Hasbrouck Heights-based DMR Architects is celebrating its Silver Anniversary in the Meadowlands this year, where it has grown from a company of three to one of the top five architectural firms in New Jersey with more than 30 architects, planners, designers and urban redevelopment planners with projects that can be seen both around the Meadowlands Region and around the world.
DMR has performed more than $3 billion worth of work over 2,500 diverse projects, from the Vietnam Veteran’s War Memorial in Holmdel to a high-rise office building in Beijing, China. It has been a vital partner as hospital systems increased their reach in the state, more than 11 townships upgraded their police stations and other municipal buildings, and educational entities from elementary through higher learning expanded their offerings and technology.
DMR’s President and CEO, Lloyd Rosenberg, was born and raised in North Jersey and began his architectural career in the 1970’s by designing the People’s Bank on Paterson Plank Road across from the Racetrack that most recently was a Bank of America.
When asked to highlight his most meaningful recent projects, Mr. Rosenberg said “I like projects that come with challenges that allow me and my staff to find creative solutions that provide both function and beauty.”
Some recent projects that represent the scope of Mr. Rosenberg and DMR’s work include:
DMR Architects developed the master plan, theme and design concepts for SkyMark Center a 55-acre property in Ridgefield Park, NJ that has been lain fallow for many years. DMR’s plans include two unified districts: a regional retail center and a mixed-use Village Center that includes 1,000 luxury multi-family residential units and a full-service conference hotel with a world class spa.
The SkyMark Center will be the largest redevelopment project in Bergen County in three decades and its plan includes 850,000 square feet of retail space for both small and large retailers, with a combination of big box retailers, junior anchors, a fitness center and self-storage facility. The Village Center will provide a pedestrian-friendly, shopping district for ground-floor retailers and restaurants.
“It is a wonderful opportunity to reinvent an eyesore that has not been generating tax money for close to 30 years into a vibrant, beautiful center that people can work, live and visit,” said Rosenberg.
Meadowlands Area YMCA
In 2015, DMR Architects was hired to convert the former Nets training facility at 390 Murray Hill Parkway in East Rutherford into the Meadowlands Area YMCA’s first permanent full-time home.
DMR relished the task of transforming the 65,000 square foot facility, and helping the organization transition from The Y Without Walls—as it had been known for more than 90 years because it has operated programs at more than 50 facilities in Bergen, Passaic and Hudson Counties—into one main building where its staff can support its 12,000 individual members.
DMR’s plans will refit the building to accommodate the Mara Child Care Center, a gymnasium, a multi-purpose room, a wellness center with studios, a welcome center and lounge, a technology center, physical therapy, teen and senior centers, a child watch area and locker rooms. The building will also have offices for the organization’s administrative staff.
Atlantic Street Park & Hackensack Performing Arts Center
In 2011, the City of Hackensack and the Main Street Business Alliance retained DMR Architects to create a Downtown Rehabilitation Plan for the City’s Main Street Area. The plan encompassed creation of outdoor spaces, positioning Hackensack as cultural and artistic center, and attracting developers of multi-housing and mixed-use projects.
Atlantic Street Park opened in July of 2015, providing performance areas for spring and summer concerts, shaded outdoor space for lunch hour, an intimate garden and outdoor chess tables. DMR provided architectural plans for converting a parking lot into the green space, and collaborated with the City to submit for the $550,000 matching grant which it received to fund its completion.
The project also included the adaptive reuse of the adjacent 140-year-old masonic temple into the Hackensack Cultural and Performing Arts Center. Its renovation plans for the building’s first floor were recently completed allowing The City to open it for city cultural events and programs.
Renovation of its second floor into the Performing Arts Center began in late 2015. Once completed, the performance area will include seating for 200 people, a green room, dressing rooms, light and sound systems, a control room and a lobby area with a ticket booth and coat room.
The Rehabilitation Plan has attracted many developers, with 1,000 multi-housing units expected to be completed in the next 18 months.
DMR’s work in North Jersey over the past 25 years has been remarkable, and the creativity of its leader and additional staff will continue to improve the state’s architectural landscape for many years to come.