Mural in Montclair enlivens mall

While we await, patiently or not, long-promised upgrades to Montclair Place, the former Montclair Plaza, a colorful mural has gone up on a 145-foot blank concrete wall of the parking deck ramp, visible from the Macy’s lot off Moreno Street.

Claremont artist Chris Trueman led some of his former Chaffey College students, including Peyton Warrick, Jarmaine Pascua and Andrea Hernandez, in painting the mural, which depicts the San Gabriel Mountains.

“We chose to represent one of Montclair’s most distinguishing aspects; the mountain range, which serves as a backdrop and ever present landmark visible from most vantage points in the city, reminding the community of the beautiful place in which we live,” Trueman said in a written statement.

The mural was painted in four days, ending Saturday, and is said to be the start of a year-long series of interior and exterior art installations. It’s off to a strong start.

The above photos were provided by Killackey Media for Montclair Place; I shot the one below on Monday. The bright colors are a welcome sight.

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Getting to Montclair from … Narod?

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The website for Burgerim, a new hamburger emporium in Montclair, lists the driving distance from various local cities, including Narod. Narod? That’s a vanished community around Mission and Central, essentially the land between Montclair and Chino. Google lists Narod — I scrolled down the map to show it before doing the screen shot — as well as some other long-gone communities like Rochester and Grapeland. Click on the photo for a larger view.

Anyway, I find it hilarious that Narod is listed on the Burgerim site, at least for now, alongside Ontario, Pomona and more. It’s six minutes away from the restaurant, by the way.

Speaking of Burgerim, if you’re reading this Sept. 21, the place is giving away free food today in its grand opening, from 11 a.m. until they run out, at 9359 Central Ave.

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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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