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Borough of Ridgefield Breaks Ground on DMR-Designed Municipal Complex

Borough of Ridgefield Breaks Ground on DMR-Designed Municipal Complex 960 540 DMR Architects

On Jan. 29 the Borough of Ridgefield and many local dignitaries broke ground on the new DMR Architects-designed municipal complex to be located on Shaler Blvd.

The 27,000 square foot building will be across from the Ridgefield Nature Center and adjacent to the Ridgefield Community Center and will house the borough’s administrative offices, municipal/court chamber, and the police and building departments. The new municipal complex was designed to symbiotically coexist with its natural surroundings, incorporating the land’s topographic gradation and maintaining the nearby Wolf Creek tree buffer.

The complex will be constructed with energy efficient materials and technologies and will include a new streetscape and a pocket gathering spot at the corner of Shaler Blvd. and Slocum Ave. The new location strategically anchors the project to the Shaler Blvd. commercial zone, facilitating economic development and providing proximity to the community center.  This facility will replace the existing Borough Hall, which is plagued by inefficiencies.

“This project will address the borough’s needs for a modern, safe and ADA-compliant facility, gratify residents with a new asset to the community, and serve as a bookend anchor of the Shaler Ave. downtown that we are seeking to improve and expand,” said Mayor Anthony Suarez.

“Ridgefield’s governing body has long recognized that it made economic sense to develop and construct a new municipal complex rather than continuing to put tax payer money into a facility that has outlived its useful life,” said Charles H. Sarlo, Esq., partner and general counsel of DMR Architects.  “The mayor and council directed us to be creative in the procurement process so that quality entities could submit proposals to redevelop the borough-owned property for a public use. We’re now witnessing the commencement of the last phase of this process and the next milestone will be to celebrate the opening of this asset with the public.”

Pictured above, Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez was joined by local and state officials to break ground on new DMR-designed municipal complex. From left to right: Assemblyman Clinton Calabrese; Bergen County Commissioner Ramon M. Hache, Sr.; Bergen County Commissioner Mary J. Amoroso; Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton; Bergen County Commissioner Germaine M. Ortiz; Ridgefield Borough Administrator Ray Ramirez; Ridgefield Councilman Hugo Jimenez; Ridgefield Councilman James Kontolios; Ridgefield Council President Russell Castelli; Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez; Ridgefield Councilman Ray Penabad; Ridgefield Councilwoman Lauren Larkin; Borough Attorney Stephen F. Pellino, Esq.; Bergen County Board of Commissioners Chairman Steven Tanelli; Bergen County Board of Commissioners Vice Chairwoman Tracy Zur; Bergen County Improvement Authority Executive Director Mauro Raguseo; DMR Architects Project Manager Janet Pini; and DMR Architects General Counsel and Partner Charles H. Sarlo, Esq.

Township of Montgomery Breaks Ground on New Municipal Center Which Reflects Rich History While Addressing Current and Future Needs

Township of Montgomery Breaks Ground on New Municipal Center Which Reflects Rich History While Addressing Current and Future Needs 789 444 DMR Architects

On Oct. 15, the Township of Montgomery broke ground on the DMR-designed new municipal center, designed to reflect the history and identity of Montgomery Township residents while addressing its current and future civic needs.  It will be the new home for municipal offices, the police department, council chambers and a branch of the Somerset County Library System.

DMR’s plans for the 62,500 square foot municipal center were created after a unique collaborative approach that included input from more than 200 residents in addition to Montgomery Township and Somerset County officials, and embrace a contemporary style with spaces for community artwork and items of historical and cultural importance.

“It is exciting for the entire Montgomery community to begin construction on a new municipal center and library that will serve our community for generations to come,” said Montgomery Mayor Sadaf Jaffer, speaking on behalf of the Twp. Committee.  “I am so thankful to all the elected officials, professionals, and community members who worked on this project and ensured that it will be a beautiful representation of our diverse history and community.”

The new facility will offer seamless transitions between the interior and exterior through aesthetic touches such as the utilization of the same wood materials for columns supporting the exterior colonnade inside the library, glass wall dividers where appropriate to allow for transparency and emphasize connection, and stone floors and counters inside that reflect the zinc cladding used on the building’s façade.

“It is refreshing to work with a group of elected and civic leaders who take such pride in their community, and we’ve enjoyed creatively interpreting their functional and aesthetic needs,” said Pradeep Kapoor, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Partner at DMR Architects.  “It continues to be an honor to work with The Somerset County Improvement Authority and Montgomery Township.”

The entire building is ADA accessible and will be built to LEED standards with a roof that allows for the future installation of solar panels.  The grounds of the 45-acre complex will preserve the view from Rt. 206 with multiple green spaces for residents and visitors to enjoy, out-of-doors meeting places, a rain garden and an outdoor event space.  Additionally, the parking lot will feature multiple EV charging.

