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NJ TRANSIT Board approves lease of land to developer

September 10, 2007

NEWARK, NJ Plans for a new Upper Montclair Station building advanced today with the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors approving a lease for the land on which the station building will be built.

A new building with restaurant, public restrooms and waiting areas for NJ TRANSIT rail customers will replace the structure that was extensively damaged by fire in February, 2006.

The board today approved a 10-year land lease to Notchwood LLC, with three additional five-year option periods. Notchwood, based in Little Falls, was selected in July as developer and tenant from proposals evaluated by officials from NJ TRANSIT, Montclair and the Montclair Township Historic Preservation Commission.

"This project is an example of a public-private partnership that leverages our resources to produce maximum economic, functional and aesthetic benefits for Montclair residents and NJ TRANSIT customers," said NJ TRANSIT Chairman and Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri.

Notchwood is responsible for planning, designing, financing, building, operating and maintaining the restaurant and station building.

"This project will remain a priority for us through its completion because we fully understand that the new station building and restaurant will enhance levels of comfort and convenience for our Montclair-Boonton Line customers as well as for Montclair residents," said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Richard Sarles.

Selection criteria included a willingness on the part of the developer to design a new building in a way that is sensitive to the historic architecture of the previous station, which was built in 1892.

"We are working hard to ensure that the new station will harmonize with the surrounding area and expect it to be an asset for the community as well as for NJ TRANSIT customers," said Montclair Councilor Gerald Tobin.

The new, 2,800-square-foot building is estimated to cost about $850,000. NJ TRANSIT will contribute up to $287,000 in insurance proceeds toward construction, minus costs associated with demolition of the fire-damaged structure. Demolition started last week, with workers first removing salvageable materials from the fire-damaged station building.

Notchwood is expected to submit a final building design in the coming weeks for review by NJ TRANSIT and the State Historic Preservation Office. Pending final approvals, construction is expected to start by the end of 2008.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing 865,000 weekday trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 18,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.