Developer Plans 18-Story High-Rise in East Orange

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256 260 South Harrison Street East Orange Exterior Rendering
Proposed development: 256-260 South Harrison Street, East Orange. Rendering via 256-260 Urban Renewal, LLC.

A block in East Orange that is already lined with some of Essex County’s tallest residential buildings could soon be home to another high-rise development.

Jersey Digs has learned that a new 18-story multifamily project is being proposed for 256-260 South Harrison Street, between Melrose Avenue and Central Avenue. The site, located near Monte Irvin Orange Park, the Central Avenue business district, Route 280, and the Brick Church Train Station, currently contains an empty lot and a five-bedroom vacant house that is one of the few remaining single-family houses on this corridor. NJ Parcels records show that the home dates back to 1892 and was acquired by Ibrahim Hasan and Alina Zafar last year for $260,000.

Hasan, whose family runs the Newark-based real estate firm Blackstone 360, told Jersey Digs that the company’s 256-260 Urban Renewal, LLC affiliate is planning to demolish the home in order to make way for the development. If approved, the new building would come with 201 residential rental units, over 200 parking spaces, an indoor amenity space, and a ‘green roof’ atop the structure with unobstructed views of the New York Metropolitan Area. The units would be a mixture of studios, one bedrooms, and two bedrooms, according to Hasan, and some would include studies or balconies.

He explained that he expects residents to be a mixture of East Orange natives who “want to live in their community and want a really nice product that they can be proud of,” people coming in from out of the region, and residents of cities to the east who are being priced out.

“They need to be able to get to New York and they want a really nice lifestyle,” Hasan said. “They don’t want to compromise on that but they need to be economical and they need to be cost conscious.”

Although this building would not include any commercial space, Hasan said that Blackstone 360’s upcoming Lotus 315 development just a few yards away will include 30,000 square feet of retail uses for neighborhood residents when completed. That project, along with 256-260 South Harrison Street, is among the several projects that Blackstone 360 is involved in along this thoroughfare.

Hasan stressed that “none of our developments in East Orange, not a single one, have displaced an existing resident,” adding that “what we focus on very simply is vacant abandoned structures and/or land that hasn’t been touched in decades because we don’t want to disturb the existing community.”

256-260 Urban Renewal is seeking Preliminary and Final Major Site Plan approval from the East Orange Zoning Board of Adjustment with variances such as density, yard setback, and lot coverage. The plans were originally slated to go before the Board in mid-February, but according to Hasan, the matter will now be heard during the March 14 meeting. If approval is granted, construction could begin in the spring and last for roughly 18 months.

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