Reimagining the Arts District at Wellmont Arts Plaza

Luxury developers Brookfield Properties and Pinnacle Companies teamed up to breathe new life into Wellmont Arts Plaza, Montclair Township’s arts district in New Jersey.

Just across from the Wellmont Theater, the three-acre site had the potential to support a 200-unit residential community, while also bringing free, world-class cultural experiences to the public. The question became how to satisfy the Township, neighbors, residents, and theater while creating a walkable, desirable luxury living space.

That’s where Bohler came in.

Keeping It Walkable

Despite the 50-foot grade change between the theater and the base of the site, the client envisioned an environment that would be easily navigated by all pedestrians. Because the main buildings were much lower than the theater, Bohler created walkways with multiple levels. To maintain accessibility, Bohler designed spiraling ramps within tiered plaza areas, providing a solution for all visitors.

Reimagining the Arts District at Wellmont Arts Plaza

Providing Value to All Interested Parties

Because the development was in an important cultural area, it was vital that the Township, neighbors, and residents all find value in the space. This meant presenting plans to stakeholders, receiving feedback, making changes, and presenting again – at a total of nine Planning Board meetings over ten months.

Of particular concern was the parking situation, which was already a major pain point for the Township, theater, and patrons. Bohler provided a solution by designing parking for the site plus 100 additional parking spaces, creating more net parking than before the development.

Bohler provided additional value to the community by making off-site improvements. These included utility upgrades within the main road and adding drop-off areas for buses to support the theater. The design of the site also involved closing a public street in front of the theater to turn it into a plaza serving both residents and tenants.

Bringing Public Space to Life Through Art

The hard work paid off, resulting in an upscale space for the public to enjoy the arts, as well as luxury living spaces within a walkable community. Because it was important that all parties found value in the development, Bohler met with stakeholders and revised the plan until everyone was happy. With a new space for concerts, public art displays, office space, retail, restaurants, and 200 multifamily units, plus increased parking, there’s now something for everyone to enjoy at the revitalized Wellmont Arts Plaza.

3 Acres
340K SF
50 Foot Grade Change

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