Crisco’s slashing prices yet again. On October 7th, we told you about a price drop to $1.395 million. Yesterday, in an advertisement in the New York Times’ real estate section, the price was down another $100 grand to $1,295,000. Will prizes be next?

Liz George is the publisher of Montclair Local. liz@montclairlocal.news

81 replies on “New Price For New Urbanism”

  1. I would suggest that Steve P put a few of those monstrosities on flatbeds and deposit them elsewhere. Then Crisco would have some yard space and maybe even private driveways.
    Try moving one Crisco house to the vacant lot on North Mountain where Desmond Niell did his knockdown (another self-inflicted wound by an over-reaching developer).

  2. “I would suggest that Steve P put a few of those monstrosities on flatbeds and deposit them elsewhere.”
    Plofker doesn’t have anything to do with this project, he bought the land got the approvals for the houses and sold his interest in it from what i’ve read. Why is everyone blaming him for someone else’s poor design?

  3. Steve P, I believe, no longer has ownership or interest in these properties. Find someone else to beat up.
    Remember: for every tax dollar less these properties generate, we all have to generate a dollar more.
    It is not in our best interest to see these houses go for as little as possible.

  4. I wonder how they’ll be assessed, since apparently none have sold, and the deadline for appraisal is near?
    Off the asking price or comps?

  5. “Find someone else to beat up.”
    But I like beating up Plofker. Or, shall I say, Plopper, in reference to his proclivity for plopping his ugly architectural creations everywhere and then jumping ship when times get hard.

  6. This is Plofker’s project through and through…to suggest otherwise is ignorance of the facts or worse.

  7. I had read that Plofker and his partner still are owners of the property, along with American properties.
    In any case, he certainly is to blame for the horrendous design. He was the one who presented the misleading architectural plans to the Council. And he was the one who wanted 12 houses on the site, but they made him settle for 10.

  8. “he bought the land got the approvals for the houses”
    Just because he sold the property this doesn’t take the accountability off of him. Steve P was very involved with the tear down, the development planning of 10, not 8, 10 houses. He may have laughed himself to the bank, but we all know of his previous involvement, and we will not forget when he bids for future properties.

  9. PS– Why should we be concerned about the taxes? Aren’t the owners paying taxes on the property, month after month as it sits vacant? And no one in there yet to use any community services– schools, police, etc.

  10. Hiding in Baristaville says
    “Plofker doesn’t have anything to do with this project, he bought the land got the approvals for the houses and sold his interest in it from what i’ve read. Why is everyone blaming him for someone else’s poor design?”
    Hiding in Baristaville says
    “This is Plofker’s project through and through…to suggest otherwise is ignorance of the facts or worse.”
    Ms.B, will you please do away with this “Hiding in Baristaville”.

  11. I seem to recall that Plofker still owned the property when the first renderings were submitted for approval. But before the building commenced he sold the project to this other company (what are they called – American Properties, or some such?) which took his already-big-and-crass designs and made them even bigger and crasser. So yes, he no longer has an interest in the project – he wisely cashed out. But saying he ‘has nothing to do with’ it is like saying Joseph Smith had nothing to do with Salt Lake City.

  12. If Plofker had sold the project to American Properties, I believe a real estate transfer would have been recorded and available as public record.

  13. OK, so we’ve established that it’s fine to slag Plofker for those monstrosities, whether or not he’s actually got any interest in them presently.
    A better use of our time would be to idly speculate on how low the price will go. My guess: they’ll have to drop these things to like 890k or maybe even 850k before someone actually bites.
    And Pennypincher, why weep about the lost tax income we never had? Those houses were priced unrealistically, and no one bought them, so what do we lose but something we never had? It’s not like the Marlboro Inn was pouring dough into the town coffers.

  14. What is extraordinary is how smart Plofker was in this business deal and how utterly stupid everybody else was. (I’m assuming that what I read is true–namely, that Plofker did the dirty work in getting the project approved and then sold out shortly thereafter.) He bought the land, got a bunch of investors salivating over a ridiculous plan for bloated houses that nobody in reality wants, and then skedaddled just before the bottom fell out. THe investors now holding the bag must be sweating bullets; surely they’re going to take a loss on this development, no? What a bunch of greedy boobs. Plofker is the only one who kept his head and came out of this mess with a profit.
    Of course, his reputation is about on a par with H. Potter’s in It’s a Wonderful Life, but one must assume he doesn’t give a damn. (Or does he? Therein would lie the tragedy…)

  15. Well put Mr. Roo. You have to hand it to the guy. And yes, it would seem that just like Mr. Potter, he doesn’t give a damn, but don’t you think it must bother his kids a bit? I learned from another thread recently that he’s got kids in the Montclair school system. Can they be oblivious to the ill will their dad has earned?

