Montclair to get more shops

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A new building is going up in Montclair around where Long John Silver’s used to stand, on the east side of Central Avenue across from Costco. It will have two tenants, one of which will be a Starbucks with a drive-thru, which as it’s only yards from the 10 Freeway onramp should become popular quickly. The other tenant is slated to be a Sleep Number mattress store.

Caffeine and bedtime? One suspects customers at the two businesses are going to be mutually exclusive.

Two more buildings are planned on the same site, with the entire complex to be known as the Montclair Shoppes. I don’t think anyone’s going to confuse it with the Shoppes at Chino Hills, which is a full-fledged mall, but hey, the developers have to call it something.

As a note to motorists, the northbound lane of Central is closed in that area while the contractor completes utility work and curb and gutter replacement and won’t reopen until late in August.

* Since people are asking, here’s what I wrote in April: “A small development to be called Montclair Shoppes is expected to break ground soon on Central Avenue across from Costco. Committed tenants include a long-awaited Original Tommy’s, only its second Inland Valley location. (The other is in Chino.) Also slated: Jersey Mike’s, Dickey’s BBQ, Robek’s Juice, a Starbucks drive-through and an AT&T store.”

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More Montclair Plaza renderings

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The upcoming revamp of Montclair Plaza is the subject of my Wednesday column. The above rendering appears with my column and looks west, showing a cinema, shops and a pedestrian zone called The Avenue. The renderings below depict other views.

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This view is looking north, with the 10 Freeway at the bottom edge. Parking lots? Who needs parking lots? The lots are replaced by parking structures and new shops.

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This rendering is looking south from Moreno. The entrance to the mall is improved — it was referred to as a “grand entrance” by city planners — with a level parking deck and space for outdoor events.

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In Phase 2, which could begin in early 2017 and finish in mid-year, a fashion district would include the two new buildings at lower left, between Macy’s, top, and Nordstrom, upper right. This view is looking north. The vacant Macaroni Grill restaurant building, currently somewhere around the lower left in real life, would be demolished.

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Facing east, this view represents The Avenue, a new walkable area that would include shops, left, and a cinema, background right.

montplaza5Kathleen Kim, a CIM Group first vice president, and Jim Suhr, a consultant for CIM, speak briefly at Monday’s Montclair Planning Commission meeting, at which the commission unanimously signed off on the design and environmental study.

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Column: Beloved Montclair tree dies, faces the ax

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A big old tree in Montclair has been around for an estimated 150 years, and possibly longer. But it won’t be there much longer: It’s died, despite efforts to save it, and will soon be cut down. Friday’s column tells the tale.

Above, a current view of the tree (at 4594 San Bernardino Street, west of Monte Vista Avenue) contrasts with a photo from a few years ago; below, Dave Schroeder of the Chino Basin Water Conservation District takes a close look at the massive trunk.

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Possible new names for Deja Vu

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The Deja Vu strip club outside Montclair is no more, with a bar slated to occupy the building under the same owners, Tollis Inc. It’s the subject of my Sunday column. To eliminate any hanky-panky, San Bernardino County planners and lawyers set down a list of possible new names for the business. I couldn’t resist sharing them.

From the conditions of approval:

“Tollis shall select the name of the business operated in the Building from the following names, which have been mutually agreed to by the Parties:

a. Ontario Food & Beverage

b. Deja Vu Comedy and Sports Bar

c. The Gay 90’s

d. The Roaring 20’s

e. Deja Vu Bar & Night Club

f. Hammered Harry’s

g. Club Paradise

h. The Iron Rail, or

i. Shooters Sports Bar.”

That’s, um, quite the gamut. So the new business will either have an 1890s theme, or a 1920s theme, or a tropical theme, or maybe a Hooters knockoff theme, or…

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Column: With sandwich, Montclair meeting becomes dinner theater

For a change of pace, and also to hear the discussion about the Gold Line, I attended Tuesday’s Montclair City Council meeting. I decided kind of late to go, and was starving. So I got a sandwich on my way, to go, and took it to eat during the meeting. Despite having attended hundreds, maybe a thousand, public meetings in my career, this was a first. Who says I can’t innovate?

(Although the audience was sparse and I tried to eat discreetly — such as taking bites of my crunchy sandwich when people were applauding — I felt a little guilty about the whole thing. Didn’t want to seem rude. Of course, there’s no sign on the door banning “outside food and drink,” I bought my meal in Montclair and everyone expects newspapermen to be ill-mannered slobs, so maybe I got a pass.

Sunday’s column about the meeting can be read here. And I’ve updated my 2008 blog post about Super Sandwich here, adding photos.

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