More Montclair Plaza renderings


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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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Column: Montclair Plaza’s birds now roosting at City Hall


Remember the bird sculptures from Montclair Plaza’s JC Penney atrium? You might if you lived here prior to the mid-1980s, when they were removed. Now they’re back, only this time they’re at City Hall, inside and out. Read all about it in my Friday column.

Above, an undated photo from the book “Images of Montclair.” Below, a view of the west lobby of City Hall, showing five of the 12 birds that are back on display.

A city employee talks about the restoration in a short video. There’s also a hyperlink in the column for (heh heh) a scene from “The Birds.”

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