your connection to Hawaii and how come you haven’t moved there yet? I have a great idea, why not pool all of your hubbies money together and take a one way trip to the Berhing Strait this winter.

  96. Unfortunately, Brian, I have to work for a living and don’t know how to teach scuba diving. So you’re stuck with me here.
    Why the hostility?

  97. I’ve managed to save up roughly $16205 in my bank account, but I’m not sure if I should buy a house or not. Do you think the market is stable or do you think that home prices will decrease by a lot?

  98. Can someone please tell me how to get in touch with the Huestis House Preservation Friends? Is there a phone number? Thank you!

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