Saturday, June 30, 2012

Next! Bloomfield Looking for Fourth Administrator in 18 Months

The Bloomfield Township Council will hold a special conference meeting on Monday to discuss the status of Yoshi Manale, the township administrator.
The previous administrator, Fred Carr (above), served for 14 months before being asked to resign by the Mayor.r. Five members of the council are reportedly prepared to vote out Me. Manale. No word yet as to who might be considered to be the fourth administrator in less than three years. The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at the Law Enforcement Building. It will be followed by more fireworks in Brookdale Park.
UPDATE: After a closed session in Monday's conference meeting,it was announced that the council has unanimously accepted Manale's resignation. It is not yet known when his last day on the job will be.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Unofficial List of Current Developments Underway

At last night's council meeting, Councilman Nick Joanow proposed that a fiscal impact study be completed on the longterm affect of the following developments on Bloomfield residents.
Bloomfield College -- Block 242 – 37-59 Broad St./Franklin St. – 5 story residence hall – 124,000 square foot

Scientific Glass at Liongate -- 104 (52 2-bedrooms 52 3-bedrooms) Hartz Mountain – 395 Units

National Starch & Chemical - 225 Belleville Ave --332 units – 654 parking spaces

Downtown Redevelopment -- Block 228– 224 Apartments – Studio, 1, 2 & 3 Bedroom -

78-80 Locust Ave. Property Auction 7/28/2011 -- 40 Unit For Condos/Apartments

12 Willow St. -12 Units – Condos –

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Special Planning Board Mtg Tuesday on 225 Belleville

You'd never know if from the vague language on the township's website, but there's a lot at stake at the extended series of special PB meetings to explore the application for over 332 units at the former Oakes Pond site at 225 Belleville Ave.  Many questions have yet to be answered regarding the viability of the project:

Why is the project only seeking approval for industrial standards of environmental health rather than residential standards?

Will there be any direct oversight by the DEP on the site remediation in view of recent EPA sanctions on negligent developers?

Should the town hire its own LSRP to supervise the project?

Could taxpayers be liable for failures in the remediation process or flood damage?

What will be the impact of hundreds of additional cars on Belleville Avenue traffic patterns?

UPDATE: On Monday morning, the Planning Board posted a revised agenda which spelled out some of the issues regarding the site remediation.
It also added this item regarding other developments waiting to be considered by the Board:
 "Proposal from Richard B. Reading Associates for an evaluation of proposed residential development throughout town."

Tuesday's meeting begins at 7PM in council chambers.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Beat the Heat in Civic Center

Along with being graduation day at BHS (avoid JFK Drive this evening after 5PM), today's heat wave may break all time temperature records for many towns in the northeast. If your A/C is on the blink, the Township of Bloomfield is hosting a Cooling Center at the Civic Center located at 84 Broad Street, Bloomfield.

The Civic Center will be open from 8:30 a.m until 9 p.m. and is open to all who need respite from the heat. The Civil Center is located in the downtown center of Bloomfield and public transportation is available directly in front of the building. To contact the Civic Center directly, call 973-743-9074. The Mayor and Township Council encourage you to use this cooling center should you not have any access to shelter from the heat. The public library next door is open until 5PM today.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Commercial Real Estate Firm Moves Corporate HQ to Bloomfield

Prism Capital Partners, LLC has relocated its headquarters to BroadAcres Office Park from Englewood, N.J., in an expansion move. The commercial real estate owner/operator has maintained its property management operations at 200 Broadacres Drive since 2006, when it purchased the 380,000-square-foot, four-building BroadAcres campus.

The company’s growth and the acceleration of key local projects were catalysts for consolidating their staff into a single location, and that BroadAcres was the logical choice. “We are involved in two major construction projects within 10 minutes of this property,” noted Edwin Cohen, Principal Partner. “It has become increasingly important for our Prism Construction Services, LLC division, especially, to be physically closer to these sites as things progress.

Among Prism’s larger current projects is Parkway Lofts(top photo), a multi-family adaptive reuse project. The General Electric Company in 1897 built the landmark, six-story warehouse that Prism is redeveloping into 365 loft-style apartments with lifestyle amenities. Upon completion, the property will be transformed into a distinctive residential village also featuring approximately 170 for-sale townhomes and a clubhouse.

