Prism Capital Partners, the designated redeveloper for the downtown redevelopment area, issued a news release this week announcing that the company is set to launch Edison Village. The release doesn’t mention any of the known contingencies discussed at last week’s council meeting – including obtaining construction financing, deciding on historic preservation issues, litigation, and outstanding compliance with the town’s demand letter for information. I also note that the release describes the project as 331 rental units, not 334 as approved in its amended site plan by the Planning Board in October 2012. The release text and a photo are below.
With Site Approval in Place, Prism Set to Launch Edison Village
$230M Adaptive Reuse to Introduce 331 Apartments, Retail and Parking in Phase I
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRLog (Press Release) - Jan. 28, 2013 - With final Phase I site plan approval now in place, Prism Capital Partners, LLC (http://www.prismpartners.net/) is gearing up for a spring 2013 construction launch at Edison Village in West Orange. The $230 million project, which centers on the industrial-to-residential transformation of the historic Thomas Edison Invention Factory and Commerce Center, represents the largest non-waterfront adaptive-reuse redevelopment in New Jersey.
Edison Village encompasses 21 acres in the heart of West Orange Township's Downtown Redevelopment Area. The township named Prism Capital Partners as the designated redeveloper for Edison Village in December 2006, and the firm completed a significant amount of demolition and site work in 2008. This fall, Prism received the go-ahead to move the project forward.
"Main Street is the heart of West Orange and the most vivid and authentic expression of our history and culture," said West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi. "Its redevelopment gives us the opportunity to create an exciting downtown in an area that has been neglected for too long. Prism set the direction by creating the best implementation strategies for achieving the community's vision, while protecting and preserving the historic resources of the township. They saw Main Street's potential, and have remained faithful and loyal to the success for our downtown and for our township."
Built in 1913 by Thomas Edison, the factory complex until 1965 served as a manufacturing operation where Edison employees produced storage batteries used in light delivery vehicles, automobiles, railroad signals, industrial applications and mining equipment. Phase I of Edison Village involves the total renovation and reconstruction of that facility.
"Since industrial structures of this type are few and far between in suburban New Jersey, Edison Village truly represents a distinctive project," said Prism's Edwin Cohen, principal partner. "The design, by Minno & Wasko Architects and Planners, takes advantage of existing architectural features to incorporate ceiling heights ranging from 14 to 16 feet and 10-foot windows that will let in abundant natural light."
The building's 331 studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom rental apartments will range from 590 to 1,500 square feet. Residents will have access to a private fitness center, swimming pool, personal and bike storage, meeting rooms and doorman service, among other amenities. The entire project has been created to meet LEED green building certification standards and will feature an urban landscape including parks and open green spaces.
Edison Village's first phase also includes an 18,000-square-foot retail component, which will be constructed on the corner of Charles Street and along Main Street, providing current and future residents with a new in-town shopping experience at The Shoppes at Edison Village. Additionally, Prism Capital Partners will construct a 630-car parking facility as part of Phase I. Phase II will incorporate more than 300 additional housing units.
The Edison Village redevelopment includes a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) program tied to the financial agreement for Phase I. "This is bringing substantial benefits to the Township of West Orange," Cohen said. "Edison Village also is contributing significantly to the regeneration of the neighborhood. Its attractive new residences will bolster property values, and the new population in this revitalized area is expected to generate some $10 million of additional local retail spending annually."
Located in the southeastern corner of West Orange, Edison Village is bounded to the west by the historic Llewellyn Park, one of New Jersey's premier gated communities. The newly refurbished Edison National Historic Site and museum is located adjacent to the property.
Headquartered in Bloomfield, N.J., Prism Capital Partners is an experienced regional real estate owner/operator with a proven track record of creating value through select real estate investments and developments. Since its inception in 2002, Prism has orchestrated the repositioning of an impressive list of properties and projects in the office, retail, industrial and residential markets. In addition to Edison Village, the company's involvement in the adaptive reuse niche also includes Parkway Lofts in Bloomfield. There, the $90 million industrial-to-residential redevelopment of a 115-year-old former General Electric Company property is well underway.
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