East Orange’s Brick Church Plaza to Close This Year, 820-Unit Mixed-Use Development Envisioned

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Crossings At Brick Church Station East Orange 1
The proposed Crossings at Brick Church Station, East Orange. Aerial rendering via Minno Wasko.

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.


Crossings At Brick Church Station East Orange 2
Crossings at Brick Church Station, East Orange. Rendering via Minno Wasko.

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.


Crossings At Brick Church Station East Orange 3
Crossings at Brick Church Station, East Orange. Rendering via Minno Wasko.
Crossings At Brick Church Station East Orange 4
Crossings at Brick Church Station, East Orange. Rendering via Minno Wasko.

“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.

Crossings At Brick Church Station East Orange 5
Crossings at Brick Church Station, East Orange. Rendering via Minno Wasko.

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.

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52 COMMENTS

  1. Very good news. I live right behind Shoprite (own home) and was waiting for this change to happen. Get’er done!! Make EO prosper!

  2. Excellent, for property owners. Hopefully projects such as this finally puts EO on the map for many more positive urbanization developments

  3. Building all these buildings in East Orange but not allowing people who live in EO mover in them. Born and raised in EO. We don’t get offered to live in them. The working people get screwed all the time. Go by people’s income. We working people are paying for the rich and the poor

    • Tell us how. If I were to move at this point, would be paying twice the rent. About only good thing with gentrification appears to be less overt drug dealng. Can’t find a parking space. Landlord doesn’t want to make repairs hoping we’ll move out, and he can then do shoddy renovation and jack up rents. Federal govt definition of “affordable”, does not mean it actually is. And, what is City govt doing with hundreds of millions they’re collecting by selling City property?

      • There is no Constitutional right to prevent your area of residence from becoming more upscale and more expensive. Arguing using your argument is not a legal success and it sure has no moral point. You’re arguing, “Hey, I have privileges because I live here.” You do not have privileges. Should you be prevented from moving anywhere else in the US because other people have lived their longer? No, and the reverse applies. WHO moves where is not something the government controls. If you think original residency applies, cede New Jersey to the Native Americans. Go back to whatever continent your ancestors came from.

  4. This is just the beginning of the plan that was set for the Newark, East Orange, and Orange areas. Have you noticed that after the Newark riots, blacks were still not able to own many stores on main streets because the people that left these areas continued to own the property. They moved to the suburbs and now want to live back in the city. So yes, this is the beginning of gentrification. See who will be able to afford to live in the new developments.

    • What a racist you are! Blacks (good luck defining that term for legal purposes!) can buy those properties on the free market just like everyone else. If you won’t offer enough money for the properties, tough luck. Now, if you want to change development policy and get laws to require commercial property owners to live in Newark, go for it. But then ANYBODY in Newark could buy those properties, so stiff it with your racism!

  5. Did they consider what the current residents of this area would do to meet their shopping needs? Just how long would it before another supermarket with reasonable prices was available without an Uber, train or bus ride to get groceries from a more expensive store. Shop Rite has been in this community for generations. It may not not be good enough for the new, high-rent paying residents sought from NY and elsewhere, but some loyalty, consideration and accommodation to the existing families who’ve Ben here for generations would have been nice. Concerned & watching…

  6. We have children coming out of high school and college with student loan debt over their heads seeking lucrative employment close to home. We have Seniors whose SSI or Disability can in no way afford any increases in housing. The average one bedroom apartment in East orange is running upwards of $1500. Many in East Orange can not afford the cost. These new complexes are obviously not for the the people who currently live in East Orange or will need an apartment. Though the homeowners may see some tax relief the apartment dwellers will not. If anything it will raise the cost of surrounding developments. We already can’t afford to live in Newark any longer for similar reasons. It looks the same will happen here.

