East Orange Planning Board Approves 172-Unit Development Proposal

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East Orange Development William And North Walnut
Planned development along William and North Walnut streets, East Orange. Rendering via TD+Partners.

A recently approved development proposal could lead to major changes for a sizable group of properties in Essex County’s second-largest city.

Last month, the East Orange Planning Board memorialized their approval of an application by a developer seeking to construct a five-story mixed-use complex on eight adjacent tracts near the northeast corner of North Walnut and William Streets. The proposal by North Walnut Urban Renewal involves building 172 residential units, 3,409 square feet of retail space, and 206 parking spaces, according to a public notice.

The approval comes after the East Orange City Council officially designated the applicant as the redeveloper of the site in July. A resolution introduced by Councilman Casim Gomez regarding the designation stated that the developer “was preliminarily interviewed by representatives of the Policy, Planning, and Development Department” and that the residential portion of the project is expected to consist of “mixed income” rental units.

The parent company of the development firm was not named in the resolution. However, during an August 2018 municipal meeting, there was discussion of a slightly different project being proposed for the site by Hunterdon County-based J.G. Petrucci Company, Inc. and West Orange-based TD+Partners, both of which are also involved in a separate development of the Arcadian Gardens site on Sussex Avenue. Minutes from the December 2018 meeting of the East Orange Housing Authority also mentioned that J.G. Petrucci Company, Inc. and TD+Partners were “selected as development partners” and that there were “weekly planning meetings being held” to discuss the project on North Walnut and William Streets.

The latter company’s website currently features a rendering of the project and describes it as a $42 million development designed by OCA Architects that could be finished in 2020. However, there are some differences between the summary of the project described in the public notice and the description posted by TD+Partners, with the company’s version listing plans for 240 units, 10,000 square feet of retail space, an art gallery, and a kitchen incubator.

Located not far from the Cicely L. Tyson Community School of Performing and Fine Arts, Rowley Park, and the train station opposite East Orange City Hall, the properties in question include 374, 376, and 384 William Street along with 88 and 96 North Walnut Street. Although property records indicate that the East Orange Housing Authority owns these long-vacant tracts, the resolution states that the developer is the “ground lessee.”

In addition, the project is expected to include neighboring 392 William Street and 84-86 North Walnut Street, both of which are commercial buildings that have been occupied by businesses such as East Orange Supermarket, Deya Beauty Salon, Sky High Fashions, New Gold Rose Liquors, and Jenny Deli and Grocery. The resolution mentioned that these two properties “will be acquired for the purpose of redevelopment and will become part of the ground lease,” while TD+Partners’ website states that “the developers will pursue a strategy to convert these structures into community assets, namely a neighborhood food market.”

Should this project ultimately be built, it would join a 39-unit development that is currently under construction where an abandoned building used to stand at nearby 475 William Street.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Would be nice if it would be affordable lotus is not affordable hard working people deserve something nice. You could let decent people in thats hrd working looking foe somewhere nice to live.

  2. It woeld be nice if people like me and find something thats affordable thats also go along with my income its very expensive to live let alone take care of ya kids and work to pays the thousand of dollars these landlords ask for .

  3. I am very pleased that the East Orange City Council has approved proposed redevelopment plans. However, I’m concerned that the retirement community will not be included.

  4. Just another way for them to come in our neighborhood and gentrify it, who are they building this for, no one with an income less than 60,000 annually, will be able to afford to live there, we need to wake up and see what’s happening around us.

    • We could also afford to keep it clean and upgrade it in a way that makes it harder for them to come in but we didn’t do that.

  5. Just another way to up-root the ordinary working man. When completed, the units will be far-too expensive. Absolutely unaffordable for a the wage earner.

  6. Gentrification at its finest! High rental properties, slowing removing local residents by pricing them out of their current homes. East Orange (EO) has no jobs or businesses willing to hire locals; poor performing and under-funded schools, no community resources, etc… I’m a 10 year resident originally from Brooklyn, NY. I was forced to leave Brooklyn because of gentrification and now I fear the same is happening here.

