Clarus Maplewood in Maplewood — Courtesy: JMF Properties
By Joshua Burd
One of the state’s largest trade groups has recognized a boutique rental project in downtown Maplewood for its design and its impact on economic development.
JMF Properties, the developer of what’s known as Clarus Maplewood, announced that the New Jersey Business & Industry Association has honored the project with a 2019 New Good Neighbor Award. According to a news release, the organization highlighted the 20-unit property for its aesthetic beauty, architectural merit, community involvement and benefits to the state and local economy.
The Clarus Maplewood team includes JMF, which is based in Whippany, along with architect Minno & Wasko Architects and Planners, interior designer Inner Views LLC and partner Gladstone Equities.
“Being selected for this prestigious award by an organization that consistently highlights the best and brightest new projects in New Jersey year in and year out is a tremendous honor,” said Joe Forgione, the founder and principal of JMF Properties. “The Clarus Maplewood team consists of incredibly talented individuals who have gone above and beyond what was necessary every step of the way, dedicating a massive amount of time and effort to even the smallest of details. The result is a multiple award-winning project that all of our team members can be proud of.”
Clarus Maplewood opened in October 2017 and was 100 percent leased by early 2018. The building’s street-level retail also leased quickly, housing Starbucks, BCB Bank, Abby Haliti Salon and The Cassidy Bar + Kitchen.
The project is the first residential community in New Jersey to achieve WELL Certification through the International WELL Building Institute’s multifamily pilot and only the 13th in the world, the news release said. With a gold rating on the WELL Certification scale, the community’s design allowed it to achieve high concept scores in all seven categories of building performance: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.
“Each project at JMF Properties is unique. Since Clarus Maplewood was JMF’s first building designed for WELL certification, attention to detail was paramount,” said Francene Forgione, the principal of Inner Views LLC. “As always, we designed the community from the inside out. With community’s residents in mind, we created a space that is both luxe and comfortable. The layout and finishes of the amenity spaces were designed to have a New York hotel vibe that residents would enjoy and use often.
”From flooring to lighting, furniture to artwork, the inclusion of a double-sided fireplace, and everything in between, each detail was well thought out. It was a real team effort, and that collective dedication is what took Clarus Maplewood to the next level.”
The NJBIA award is among several honors for Clarus since the property opened. Through its New Good Neighbor Award, the association has recognized commercial development projects in the state for 59 years and will publish this year’s full list in its July magazine.
“Clarus was designed to fit into Maplewood with its eclectic architecture from the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s,” said David Minno, a principal with Minno & Wasko Architects and Planners. “The Art Deco style fits into this period and has updated touches that one would see as recent updates to a historic building. This wonderful transit-oriented project fits beautifully into this walkable community.”