Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Montclair Teardowns

From the Star Ledger:

ZONING BACKLASH

John Skillin lives across from a century-old Montclair home that once belonged to a West Point graduate named Maj. Blanton C. Welsh, a research scientist whose later study of plant algae resulted in the discovery of a new species that bears his name, Welshite.

Yet the nine-bedroom Dutch Colonial -- hawked in a real estate listing as "truly one of the Fathers of Montclair" -- is destined to fall to a wrecker's claw to make way for five luxury townhouses.

He doesn't want to see it happen. It might not.

The Upper Mountain Avenue property is one of as many as 200 on the verge of "downzoning," an action that would effectively prevent anything more than a two-family there. Yet as in many things, real estate in particular, timing is everything.
...
Teardowns in Montclair -- most recently one of a circa 1887 house on nearby North Mountain Avenue -- have heightened talk of remedies to head them off.

"Can we establish some kind of moratorium on teardowns?" Mayor Ed Remsen asked Karen Kadus, the director of planning and development, at a recent meeting.
...
The house, most recently listed at $869,000, was described as built "of the finest material and architectural specifications."

"The restoration is to period and mostly complete," the listing said.

6 Comments:

Anonymous UnRealtor said...

"Yet the nine-bedroom Dutch Colonial -- hawked in a real estate listing as "truly one of the Fathers of Montclair" -- is destined to fall to a wrecker's claw to make way for five luxury townhouses."


What a shame. Though the property tax bill on a 9 bedroom Montclair house is probably massive, there must be another way.

If the town keeps letting this happen, the town itself will become less desirable, which will hurt them in the long run.

8/08/2006 08:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some beautiful old homes in Upper Montclair - part of the charm of the town. Can't imagine what the taxes are on these places though.

8/08/2006 08:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up right by there. Some of the nicest homes you'd ever want to live in. Now if we could only get some more McMansions and car dealerships in the area.....

8/08/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger DL said...

I grew up in Montclair and my parents still live there. My guess is that the taxes on this house are at least $30k. It is not unheard of for houses on Upper Mountain ave. to have tax bills in upwards of $40k.

8/08/2006 10:44:00 AM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

The town could get creative, such as offering a "historic dwelling tax credit" or similar.

Once these beautiful historic homes go away, so goes a little bit of our (NJersians) history as well. Removing such buildings doesn't earn the town additional money in the long run, if doing so lowers the value of all houses in the town.

8/08/2006 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger Space Ghost said...

Upper Mountain Avenue has some of the most gorgeous, historic homes in the state. The new McMansions don't even begin to compare. It would be a shame to lose these beautiful buildings.

Many other countries (England, France) etc. do seem to manage to preserve their historic estates. They have property taxes and stamp duty as well.

8/08/2006 05:45:00 PM  

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