46 units
Ferarra’s Auto Body and service station is slated for 46 units of housing. COURTESY PLANNING DEPARTMENT

By Jaimie Julia Winters

A four-story apartment and retail building is proposed for Orange Road in between the MC Hotel, currently on the rise, and the Orange Road parking garage.

The proposal for the 0.644-acre MC Residences calls for 46 apartments with retail on the first floor, a rooftop garden, a pedestrian plaza and a 67-space garage.

Plans, presented to the Historic Preservation Commission last week by Ed Wilkes of Langan Engineers, Stuart Johnson of Minno Wasko Architectural firm and attorney Tom Trautner, were met with approval overall.

46 units
Rendering of MC Residences.

The proposed site, located at 37 and 33 Orange Road, is currently Ferrara’s Autobody and service station. The two Orange Road lots are listed as being owned by Ferrara’s Realty LLC. The area, which backs up into the Valley and Bloom Development, is in the Montclair Center Gateway in an area deemed in need of rehabilitation. The application was filed by HP 37 Orange Road Montclair LLC by attorney Tom Trautner.

Of the 46 apartment units proposed, 12 would be one-bedrooms, 16 would be studios, 17 would be two-bedrooms and one would be a three-bed.

Parking will be housed in a underground garage accessible from Orange Road, using a stacking-lift parking system and managed by a valet. Bicycle racks would also be available. Zoning requirements are 93 spaces for the residences, and eight for the retail, or 101 in total.

The lot will have 15- and 10-foot setbacks, allowing for a pedestrian plaza facing Orange Road. The developer envisions a restaurant with outdoor seating for part of the retail space.

The four-story building will carry elements of the nearby nine-story MC Hotel with cast stone, wood veneer and black metal accents. It will also feature a tower element, said Johnson.

Board member John Reimnitz said he was in favor of the added green space.

“You are adding a public space,” he said. “It doesn’t exist anywhere else. I appreciate the green roof.”

Board member Jason Hyman suggested more permeable or green space for Orange Road plaza and the walkway along Centroverde Drive.

“There’s maintenance involved, that’s why you don’t see this too often,” Johnson said, referring to the wide pedestrian plaza and walkways.

Chair Kathleen Bennett said the developer did “a good job playing off the surrounding buildings” in the area.

46 units
MC Residences will be located in between the MC Hotel and the Orange Road Garage. COURTESY PLANNING DEPARTMENT

The commission recommended more and taller greenery, and fabric awnings.

The plans will be presented to the planning board for site approval.

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,...