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MONTCLAIR, NJ-Fair Lawn-based Ives, Schier & Lesser Architecture has unveiled the design for a new Unbelieva-Bills’ children’s entertainment center here at 310 Bloomfield Ave. The interior fit-out is expected to begin shortly for what will be the second Unbelieva-Bills’ location; the first IS&L-designed Waldwick center opened its doors in 2005.

Unbelieva-Bills signed a long-term lease for the space back in 2008. The tenant was represented by Barbara Burns of Sitar Realty and the landlord by Sharon Gill of Prudential new Jersey and David Perlmutter of Perlmutter Properties Inc. The building is owned by an affiliate of Eastman Cos.

As corporate architect for Unbelieva-Bills, IS&L assisted Bill Dubiel, president, in selecting the new location. The 9,200-square-foot space formerly housed two retail stores. It has been gutted and will be fit-out with accommodations for approximately 350 guests. Area retailers include Pathmark, Whole Foods, Starbucks, Washington Mutual, Clearview Cinemas and Chase Bank.

A colorful, soft-play climbing structure will serve as a focal point for the interior. The center design also calls for a small theater with a stage platform that converts into a laser tag arena, as well as two private party rooms, a warming kitchen and seating area, and oversized restrooms. The project includes new flooring, lighting and HVAC, as well as a high-end sprinkler system to meet coding requirements for assembly space. Additionally, because the building sits on a sloped property, a handicapped-accessible ramp is being incorporated into a two-tier interior configuration.

“Combining the two spaces on two levels–and making it circulation-friendly–was the biggest design challenge for the new center,” says Joel Ives, an IS&L partner, who is heading the project with associate Eliezer Baguio. “From a marketing standpoint, we wanted to take advantage of the glass storefront, so we positioned the climbing structure with visibility from the street. Above all, our design keeps safety at its core. Everything is set well back from the entrance, and the layout is easy to navigate.”

According to Baguio, IS&L will continue its role with Unbelieva-Bills as the company expands further. “Bill already is looking for additional locations, and we are happy to be part of his team,” he says. “These projects are, simply put, a lot of fun. What he’s doing is unique, and from a design standpoint it is very creative. From a business perspective, it is gratifying for us to be in on the ground floor of a concept that is set to take off.”

Dubiel noted that IS&L’s contributions are a significant part of what makes his Waldwick location successful, and what positions the Montclair center to follow on the same path. “Providing a fun design and truly considering the needs of our customers go a long way toward establishing a positive environment. IS&L has done a great job of coming up with a creative, efficient design that covers all the details, such as oversizing the women’s restroom since more children come here with their mothers. We appreciate their involvement.”

Unbelieva-Bills caters to families, private parties, camps, schools, fundraising groups and others. The Montclair location will feature open play in a 20-foot high climbing structure, arcade games, laser tag and a cafe. Weekends will be highlighted by live entertainment and original shows.

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