Employees of the East Orange School District and members of the East Orange Board of Education used to wake up in the morning and show up at the 715 Park Avenue administration building to make decisions impacting the Essex County city’s roughly 10,000 schoolchildren. Now, hundreds of people could soon be waking up inside 715 Park Avenue, since the eight-story building on the premises is slated to be converted into the community’s latest residential development.
A legal notice shows that Crossroads at Park Ave. Urban Renewal, LLC is planning to develop 70 residential units in the structure, which is located by the corner of Washington Street near the Orange city limits. 72 parking spaces are expected to be provided on the premises, which also include the neighboring three lots at 46, 48, and 52 State Street. The site is served by New Jersey Transit bus service to Montclair, Orange, and the VA Hospital on the 97 line.
The developer is seeking Preliminary and Final Site Plan approval from the East Orange Zoning Board of Adjustment with variances including lot coverage, dwelling unit size, and building height. Multi-family high-rise developments are not currently permitted in the zone surrounding the property, according to the notice. The zoning board is scheduled to hear the plans this Wednesday, November 14, during its meeting at City Hall at 7:00 p.m.
A similarly named LLC bought the properties from the East Orange Board of Education last year for $1.5 million, according to NJ Parcels. The school district began the process of selling the building in December 2016, claiming that it was “no longer needed for public purposes.” Bids were expected to “meet or exceed” the minimum price of $1.46 million.
Currently, the East Orange Board of Education is based in the old Fourth Avenue Elementary School and Our Lady of All Souls Grammar School building. It appears that the sign on the front door of the current building is the exact same one that used to be on the facade of 715 Park Avenue, though the number 199 was placed on top of the number 715.
Note to readers: The dates that applications are scheduled to be heard by the East Orange Zoning Board of Adjustment and other commissions are subject to change.