“This project shows how well local and county government can work together, providing state of the art municipal offices and innovative library services that will benefit the community for decades,” said Freeholder Melonie Marano, who serves as a liaison to both the Somerset County Improvement Authority (SCIA) and Somerset County Library System.  “This is truly a joint effort, with Somerset County Improvement authority financing helping build a municipal complex for Montgomery businesses and families that will house a library for residents here and in surrounding communities to enjoy.”

Monmouth County breaks ground on new DMR-designed West Wing Security Vestibule

Monmouth County breaks ground on new DMR-designed West Wing Security Vestibule 789 444 DMR Architects

Construction for the West Wing Security Vestibule addition to the Monmouth County Courthouse, designed by DMR Architects, began last month following a groundbreaking ceremony in Freehold Borough.

DMR Architects designed the 3,400 square foot screening area to address modern security equipment and measures that the existing facility, built in 1954, could not accommodate.  It will be used as the lone entryway for all employees and visitors to the building, replacing the courthouse’s previously- used East and West wing entrance hallways.

DMR’s design supports easy sightlines, an intuitive and efficient queuing system, ample space for machines including metal detectors and up to four x-ray machines, and technological upgrades with access to restricted areas and video monitoring systems.

“By investing in the space and technology required to support the most sophisticated safety protocols available today, Monmouth County is demonstrating its commitment to the safety of all those who work in the County courthouse and the hundreds that visit daily,” said Lloyd A. Rosenberg, AIA, President & CEO of DMR Architects.  “We’re honored to provide the infrastructure that will allow Monmouth County’s judicial machine to continue running effectively.”

In addition to the construction of the West Wing Security Vestibule, the project provides for the reconstruction of the East Wing main entrance stairs, landing and handrails, along with the restoration of additional exterior entrance stairs throughout the building. All improvements will comply with standards enumerated in the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“It was important to address the practical needs of the county while seamlessly integrating the new addition with the aesthetic of the original Courthouse,” said Kurt Vierheilig, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Director of Design and Partner at DMR Architects. “The new security Vestibule will be the new public lobby to the Courthouse, expressing an appropriate Civic presence with its modern exterior design, while improving the efficiency and safety of security screening and interior circulation.”

The Monmouth County West Wing Security Vestibule is one of hundreds of municipal buildings that DMR has designed in New Jersey, and one of ten municipal projects either recently completed or currently underway.

DMR’s Culture of Collegiality and Use of Technology Keep 150 Projects Valued at Nearly $1 Billion in Construction on Track During Pandemic

DMR’s Culture of Collegiality and Use of Technology Keep 150 Projects Valued at Nearly $1 Billion in Construction on Track During Pandemic 789 444 DMR Architects

Despite the challenges we are all facing due to COVID-19, today we are happy to share some good news: nearly all of the 150 projects that make up our nearly $1 billion pipeline have remained actively under development or construction throughout the pandemic.

These projects include significant progress in projects across all sectors. Construction is near completion on The Residences at 30 Court, a luxury apartment building in Morristown and the design of Wyndham Place at Ridgefield Park is underway, bringing our rental unit count to 4,500. The DMR team is also currently working at 80 schools, including renovation projects at 44 facilities in New York City, and new schools in Carteret, Plainfield, and Paterson in New Jersey. Our team also continues to marry functionality and aesthetics at public facilities throughout New Jersey and is currently working on municipal building projects for Monmouth County and the municipalities of Montgomery, Ridgefield, and Red Bank. DMR’s municipal planning team is now working as the municipal planner in Dunellen and Roselle.

“I’m very proud that across all our practice areas we’ve maintained our culture of collaboration despite our staff being physically separated by shelter-in-place directives,” Lloyd Rosenberg, President and CEO, said.  “Each of our team members are trained in the most innovative planning and communication tools available, and take personal pride in each project to ensure that the long-term goals of our clients are met in the same way they would without a quarantine and its complications.”

South Toms River Opens DMR-Designed Municipal and Public Safety Building

South Toms River Opens DMR-Designed Municipal and Public Safety Building 789 444 DMR Architects

Today South Toms River police and other municipal workers are beginning operations in their newly renovated, 10,000 square foot Municipal Building, Police Department and Municipal Court, designed by DMR Architects.

DMR’s plans retrofitted a vacant daycare center into a modern building that addressed the borough’s need for the police to have a separate entry, two holding cells, a processing room and interview room. It will also house all municipal offices and a municipal court with advanced technology for closed circuit court proceedings and governing body presentations. The new location will also provide for a community room with an interactive smartboard for enforcement training, and space for the Borough’s Office of Emergency Management.

“DMR helped us see that a vacant building was the best solution for our needs, not just today but many years into the future,” Oscar Cradle, Mayor for South Toms River, said. “We were also able to complete a redevelopment agreement with other parcels in the Borough so the new building helps us serve our residents/taxpayers better at no cost to them.”

“Projects like South Toms River are very exciting for us because they allow us to creatively address multiple issues in addition to the need for a new building, and ultimately help the township run more efficiently,” Lloyd Rosenberg, AIA, President and CEO of DMR Architects, said.