From the beginning of 2014 thru late 2014 Engage Maplewood laid dormant in anticipation of an L&M development and a Kings move. Once Kings announced they would NOT be moving across the street, EM proposed that the Town revisit the option of adaptive reuse for the Post Office building. The 2013 Redevelopment Plan had hinged on the Kings move and that option was laid to rest. Many advancements had been made in knowledge about the environment, urban/suburban development, and design. The EM group assumed that certainly Maplewood would want to be a forerunner in creating an interesting forward-thinking destination and may want to rethink, and conduct studies on, their older ideas.
Quite quickly the Township Committee selected JMF Developers with a Plan B approach to developing the site. The first rendering JMF provided however attempted to increase the allowable height in the Redevelopment Plan by 18%. At that time EM members wondered how that height would appear in relation to other buildings in the Village. No visuals of that type were available so EM decided to hold their own “balloon exhibition”. The 18% increase at that time, with the rooftop utilities, brought the height to over 60′. The first package of oversized balloons EM received were erroneously marked OhNo60 (apparently for a 60th birthday party). The people that were ready to hoist the balloons 1/2015 thought the name was appropriate and OhNo60 was born. The name continued to be “technically accurate” until JMF provided the second round of renderings later in 2015 showing a building that complied to the Redevelopment Plan. The name stuck with the group however as a reminder of the possibility that the property could have ultimately contained a building reaching 60′ and the importance of continued community awareness.
NOTE: the original members were not all made up of EM members nor are the majority of them Village Keepers members. OhNo60 is solely about the Post Office building and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a design and a destination that represents the best Maplewood has to offer.