office building
The corner of Walnut and Grove streets will transformed into a two-story offi ce and restaurant complex.

By Tina Pappas
for Montclair Local

A car wash and rent-a-car center will make way for offices and retail on the corner of Grove and Walnut streets.

The zoning board unanimously approved Steven Plofker’s site application for a new commercial building to be located at the corner of 111-113 Grove St. and 63 Walnut St. Plans include demolition of an Enterprise Rent-a-Car, the Grove Car Wash and a multi-family house.

Plofker, who first presented his application last October, presented the second phase to the board during the July 18 meeting. Paul Sionas, site architect, presented plans for a two-story building with 8.550 square feet on each floor and a 50-space parking lot. Eight spaces will be located in the front of the building on Grove Street and blocked by a wall. The retail space will be housed on the first floor, with office space on the second floor. A pedestrian plaza, along the southeast end of the property’s corner, will have an outdoor cafe seating for a possible restaurant.

office building
Rendering of the building.

Some of the board’s suggestions entailed creating a two-hour loading zone via parallel parking for delivery trucks using five head-in spaces between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., which Sionas agreed to. He also agreed to a suggestion from Board Member Angela Harris to allow lights to switch off during the overnight hours and to embed lights in the wall along Grove Street instead of proposed light poles.

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Traffic expert Cory Chase also took a suggestion from Board Member Kevin Allen that a triangular median be located at the Grove Street ingress/egress points so only right turns would be possible. The adjustment was due to concerns of southbound traffic snarls on Grove Street into the parking lot area.

Plofker aid he envisioned restaurants as being potential tenants at his project. The area has transformed in recent years as a popular restaurant destination, he said.

The developer sought eight variances.
• The maximum allowed height of 24 feet to now permit 28 feet.
• To allow impervious coverage from the maximum 80 percent permitted to 91.8 percent.
• Original front-yard setback of 20 feet on both ends would now have a setback of 19.28 feet from Grove Street and 7.41 feet from Walnut Street.
• The original requirement of a side yard setback of six-foot, would now allow for a four-foot setback.
• A variance to allow parking between the building and the front property line for the eight spaces along Grove Street.
• A variance from the required 7-foot maximum height retaining wall retaining wall to 8-feet and a fence on top of that along the eastern property line.
• A variance for the height of a wall and along the southern property line, where a maximum of 4.5 feet is permitted..
• A variance for not including a loading zone.
The approved resolution will be memorialized at the next zoning board meeting on Aug. 1.

Jaimie is an award-winning journalist and editor having been employed at New York regional area weeklies, dailies, magazines and digital news sites including The Ridgewood News, Community News, South Bergenite,...

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