Prism also is serving as designated redeveloper for Edison Village, a master-planned mixed-use project in nearby West Orange, N.J. That project’s first phase included the adaptive reuse of the historic Thomas Edison Invention Factory and Commerce Center, including a total renovation and reconstruction of the nearly 100-year-old factory complex.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Arts and Crafts -- and Dogs Galore -- in Brookdale Park

In its 24th year, Spring Fine Art and Crafts at Brookdale Park features over 160 juried professional artists, photographers and craft artisans from throughout the country displaying and selling their hand-crafted work, on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm rain or shine. 

This free to the public show, co-sponsored by the Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs and Janet and Howard Rose of Rose Squared Productions,

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bloomfield's Tony

Congratulations to Watsessing's own Michael McGrath for winning his first Tony Award Sunday for best performance by an actor in a featured role in “Nice Work If You Can Get It.” McGrath had been nominated for the same award in 2005 when he appeared in "Spamalot."

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Open Houses on Dream Street

Two open houses caught our eye today as they happened to be a block away from each other on the same street. Both colonials were constructed around 1940 and were nearly mirror images in size and layout. 40 Barnett was reduced from 355k to 339k. 7 Barnet had dropped from 229k to 215k. 40 Barnet had been recently updated with a sparkling new kitchen that opened up into the dining room. 7 Barnett need some updating. Also perplexing was that the newly renovated home was taxed at 9914, while the more dated home was taxed at 1188.

Both sellers are motivated so make your offer now! One home is already vacant and the other is occupied by the former head of the Board of Ed. She is reportedly determined that her child not attend BHS this fall.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Bloomfield's New Political Landscape

Yesterday's primaries resulted in one upset that may well signal changes in store for 2013. The mayor lost his county committee seat 45 to 34 to newcomer Michael Cantalupo in the Democrat's Ward 2. County committee members elect the municipal and county chairs, and are also responsible for getting voters to the polls in their respective districts. This inspired an anonymous pundit with the monicker "Bloomfield Politics" to post the following analysis on the NJ/Bloomfield Forum:
Democratic Chairman Peter Strumolo has decided to abandon the man he has supported for over thirteen years and the same person he has told Bloomfield residents would make a great mayor. Strumolo is leading the charge against the man he spent $140,000.00 to get elected in 2010, Mayor Ray McCarthy. According to the rumors in Town Hall Strumolo is pushing strong for one of the sitting councilman to take on the Mayor in 2013. The problem is that if he makes that move he will be fighting a war with Both the Mayor and Republican Chairman Lou Linares who brought the Republican party within 193 votes of beating the Democrats in 2010 when over 11,000 people voted. Linares spent $36,000.00 to Strumolo’s $140,000.00, and almost won, despite having a less then exciting candidate. Strumolo is still according to rumors getting heat from the County party for almost losing in a town that is two to one Democrat. In addition the mayor who is a proven fighter and refuses to ever go down without an all-out fight is preparing to take the Democratic Chairman on in 2013 with or without the party line . Behind all of this craziness is, according to one town hall insider Michael Venezia the Unions personal representative on the council, The very Pro-Union at any cost Venezia is said to be wanting the mayor’s job since he first became councilman. Venezia is waiting for the union bosses to decide what to do. Strumolo is in a interesting position. His only hope is that Linares and the Mayor don’t become temporary friends to fight a common enemy. If this happens Bloomfield will be in the thick of it again 2013 as it was in 2010.
(At right, 225 Belleville Ave site fur Oakes Pond Development.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

A Bounty of Primary Choices at South side of Town

Several candidates are competing for the 10th Congressional District seat left vacant by the death of Democratic Rep. Donald Payne Sr. The candidates include Payne's son, Donald Jr., and and state Senator Nia Gill, Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith, Newark Councilman Ronald Rice, Cathy Wright, and Dennis Flynn of Glen Ridge. The 10th District, which was reconfigured this year following redistricting will encompass parts of Bloomfield, south of Belleville Ave. much of Newark, Maplewood and South Orange, as well as parts of Hudson and Union counties. Thanks to Carl Bergmanson who put this simplified map together.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Purr-fect Yard Sale

A Purrfect World Cat Sanctuary is holding its annual fund raising yard sale this Saturday and Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 60 Newark Avenue (corner of Baldwin Avenue),in Bloomfield. At left is Val Slamka, founder of Purrfect World.
The sale features over 2 dozen tables of merchandise, including clothing, bookcases, appliances, and assorted knick knacks. A Purrfect World is a non-profit, 501 C3 organization dedicated to assisting the local shelters and communites in the care and education of stray and unwanted cats.