  16. While Steve has probably done well with this deal, as he has with many other deals (and by well I mean he’s made gobs of money), that doesn’t make him a horrible person.
    I mean this sort of wheeling and dealing is what goes on constantly in our world and by many of our friends on Wall Street and elsewhere.
    And, the fact of the matter is, as a not too far neighbor of his I can tell you that the family are decent and generous neighbors. And yes, his kids are in the public schools and they’re pretty ordinary kids, meaning they’re OK.
    Hey people. Pick up the New York Times today and read the business section. Steve isn’t that different from most other successful businessmen today, or for the past thirty years.

  17. Steve isn’t that different from most other successful businessmen today, or for the past thirty years.
    Except you don’t shit where you eat.

  18. Steve isn’t that different from most other successful businessmen today, or for the past thirty years.
    Except you don’t shit where you eat.

  19. Successful? If you equate success with money alone, then I guess he is successful in this endeavor. My definition of success seems to encompass more than that. Just because he isn’t that different from most other successful business men of today, doesn’t make it OK in my book.

  20. to blame plofker for these houses is the same as blaming the former owners of the marlboro inn…can we beat them up for awhile? for such an educated town, i’m constantly surprised at how many people can’t get from point A to point B in their heads…
    The reason the renderings weren’t the same as what was built is because the process was sold, so the builder wasn’t the same, the architect wasn’t the same etc.
    The reason the project was sold is probably because it cost so much money to fight the morons opposing it that the project couldn’t be profitable at 8 houses, or even at 10.
    The land doesn’t have to be sold for the project to be sold, all of you that have a mortgage but claim to own your houses would understand that.
    beat up on somebody else for a minute, take a stab at grabowsky, that guy’s bought every building he can get his hands on, he puts crap tenants in and lets the buildings deteriorate (hinck).

  21. In case you haven’t noticed, many people define success by money.
    Hey, occasionally some very wealthy people do good things with all that money — look at Bill Gates, for example.

  22. “In case you haven’t noticed, many people define success by money.”
    But it’s not the only barometer of success.

  23. I think Plofker got rid of the project, or at least took a back seat, after he was trashed on Page Six of the New York Post.

  24. Would people have such a problem with the houses if they weren’t so close together? I don’t think they’re that bad architecturally, just too close. If each sat on its own half acre no one would have such a problem with the houses.

  25. A truly successful businessman is someone who:
    1) makes money, AND
    2) creates something positive for society, AND
    3) is well respected in the community

  26. New poster, do you propose airlifting 1/2 of them? I don’t think any of us would be opposed to that.

  27. the houses should just be torn down and in their place build a nice inn situated on a park-like setting….

  28. If the ads for the houses still say Marlboro Park Partners in the lower left corner, that’s Steve. And Harlan Waksal.

  29. A modest proposal: knock down the middle house on each block, the remaining 8 looming manses will all have little, individual side yards. The extra property per house might increase the selling price enough to make it all worth while. Oh, and revenue neutral to the township too.

  30. Has anyone else seen a small sign on stake by those five or so new-ish houses squeezed on a small lot in Bloomfield — on Broad st. near Watchung? It says “Christopher Court, Montclair”, with an arrow pointing the way. I noticed it on Saturday and wondered if it were put there because people were showing up at the Broad st. development by mistake? Or were the two developments done by the same company?

