Edison Redevelopment Plan Pulled from Nov. 22 Agenda
Plan will be considered by township council on Dec. 6
The proposal to redevelop the 20-acre Thomas Edison lot on Main Street in West Orange will be delayed another two weeks after the administration pulled the project from the Nov. 22 township council agenda.
Phase I of the plan will now be considered by the township council on Dec. 6. The following items are on the agenda:
- Resolution approving the updated application for Long Term Tax Exemption for Phase 1 Project
- First reading of an ordinance approving updated financial agreement for Phase 1 Project
- Introduction of a bond ordinance not to exceed $6,300,000 authorizing Phase 1 Infrastructure Bonds
Mayor Robert Parisi told Patch additional information was posted on the township website this week so the council and the public could be better informed.
"We don't want anyone to think we're rushing," he said. Parisi also wanted to give the council more time to look over the plan's details.
Last week, the only information posted on the website was a market study dated April 2009 and a three-page description and timeline for Phase I of the project. Since then, the information has been updated to include a market study dated October 2011 and a more extensive outline of Phase I of the project. (Both documents are attached to this article)
According to the Rental Market Study prepared by the land's developer, Prism Capital Partners, LLC, Phase I of the project will erect 333 rental units in the Edison Laboratory Building. Called the "Edison Lofts," the apartments will have ceiling heights from 14 to 16 feet high, a 24-hour doorman, a washer/dryer in each unit and windows spanning 10 feet among other amenities.
The area will include a game room, a hot tub, sauna and steam room, a 16,000 square foot gym, an indoor pool and a parking garag. There will also be a Jitney service to both the Orange and South Orange New Jersey Transit Midtown Direct train stations.
Rent for the units will range from $1,283 a month for a studio to $2,999 for a three-bedroom.
"Why would we not do this," Parisi said. "I think there should be a level of excitement." He said the project would collectively be a "betterment for the community."
The proposal also calls for 18,500 square feet of retail space and a parking structure with 635 parking spaces. Should the council approve the resolution and the two ordinances on first reading and second reading by the end of December, the administration will present the proposal to the planning board in February of next year.
The land surrounding The Thomas Edison National Historic Park on Main Street has been an eyesore to residents for years. Plans to develop the property have been a frequent point of contention for both residents and township officials.
In a May meeting hosted by the developer and the township, residents expressed concerns about the real estate market, taxes, school funding and the effect of a residential unit on Main Street. The plan has since been revised to replace for-sale units for "high-end" rental apartments.
Parisi defended the change and said the rental market is currently stronger than the for-sale market.
"We believe we're ready to take the next step and put years of talk behind us," he said.