New details have been exclusively released about a plan to redevelop a shopping plaza adjacent to an Essex County commuter rail station into a massive mixed-use complex.
The Crossings at Brick Church Station, the two-building development that is expected to replace the longstanding Brick Church Plaza complex in East Orange, could potentially be under construction at this time next year. A municipal resolution shows that the complex is slated to include a total of 820 residential units and 197,650 square feet of commercial space. One of the buildings on the premises would be nine stories tall while the other would rise five stories over the neighborhood. A seven-story parking garage is also planned.
Jersey Digs broke the news about the Crossings at Brick Church Station over the summer. Subsequently, the East Orange Planning Board approved an application by Brick Church Opportunity Zone Fund I, LLC for Preliminary and Final Site Plan approval for the project. Shortly following the approval, Jersey Digs filed a public records request with the City of East Orange seeking renderings of the approved development. The renderings, which were just released this month, show that the project was designed by Minno & Wasko and that some of the retail space is expected to face Main Street/Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.
In response to Jersey Digs’ questions about the Crossings at Brick Church Station, a spokesperson for the Queens-based company behind the project, Triangle Equities, stated last week that the development would be constructed in three phases. A groundbreaking is envisioned for the fourth quarter of this year and the first phase could be completed by the second quarter of 2023, according to the developer.
“Each of the existing tenants at Brick Church Plaza will close in accordance with their individualized lease terms,” said a Triangle Equities’ spokesperson. “As a result, a number have already vacated and the remaining will vacate throughout the course of 2020. A few of the existing stores are expected to reopen once construction is completed.”
A 24-hour ShopRite currently operates at Brick Church Plaza. One of the stores at the new Crossings at Brick Church Station is expected to be a large supermarket, but Triangle Equities has not yet confirmed whether or not the grocery store will be a ShopRite location and representatives of the grocery cooperative have not returned Jersey Digs’ requests for comment. Renderings of the proposed development include signs for a ShopRite location and a statement issued by the City of East Orange before Labor Day regarding the municipal budget referenced plans for a new ShopRite store.
Filings published in September by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency list a $2 million Low-Income Housing Tax Credit allocation request associated with 80 residential units within the first phase of the project. A Triangle Equities’ spokesperson told Jersey Digs that at the Crossings at Brick Church Station, “there will be affordable units set aside for a mix of incomes, ranging from low-income to workforce.”
Property records show that firms registered out of the same Whitestone, Queens address as Triangle Equities paid nearly $36 million for the Brick Church Plaza property, close to $9 million for the nearby Forman Mills site, and $1.75 million for the building at 15-33 Halsted Street.