  31. It’s an example of what you’ll bet if you wish to visit Christopher Court.
    Houses too large on the lot, miniscule backyards, and ridicule from the neighborhood.
    They put the sign there in case the NewYorkers exiting the GSP at exit 151 turned too quickly and were seduced by the I-hop

  32. [[ Has anyone else seen a small sign on stake by those five or so new-ish houses squeezed on a small lot in Bloomfield — on Broad st. near Watchung? It says “Christopher Court, Montclair”, with an arrow pointing the way. I noticed it on Saturday and wondered if it were put there because people were showing up at the Broad st. development by mistake? Or were the two developments done by the same company? ]]
    I pointed months ago that there’s a sign on Broad just before the Watchung lights. The arrow on taht one points in the wrong direction. I assumed the sign had been moved by some prankster & no one cared.
    Of course, come to think of it, the sign could have been positioned by the same intelligence that designed the whole development.

  33. my wife heard (at the hairdressers) from a woman who lives in the neighborhood that 4 houses are occupied. don’t know how factual that is.

  34. Those houses have a stigma. And, the infamous Mr. Plofker is connected to them for as long as they are around.
    I think he and his family will come to regret that he ever pushed that one through.

  35. Saw people inside one of the houses the other night. Although, I guess they could be squatters. Rumor mill says two houses are occupied. Once they’re all occupied, it should be a great place to trick or treat. Could hit ten houses in about two minutes. Kinda reminds me of when we took the kids trick or treating in the big pre-war apartment buildings on West End Ave in NYC and our bags would be full before we got halfway thru the place.

  36. I think we need out investigative Baristanet reporter to do a follow up story on Crisco…how many units have been sold, at what prices, etc.

  37. Why does Plofker take all the heat it was his architect / landscape architect Paul Sionas that dreamed up this scary fright?

  38. oh right, and my cousin told me that Julius Erving boaght one.
    I said – Yeah sure- he wants to live in one of those- right.

  39. Why does Plofker take all the heat it was his architect….
    The buck stops there — or somewhere under a mill.

  40. I believe a certificate of occupancy is required before a sale can close and a house occupied. To my knowledge, this has not happened for any of the Crisco manses. Perhaps the Barista can confirm this with a call to the Montclair Building Department?

  41. I believe a certificate of occupancy is required before a sale can close and a house occupied. To my knowledge, this has not happened for any of the Crisco manses. Perhaps the Barista can confirm this with a call to the Montclair Building Department?

  42. I visited Crisco last weekend. There is a map in the lobby of the homes – only one home was marked with a red pin that denotes it has been sold.

  43. Montclair’s Building Dept. does not issue certificates of occupancy. No final inspections have been scheduled with the building department either. No units have been sold and the developer lost bank financing.

  44. Montclair’s Building Dept. does not issue certificates of occupancy. No final inspections have been scheduled with the building department either. No units have been sold and the developer lost bank financing.

  45. Montclair’s Building Dept. does not issue certificates of occupancy. No final inspections have been scheduled with the building department either. No units have been sold and the developer lost bank financing.

  46. Montclair’s Building Dept. does not issue certificates of occupancy. No final inspections have been scheduled with the building department either. No units have been sold and the developer lost bank financing.

  47. The developer can’t pay workers to complete construction work. If construction isn’t done, a final inspection can’t take place. No final inspection – no certificate of occupancy. No COO, no sale. No sale, developer must pay taxes. Can’t pay taxes, a twp. tax sale is in your future.

  48. How do you know the developer lost financing? I am not from the area but it seems there are a number of people who really hate the development…why?

  49. How do you know the developer lost financing? I am not from the area but it seems there are a number of people who really hate the development…why?

  50. 1. the houses are huge and built on a rise so they tower above all of the neighboring houses
    2. they are crammed together
    3. The renderings that we were shown were not what was built- the renderings showed space between the houses
    4. people tried to buy the historic inn and were rebuffed so that the developer could make lots of money.
    5. the houses do not fit in with the surrounding community
    I’m sure that others can fill in lots more reasons.
    drive by- see for yourself

  51. we also had an employee of the devlopment company come on here and pretend that he had bought one of the houses- turned out to be a total lie.

  52. Thanks for your thoughts…I have been by and while I’m not a construction engineer was impressed with the build quality. Someone posted that the floors were plastic but the specs say red oak. The model is not my style…kind of tacky…but hey Montclair is still in NJ right? I can also understand the towering part they are huge and close together but I don’t have a lot of kids don’t need a large backyard and don’t want to share a wall with my neighbor like I would with a condo. Also the third floor and finished basement are selling points for me its kind of like a brownstone. The high ceilings and large rooms are attractive and the houses seem to be as nice if not nicer than what surrounds them. Am I missing something here? Taxes do seem high at 23-25k but someone said they might even go higher any data to support that claim? I heard the whole area is undergoing a major revaluation is that right?

