When Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-11, saw the blend of old and new at Grover House, the 1915 bank building renovated into office suites at 333 Bloomfield Ave. in Caldwell, she thought, “Well, see, this is great because this is what the millennials want.
“Having just a great, great downtown in easy walking distance with wonderful housing around – I think Caldwell is exactly what the millenials want from my point of view,” she told the crowd at the Grover House grand opening Saturday, March 16.
Bob Silver, owner of the Bravitas Group in Montclair, along with his partners – Siomas Architecture; Jack Finn & Co., a building contractor; and RHG A+D, an architecture and interior-design firm founded by Rachel Grochowski – have brought new life to downtown Caldwell, but not by knocking down a century-old building and putting something new in its place.
Instead, they have revitalized an existing building and taken a great deal of trouble to use remarkable pieces of the original bank in new and interesting ways. They created a place where people want to be: both business owners and their customers.
In addition to the boost to Caldwell’s economy that Grover House is likely to produce, Silver’s philosophy of building “green” should help the environment. The “green” aspects include making it easier for tenants to walk or bike to work by providing showers and changing rooms.
For those who appreciate culture, Bravitas installs rotating art exhibits in all its buildings, with a focus on the work of local artists.
Silver with Bravitas and its partners are at work on a similar project, The Wilson, at the other end of the block from Grover House.
On Saturday, Silver praised Caldwell officials for welcoming him to town.
He is the kind of developer anyone would welcome. Perhaps his success will inspire others to emulate his methods.