Landmark Developers Announces Approval of Village Hall Purchase

Contact: Carla Camargo FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Telephone: 201.761.0025
E-mail: carla@landmarkhospitality.com

Landmark Developers Announces Approval of Village Hall Purchase
Plans for Restaurant, Meeting Rooms, and Banquet Hall

South Orange, NJ, 12/15/15 — Landmark Developers, a team of experts who specialize restoring and rehabbing iconic structures by accentuating their architectural features and bringing them back to life, announces the approval by the South Orange Board of Trustees to purchase Village Hall located at 101 South Orange Avenue, South Orange, NJ 07079. Plans for the ground floor include Village Hall Restaurant and an indoor-outdoor beer garden called the Pump House. Additionally, there are plans for a banquet hall and meeting rooms on the second floor.

Principal, Frank Cretella, made the announcement. “We are drawn to buildings with this historic value and beauty. Village Hall is an excellent addition to our portfolio of historic properties, not only for the iconic structure itself but also because of the location which is steps from the South Orange Train Station. This will add vibrancy to the downtown corridor and offer the community a new local destination,” said Cretella. “This agreement would not have happened without the dedication of Village President & Mayor Sheena Collum. Her vision in identifying the potential to rehabilitate and revitalize this building was the driving force to making this a reality.”

Constructed in 1894, but open since 1895, the architects of this widely recognized building were Rossiter and Wright, the latter of whom was a resident of South Orange. Previous tenants have included the South Orange Fire & Police Departments as well as the Municipal Court & offices. Village Hall is registered on the National Register of Historic Places.

For nearly 30 years, Landmark Developers has planned, built, leased, and managed attractive, successful restaurants, event spaces, hotels, residential buildings, and commercial space throughout NJ, NY, and PA. A few Landmark properties include The Ryland Inn in Whitehouse Station, NJ, Logan Inn in New Hope, PA, and Hotel du Village in New Hope, PA. With a commitment to revitalizing underutilized urban spaces with a primary focus on mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly communities with existing, varied transportation options, Landmark Developers strives to create restaurants that become focal gathering places in their neighborhoods, places that don’t require a special occasion to gather family and friends together.

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A MEMBER OF THE COMMUNITY

For over 20 years, Landmark developers’s proprietors Frank and Jeanne Cretella have been the owners and operators of high volume, fine dining restaurants and catering facilities throughout New York and New Jersey. As the Cretellas themselves have experienced, restaurants and other hospitality venues are often the key element to jumpstarting and sustaining the rebirth of an area. Restaurants, in addition to bringing outside capital to an area, provide employment opportunities, venues for local artists and in many cases, bring foot traffic into a neighborhood, creating a more welcoming environment.  The Cretellas strive to incorporate these elements into each of their venues:

  • At Landmark Developers we recognize that an important aspect of our community involvement lies in our employees. For this reason, we strive to hire employees from a local pool of candidates, thus ensuring that the venues we operate bring job opportunities to the surrounding area.
  • Our restaurant venues offer great opportunities for local musicians and artists to share their work with a captive audience in an intimate setting.
  • As an owner and operator of businesses, Landmark developers understands how important it is for community businesses to support each other. Whether looking to repair equipment, print promotional literature or purchase produce, Landmark makes a conscious effort to bring our business to local companies and storefronts.
  • In some instances, certain restaurant spaces, when not booked for an event, are made available for community use.
  • Landmark strives to create restaurants that become focal gathering places in their neighborhoods, places that don’t require a special occasion to gather family and friends together.
  • Landmark’s involvement with local charitable causes has been a priority for the Cretellas throughout their entrepreneurial careers. The ”H.U.G. (Help Us Give)” program designates 10% of sales from the three most popular tables to a new local charity each month.

STYLE OF SERVICE

At Landmark, we feel honored to be a part of each guest’s experience at all of our locations. Our style of service is shaped around creating an experience for our guests that is tailored to their needs.

With an understanding that the dining out experience is about much more than delicious food, we attend to its every detail from food presentation and service quality to background music and lighting. Waiters are encouraged to, and do, form bonds with patrons. Performances by local musicians and shows by local sculptors and painters are organized to enhance patrons culinary and social experiences with visual and musical works of art.

