A rendering of the new 27,000-square-foot municipal complex in Ridgefield designed by DMR Architects — Courtesy: DMR
By Joshua Burd
The borough of Ridgefield has broken ground on a new 27,000-square-foot municipal complex, according to members of the project team with DMR Architects.
Located along Shaler Boulevard, the new facility will house the municipality’s administrative offices, council and court chamber and the police and building departments. It will join other local government buildings and public spaces in the area, including the Ridgefield Community Center and the Ridgefield Nature Center across the street.
The new location also anchors the project to the Shaler Boulevard commercial zone, DMR said, facilitating economic development.
“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 Avenue downtown that we are seeking to improve and expand,” said Mayor Anthony Suarez, who joined other local officials and members of the project team for a recent groundbreaking. Those on hand also included Council President Russell Castelli and councilmembers Hugo Jimenez, James Kontolios, Ray Penabad and Lauren Larkin, along with Assemblyman Clinton Calabrese and Bergen County Improvement Authority Executive Director Mauro Raguseo.
DMR, the Hasbrouck Heights-based design firm, said the project is meant to blend with its natural surroundings and incorporate the land’s topographic gradation, while maintaining the nearby Wolf Creek tree buffer. The complex will be built with energy-efficient materials and technologies, with plans also calling for a new streetscape and a pocket gathering spot at the corner of Shaler Boulevard and Slocum Avenue.
“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 taxpayer money into a facility that has outlived its useful life,” said Charles H. Sarlo, 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.”