  53. It’s fine if you want to reach out of your dining room window and borrow a cup of sugar from your neighbor. Yep- kinda like a brownstone.
    And if you’ve been living in an apartment it may be acceptable.
    If the value stays at $1.395 million I would expect taxes to be 31-35k NOT 23-25 as touted now.
    The reval will be done by December- come back and take a look then and check with the town as to taxes.

  54. You guys are a bunch of snobs. The houses might be perfect for a young growing family that wants a house with new infrastructure and new physical plant — not 100-year-old wiring or 80-year-old plumbing, or windows that don’t open. The prices aren’t bad when you compare them to the going rate in Short Hills or Summit, let alone Manhattan. And as for the yard sizes, to each their own. Some people don’t care about that and would prefer not to mow a big lawn and rake tons of leaves.

  55. I just called Christopher Court HQ. I was told by the rep that no houses had been sold yet and none are under contract. Not being snobby but these things will be tough to move. Even as they approach reasonable price points, who is going to want to live in such a lightening rod of controversy? Two things people in Montclair take great pride in is their old homes and their big, old trees. Crisco has neither. So, there’s nothing “wrong” with these houses, per se, but they don’t capture anything about what people are attracted to Montclair for in the first place.

  56. So where are the “young growing families” storming down the place, lightbulb? The first house went on the market 6 months ago.

  57. Hiding 1:44 is right. lightbulb and snik smell like phonies planted by the developer or listing agent.
    It couldn’t be simpler. Its a free market, and the Crisco Castles aren’t selling because there are better deals to be found on nicer places. ANY house will sell at the right price. Some day these houses will be priced right. Might not be until the towship auctions them off for back taxes… but some day.

  58. Yes, Crisco would indeed be perfect for a young growing family :
    That is, if they literally want to tell their kids to go out and play in traffic.

  59. “Two things people in Montclair take great pride in is their old homes and their big, old trees”.
    You forgot liberalism.

  60. Hey, Nit Picker! Someone on the watercooler was looking for a person like you last week. She said she had head lice and wanted to hire a nitpicker to pick at her eggs. I am not joking. How much do you charge?

  61. I’m not a PR person. I just think that you all assume everyone wants to live in an old house with old house problems. Not everyone does. Some people prefer new houses, particularly new ones that are of a classic design like the Crisco houses (there: if I were a PR person for this developer, would I be calling them “Crisco houses”?).

  62. I’m not a PR person. I just think that you all assume everyone wants to live in an old house with old house problems. Not everyone does. Some people prefer new houses, particularly new ones that are of a classic design like the Crisco houses (there: if I were a PR person for this developer, would I be calling them “Crisco houses”?).

  63. What attracted me to “crisco” was an ad in the times and the fact that people I respect told me Montclair was a great place to live. I have had the big house on an acre plus and while it was nice my ex now has that. I guess what I envisioned was a street of fairly accomplished people living within a nice community that was a walk to the train station and otherwise centrally located but maybe not. Maybe I tell someone in town where I live and get the cold shoulder or worse. While not a pr guy this place is clearly in need of one, thanks for the tip.

  64. There are plenty of old houses in Montclair that have been retrofitted to have new ammenities. I’m thinking of the houses that Martin Schwartz of Textured Homes renovates
    https://www.texturedhome.com/about.htm
    NO WAY are any of the Crisco houses classic design unless you consider classic a house that is designed by a committee.

  65. snik,
    There are far better areas of Montclair than Crisco.
    Areas where there isn’t as much traffic and the stately trees meet in the middle of the street.
    Areas where families have lived for a long time and not all of the neighbors are newbies.
    I don’t think that Montclarions will shun the purchasers of Crisco houses but we will think less of you if you buy one.
    Oh well!

  66. For months now I’ve been feeling sorry for any future Crisco buyers, not because of how I feel about their new house and neighborhood (that, too, but that’s their choice they make with their eyes open), but because of the reaction they’re going to get from longtime townspeople when they announce their address. I can’t imagine anyone from Montclair moving in, so it’ll be someone relocating from elsewhere who has no idea what a beehive they just landed in.

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