At our newest venue, Stone House Restaurant at Sterling Ridge, comprised of a fine dining restaurant and multiple event spaces, Landmark has incorporated a Chefs Table into the design of the restaurant. Trendy in Europe for years, the Chefs Table is nestled at the edge of the open kitchen, where the guests are privy to behind-the-scenes action. It is the service, however, that makes the Chefs Table experience so unique and sought after. Guests enjoy a meal of several courses designed especially for them by the chef, who is present throughout the meal to discuss each course and converse with guests about ingredients and current cooking trends. A sommelier is also actively engaged with the guests, pairing wines with the courses as they are made.

To ensure that we do in fact provide guests with the best possible experience, Landmark Developers employs a number of methods for keeping the lines of communication open. Regular email campaigns keep guests updated about events and services we offer. Post-Event Questionnaires are distributed to all of our banquet clients, and top level managers are on site at our restaurants to greet guests and receive feedback. Whenever possible, principles make themselves available to guests, to receive comments and suggestions that allow us to provide them with the best possible experience.

STYLE OF DESIGN

An undeniably important aspect of a guests experience is the overall design of a venues structure and décor. Landmark Developers has operated venues with drastically different styles, from the animated The Stony Pony in Asbury Park, NJ, to the elegant, upscale Boathouse in Central Park. There is, however, a common thread that creates two signature effects on the guests:

Upon entering the space, the guest has a sense of excitement and arrival that lets them know that this is going to be a special experience. At Liberty House Restaurant, for example, this is created by the unobstructed view of downtown Manhattans sparkling skyline and an abundance of candlelight, creating a soft glow from inside the restaurant. The stone floors, earth tone decor and metal accents create an understated space that allows the beautiful waterfront to take center stage.

Our spaces are designed so that once settled, the guests experience a feeling of comfort and relaxation contributing to a sense that the space is an extension of their home. To achieve this at Liberty House, we have designed intimate seating arrangements, with couples sharing the side of the table that faces the view and larger gatherings tucked into a semi-private gallery.

As many of our venues are nestled in beautiful settings, Landmark gives extra consideration to how each space relates to its environment. At Stone House Restaurant at Sterling Ridge, formerly the Chanticler Chateau,  Landmark relocated the parking lots, which surrounded the perimeter of the catering hall, to the rear of the facility, thereby opening up the beautiful landscape. Now, where there were plots of asphalt and rows of parked cars, there are only magnificent, unobstructed views of newly landscaped gardens and lawns.

With classic, clean lines, wood and stone floors, a neutral color palette and an oversized copper fireplace, Stone House does not seek to compete with the naturally beautiful surroundings, but compliment them. All structural elements of Stone House were designed with the landscape in mind, from a series of glass doors that run the length of the Grand Ballroom and open up to ten acres of lush, manicured grounds with English and Prarie-style gardens, to The Terrace, a glass- enclosed structure with private gardens, outdoor cooking display stations and ceremony area.

Guest needs are as important to our style of design as they are to our style of service. At a hotel that is currently in initial planning stages, for example, Landmark is creating an experience for visitors that will help them balance the desire for a pleasurable stay with the need to attend to responsibilities while away from home and work. A business center will house mailboxes for each guest in order to make faxes and other correspondence accessible, as well as a library with business-related literature and WiFi access. The hotel will also have a full service day spa, where guests can relax and receive treatment services whose revitalizing, refreshing, and invigorating effects last well beyond the visit.

COMMUNITY COMMITMENT

When Landmark approaches a project, we take the time to work closely with local zoning boards and community groups to ensure that each of our projects is an asset to the neighborhood and is supported by the areas constituents.

Currently we are working on several projects in Plainfield, NJ, where we are a driving force in redeveloping the historical downtown district.  These projects include forming a Food Incubator where we are working with local Chef’s and restaurants to create a community space in order to develop food products and enhance their entrepreneurial development.  Adding to the incubator we will be opening a bread bakery and cheese shop in the heart of the downtown district and will further develop the community into a thriving city.

In all of our projects, we listen to the neighborhood to ensure these projects are embraced and supported by the entire community.  It is important to our team to work alongside the community to make our projects an asset to the neighborhood.

