There are preliminary plans to bring a hotel to Downtown South Orange, though few details have been released at this time.
In a Facebook post to residents, South Orange Village President Sheena Collum stated that “the Village has been approached by a developer who has a potential partnership with a reputable hotel operator and is interested in South Orange in the Central Business District near the train station,” and that the hotel could potentially have 100 rooms, a parking spot for each guest room, a 3,500 square foot restaurant with a liquor license on the first floor, and meeting room spaces. It would likely need to be 60 feet tall, according to Collum’s post, and “prices would be comparable to other mid-high end hotels in the area with similar demographics to South Orange.”
Collum told Jersey Digs that she is unable to provide further comment, but stated that the hotel would be located along West South Orange Avenue.
One possible site is the southwest corner of West South Orange Avenue and Church Street opposite The Episcopal Church of Saint Andrew & Holy Communion, where the South Orange Parking Authority has been operating a temporary parking lot for nearly two years.
The property, which stretches from 110 to 120 West South Orange Avenue and includes 10 Church Street, previously contained several mixed-use residential and commercial buildings that were home to businesses like the Jardiniere Flower Shop, the Great Wall Chinese Restaurant, and the Oriental Rug Center. NJ Parcels records show that Gateway II Project Entity, LLC acquired the lots in 2014 before the buildings were demolished.
The company is registered out of the same address in the Nashville suburb of Franklin, Tennessee as a space that has been occupied by hotel-related businesses. Until recently, it contained the offices of Chartwell Hospitality, a hotel management company, and is now the home of Quore Systems, a company providing “asset management software for hotel operations.”
Chartwell has not responded to several requests for comment and confirmation, and a Quore representative said that the company is not involved in property development or management.
There are only a few other sites for potential hotel development along the West South Orange Avenue corridor in Downtown, though all of them currently contain active businesses like Ridge Tire and Auto Center and Exxon.
The last hotel to operate in the village was the historic South Orange Hotel at Village Plaza, which closed in the early 20th century and was torn down in 1969. The community also once contained the Mountain House Spa resort from 1830 to 1890. Today, the closest hotel to Downtown South Orange is the Ramada in East Orange, nearly three miles away.