Lackawanna tesimony
Plans call for housing, retail and a supermarket at the historic Lackawanna Train Station.

By Jaimie Julia Winters

Planning board members predict testimony on the historic Lackawanna train station redevelopment project would extend into 2019.

Plans call for a multi-use development including 154 units of housing, a supermarket, medical center and some retail.

Developers Pinnacle and Hampshire postponed the Nov. 5 meeting contending their experts were not available, said planning board chair John Wynn. In addition, planner Janice Talley said her department had not received revised plans.

Wynn said the board and the public should expect at least two new witnesses, more testimony by the planner, architect, parking and traffic experts and on the behalf of the developer. Brian Stolar of Pinnacle is also expected to testify.

Two formal objectors, the Historic Preservation Commission and Frank Rubacky, a former member of Montclair’s Historic Preservation Commission, are expected to testify. Residents will then have their turn for public comments.

Historic preservationists seek to incorporate the train platforms, now part of glass-enclosed mall, into the plans as part of the supermarket, while developers contend the train platforms need to be razed to make way for more parking for the supermarket.

Historic commission board members David Greenbaum and John Reimnitz have drawn up plans incorporating the sheds into a 56,000-square foot supermarket with dual entrances on Bloomfield and Glenridge avenues, and the demolition of the old Pathmark. Parking could then be placed on both sides and a dine-in area would be to the left of the Bloomfield entrance.

It is uncertain if Greenbaum and Reimnitz will present the plans as Historic Preservation Commission objectors or residents.

“And that’s all we have notice of so far,” said Wynn.

Back in July developer Brian Stolar of Pinnacle, said they were ready to get the project moving. “It’s been four years, it’s been frustrating. The property is deteriorating. We are losing pretty badly and so is the town and the people in the community.”

The next two Lackwanna hearings with the planning board are set for Nov. 26 and Dec. 17.