 

SMART GROWTH DEVELOPER

Beginning with the renovation and re-opening of the legendary Lundy Bros. Restaurant (Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY) to the renovation of the Spice Factory (Flemington, NJ) from the old Presco Foods factory into viable office space, Landmark developers has a history transforming underutilized or abandoned properties into unique, vibrant residential, retail, office or hospitality spaces. We seek out these spaces because we envision them at their full potential, and we have the planning expertise and experience to bring these structures to a realization of their potential.

For ground-up projects, Landmark developers seeks locations that have existing urban infrastructures. Our goal is to contribute to mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly communities with existing, varied transportation options. The Historic North Avenue Redevelopment Area a 5-block project Landmark is currendly building in Plainfield, NJ, will meet these goals. Adjacent to the North Avenue Train Station, this project will consist of the restoration of 35 historic buildings as well as ground-up construction of up to 500 dwelling units and the reconstruction and construction of approximately 136,000 square feet of commercial space.

PLANNING PROFESSIONALS

Whatever the needs of a specific project, Landmark developers has the flexibility to fulfill them. This is because Landmark has the ability to select the firms that are best suited for a specific job from a variety of talented, competent professionals. We have relationships with architects, engineers, planners, traffic consultants, graphic designers, landscape architects, green engineers, brownfields experts and grant writers.

Like an orchestra conductor who has the ability to choose the number and types of instruments used in his symphony that will allow him to successfully execute his interpretation of a composition, Landmark developers takes care to choose the professionals appropriate to each project and works to keep them focused on and excited about the task at hand.

PUBLIC SPACE GRANT

Landmark developers is committed to supporting the development of public spaces that insure public safety and provide an environment that promotes social, cultural and economic development, which we believe is critical to creating successful, livable urban communities.

We view the enhancement of the public environment as an integral part of our ”Smart Growth development mandate. To that end, we work with municipalities to devise strategies and secure funding for improvements to the physical environment surrounding our development projects. Streetscape improvements, bike paths and green spaces serve as tangible examples of a well-executed public space strategy, which Landmark considers the foundation for successful urban revitalization.

DESIGN THAT INSPIRES

Landmark developers strives to create architecture that is respectful to a neighborhood or structure’s past, but uniquely enhanced to inspire work or play. We achieve this by first gaining a thorough understanding of a structure’s architectural history and its surroundings; then, we take care to create the right look and feel for each location, striving to create variety in floor plans and ceiling heights. Additionally, we include cutting edge amenities designed to attract residential tenants and businesses. To achieve this, we select the architect who will best compliment the project. Many times we have worked with architects who have gained national recognition; other times, we select young talent on the verge of making a name for themselves. In this way, we are able to bring a fresh perspective to each project.

When revitalizing underutilized urban spaces, Landmark developers seeks to preserve the history and character of the original structure, building on the existing design. A fundamental part of successfully achieving this goal is choosing appropriate materials for the project, a detail that we are careful to consider. Landmark developers never jeopardizes the integrity of a structure. This is evident in every redevelopment project Landmark has completed.

BUILDING GREEN

Landmark developers is aware that the build environment has a profound impact on our natural environment, economy, health and productivity. For this reason, Landmark voluntarily aims to meet the standards for building green. In every project we develop, we look to incorporate design that accommodates natural light, air and useable open space. In many cases, we are able to achieve this through a unique approach to a normally ”obvious” design replacing a cinderblock wall with Kalwall in our corporate offices, for example.  We also use reclaimed wood and steel to make furniture and fixtures.

West Street Commons, a ground up project that  Landmark developers is developing in Plainfield, NJ incorporates green building  elements in nearly every aspect of the design. The proposed development site will provide 148 high quality market rate rental units in a five story green building and 12,000 square feet of retail space.  Innovative elements include a green roof, which filters and collects rainwater, a green trellis, which reduces heat gain on the sides of the building during the warmer months, high efficiency heating and cooling systems, a water percolation bed and an accessible outdoor courtyard for recreation space and rainwater management. Building designs such as these protect the environment by conserving energy, water and materials, lower residents’ utility costs while enhancing their connection to nature, and result in a healthy living environment by advancing the health of local and regional ecosystems.  All of our rehabilitation projects incorporate green building fixtures and design elements in order to decrease our footprint on the environment.