Montclair neighbors of MSU living on Normal Avenue received a shocker of a letter in September, announcing that #30 Normal Avenue (owned by the University and used as a Parking Department office for a few years) is going to be converted to a dorm, housing 12 female students.
Residents publicly sparred with university officials, sparks flying at a meeting Monday night over this and future plans the university might have to use university-owned property to solve the student housing shortage.
Cyd Cailliarec, who lives around the corner on College Avenue writes: “I have heard a lot of the concerns and have been on the street for 9 years through the “double the population” of the campus.
Fire safety, crowded conditions, partying, and declining property values for this residential neighborhood are just some of the objections that have been voiced. More from The Star Ledger:
Andrew Povich of Brainard Street said the “glorified sorority house” would be the first to cross the roadway, setting a precedent along an avenue where the university has acquired a half-dozen houses over the years and used them as offices.
“All those houses … are now vulnerable to student housing, which is a whole other bag of goods. Late-night parties,” he said.
Joe Attanasio, a longtime MSU professor who lives next to the Normal Avenue colonial, put it this way: “Twelve women may have 12 to 24 friends. To suggest that they would be better behaved … is just sexist.”
Late yesterday, Ann Frechette, the university’s executive director of communications and marketing, said the administrators met with Cole and decided to take a “pause” on immediately awarding contracts for the makeover while the university’s staff makes a “full assessment” of all its properties along Normal Avenue.