Glenridge Avenue Arts Center gets go ahead
COURTESY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
By Jaimie Julia Winters
The owners of a mixed-use property on Glenridge Avenue received approval to triple the size of their building, which will also include an arts and entertainment space and four more apartments.
Maria and Marek Tylek, owners of M&M Tylek LLC, artists who have lived in Montclair for 30 years, want to add four more apartments to the current two residences and two retail spaces at 182 Glenridge Ave. They also want to add office space and a 2,000-square-foot flexible arts space including studios, classrooms and exhibition space. The space would be available to Montclair artists for free.
Plans call for the current 5,119-square-foot building to be expanded to 17,621 square feet by adding a third story and extending the entire building to the rear property line. The expanded building will contain four new two-bedroom apartments with terraces or roof gardens, 398 square feet of office space and 1,992 square feet for arts and entertainment.
Marek Tylek contends the additional units would subsidize the arts component. Planning board members were more concerned with granting a parking variance for providing only 10 spaces, and the density entailed with the project as well. Parking requirements are a total of 27: 12 for the rental units, two for the office space, nine for the commercial space and four for the arts/entertainment spaces.
Alan Trembulak, the developer’s attorney, argued that the requirements were too high. The two retail units are not being expanded and historically only had two assigned spaces, while the residential parking need would only be seven spots based on the 1.1 unit-to-parking-space ratio the township is allowing for new developments including the nearby Seymour Street development.
The development will also be located next to the future midtown deck, which will provide 326 spaces. Marek Tylek plans on purchasing four permit spots for the use of the arts space users. There will also be an egress entrance from the lot to the property.
Marek Tylek told the board that he would occupy the office space on the third floor, with the remainder being studio space for artists and musicians. Maria Tylek, a Flamenco dancer, would use the studio space as well. Marek Tylek sees the exhibition space being offered to emerging artists and art organizations that struggle to find space to showcase art. He would manage the entire building including the rentals and the arts space. The couple also plans on living in one of the apartments.
The developer sought six waivers, dealing with width and depth requirements of the undersized lot, the number of parking spaces, the proposed tandem parking, driveway width and size of parking spots.
The application does not require construction of an affordable unit, but will require the developer to pay a development fee that will go into an affordable housing fund. But town planner Janice Talley said that if the arts space was ever converted to residential, the developer would be responsible for one full affordable unit.
Construction could begin as soon as May, when work on the midtown garage is expected to begin. Marek Tylek said that scaffolding would be placed around the building, but a crane would not be used during the construction.