Officials in a local city along New Jersey Transit’s Morris and Essex Lines are continuing to approve plans for new developments close to its two commuter rail stations.
Now, the latest project for East Orange is set to be an adaptive reuse of a small two-story structure that is located in the Transit Village District just a few yards away from the Brick Church Station and local bus service. The building, which is situated near Route 280 at 62 Halsted Street at the corner of Freeway Drive East, previously contained space for organizations and companies such as Quality Health Care, Inc., Handyman Matters, and the St. Matthew Neighborhood Improvement Development Association. Today, it sits vacant with the front door boarded up.
However, the days of that being the case could soon be over if this proposal continues to move forward. City records show that the plan by Sayola Realty, LLC, which is registered out of a Sunny Isles Beach, Florida condominium complex, calls for the structure to be renovated and converted into a mixed-use building. A restaurant would be housed on the first floor while 14 residential rental units would be developed above. 28 parking spaces would be available outside.
During their meeting on September 26th, 2017, the East Orange City Council and Mayor Lester E. Taylor III conditionally designated Sayola Realty, LLC as the official redeveloper of the property and neighboring 17 Amherst Street.
NJ Parcels data shows that the property and another adjacent lot are owned by Lazaro Negrin. Negrin is the co-owner of a Spanish restaurant and tapas bar in Tenafly, Bergen County called Sayola, but it is not clear if the East Orange restaurant will be a second location of the Tenafly business. Jersey Digs reached out to Sayola and will update this article should we hear back.