The Montclair Center Business Improvement District is working on a cellphone app so that residents and visitors will have information about local events and businesses at their fingertips, according to the organization.
The idea is to create a “really cool” one-stop guide for people coming to the township, including offering the lowdown on parking, said Israel Cronk, the BID’s executive director.
“There’s a lot of moving parts,” he said of planning the app. “I don’t think it will be for another six months or so until we get it out there. But I think it’s going to be awesome. I think it’s really going to change the town, get people really knowledgeable about what’s going on.”
In working on the app, the BID has been looking in part to a program in Summit for guidance. Merchants in that city are using an app called Close.By, according to Cronk.
“We just want to make sure that it’s the right platform for us,” he said.
Summit launched its Close.By app in late 2015.
Close.By “helps you find and get to the most relevant products, places, parking and promotions in your community, using state-of-the-art technologies,” according to the app’s website.
“From last-minute clearance sales or event seating, to special insider knowledge about best parking or product availability, Close.by brings you the best of your town,” the site says. “Close.By can also send local offers (many available nowhere else), from businesses you are interested in hearing from, directly to your phone via email or a screen notification.”
Earlier this year Cronk told the Township Council that he would be seeking its input on the app it is creating.
The app that the BID envisions would permit users to input their location and then ask where are the nearest movies, clothing shops and parking, for example, Cronk said.
“Each of the downtown businesses will have a landing page,” he said. “It will tell you where you can park, directions from where you park … And businesses can also do promotions on the app, depending on how involved they want to be.”
All of the BID’s events will be listed on the app, and the Montclair Public Library will have a link there, as well, according to Cronk.