    I have been wanting to open a resource for *VSP/DV center for EO residents, but it is nearly impossible to attain any information from anyone. Phone calls are not returned and emails unanswered. So disappointing!

    *VSP=Victim Support Provider
    *DV= Domestic Violence

  7. City Hall workers would get discounted on their rentals, shame on all of you stealing from hard working families getting paid $15 an hour. You still consider this a salary we can have? They must get paid 3 times their rent. Make me sick

  8. All I see here in these comments is a bunch of poor people complaining. The world will leave you by as you sit & complain instead of working to increase your income. You have all the information in the world in the palm of your hand, but instead you complain about progress.

    If you can’t afford Jersey then move somewhere that fits your income.

    • Excuse me! As I am living on social security, I have no way of “working to increase my income”. What do you suggest people who currently work for increase income–work 80 hours a week at $15 an hour. Get a college education???–also unaffordable without taking on a lot of debt. Oh, I forgot, I’m college educated and never made more than $20 an hour. Any extra money had to go toward IRA for retirement. Look around you and see the reality of people’s lives. See comment below from Kierre.

  9. ITS ALWAYS THE SAME …. WHEN OUR CITY FIND PEOPLE TO INVEST IN OUR COMMUNITY… DEVELOP PROPERTIES TO MAKE OUR CITY BETTER THEN WE START CRYING OUT BOUT GENTIFICATION…ETC… THESE ARE PROPERTIES THAT WAS ABANDON … SORE EYE… BREED CRIMES… AND DRUGS.. IN EAST ORANGE WE HAVE LOTS OF AFFORDABLE APARTMENTS… WE NEED HIGH INCOME… LOW INCOME AND SO THAT WILL BRING MORE BUSINESS… WILL BRING A BETTER LIFE FOR ALL OF US AND NOT THE OPPOSITE. WE HAVE A LOT OF SLUMLORDS… THAT NEED TO BE PUNISHED FOR BAD LIVING CONDITIONS… SAY YES TO PROGRESS AND STOP COMPLAINING….

    • Anyone ever think to ask why the City allowed these vacant properties to sit for years and years and become eye sores and places of crime? Do you really believe that they could not find developers who would come in? Come on…stop being naive! People are complaining because housing is too expensive and this is a nationwide trend. Black people are poor or working class because systems were created to MAKE THINGS THIS WAY!! As Dr. Claude Anderson States “Black folks were brought here to create the wealth NOT share it.” We don’t have access to all the money that was/is GIVEN to whites and others that identify as white. THE WEALTH WAS NEVER REDISTRIBUTED!!! Pick up a copy of Black Labor, White Wealth and Powernomics to inform yourselves of the plan and possible solutions.

  10. I live in that area and parking already impossible. Two hundred six parking spots for172 units plus store parking. Nowhere near enough. At least four small businesses serving local needs will disappear. The needs of present residents are not being taken into account (the people who put Ted Green, et al. in office). Where is the money going??

  11. We have so much affordable apartment and even low price of houses on the market we can buy so things are affordable but we complain whenever we see progress. Leave the old nasty corner stores, leave the empty lot, leave the abandoned lots and just live in a missery

  12. These buildings are LUXURY. They are not meant for the unaffordable person. The main reason why the approval was delayed is that the mayor of east orange wanted to include affordable inclusion The paid over 50 mullions dollars for the properties and should cost over a hundred millions dollars to construct. Will bring a good mixture of people and would need more restaurants such as Indian restaurants. Italian Resturant’s, etc andnotall Jamaican/Caribbean restaurant. It’s call multi ethnic city to live

  13. These buildings are LUXURY. They are not meant for the unaffordable person. The main reason why the approval was delayed is that the mayor of east orange wanted to include affordable inclusion The paid over 50 mullions dollars for the properties and should cost over a hundred millions dollars to construct. Will bring a good mixture of people and would need more restaurants such as Indian restaurants. Italian Resturant’s, etc andnotall Jamaican/Caribbean restaurant. It’s call multi ethnic city to live. Actually East Orange is ver very slow on the economic development

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