    • There will be no tax relief for the home owners if anything there will be a tax I crease for the home owners who are mostly seniors. The city has given these new developers a 30 year tax abatement. Who do you think I is going to pay the taxes for that period of time???. The majority of us will no longer be able to afford the homes we ate living in which have been in our families for years. Why are they given so many years of tax freedom???

  7. All I see here are grown adults fearing gentrification. If you don’t strive to improve your financial situation on a daily basis the world will pass you by. If you can’t afford to live in EO any longer, then move. Simple as that. Nobody wants to live in a raggedy low income neighborhood. Lastly, all of the new buildings have moderate-low income units, & the types of families who move in are usually very ghetto etc.. but yet you complain that there isn’t opportunity for low income families.

  8. My only fear is that we lose the train service and my fellow residents will have to hike outside our city for produce. We have a good mayor that’s transparent so i’m gonna do some digging and see what’s up.

    • There won’t be any change to the train schedules because all of this revolves around this mode of transportation. Bring in New Yorkers who are willing to pay the high rents that this will generate and give them an easy and I expensive way to get to work which will split the taxes between two states.

  9. The taxes in East Orange have gone up constantly including since the new mayor has come in this is not for the community. They are going to close the only supermarket people can get to in the city. Senior citizens can’t afford to catch a Lyft or an Uber to Newark or West Orange. Why are they not trying to bring community centers or employment training programs for the youth? What about the people who have to move out that were currently living there? I want to propose to give everyone involved a finger up and it is not my thumb!

  10. I have lived in E.O. the majority of my life. It’s time for East Orange to get a face lift. Being considered a low income community is not good overall for the city.

    The article did mention the new properties would have mixed income which is needed and very important. There are many individuals who work full time making $13-$20 an hour who are turned away for market rate apartments which is not right if a person works full time and pays taxes.

    As for as Shop Rite there are other affordable grocery options for the community such as Aldi.
    I personally would like to see a Whole foods Supermarket. There’s nothing wrong with moving forward towards progress as long as hard working individuals in the community are included in the mix.

    If a person has not been employed for 3 plus years and living off Section 8 while the rest of us has to leave our homes to go to work and budget an income after taxes, individuals like that need to be the ones pushed out of the city because they are not contributing their fair share of the work load to make the community better.

    P.S. Not a fan of our Current Mayor he just gives free things away such as clothing and food to the community which only takes care of a person short term needs not teaching the community how to fish, where are the jobs for these new luxury apartments popping up everywhere in E.O.? Folks we can do better and we deserve better!!! (Vote)

    • For whom is bad for the community to be a low-income community? I think you should be more objective when making objective claims. If you don’t like something, that’s OK. However, the word “should” implies moral or legal cause. Otherwise, it really has no meaning. So, if you think EO should be less “low income” then state your case. If it’s for personal benefit, just say so. If not, explain.

  11. They’re raising taxes so high that you won’t be able to afford to live here l run us out of East Orange and Orange so the people from New York can take over just like they did in Jersey City

  12. I moved to East Orange in 1983, before the Shoprite Mall development and for 7 years was a daily commuter from the Brick Church station. When the mall was proposed, I pictured an open tree-lined landscaped pathway leading from the train station to of course, the Brick Church! What we got instead were solid brick walls lined with garbage dumpsters facing the train station stairs and entrance. It made using the station disgusting & during non-commuter hours dark & dangerous. I notice that the renderings for the new development only picture the Main Street facade. What will the commuters end up with? More brick walls, dumpsters, and dark & dangerous hiding places under the station support columns? Please learn from the mistakes of the past. How about an inviting Art & Music Center; Gallery; Coffee Shop/Wine Bar facing the Brick Train Station? The dark columns could be lit and used for exciting mural projects. NJT should be partnered with East Orange to upgrade the decrepit station waiting rooms & platform; Brick Church Station could be an entertainment destination just a short and inexpensive train ride away! And while I’m in an “If you build it, they will come” mood…what about a small movie theater that shows Indie & Foreign films, something not available anywhere else in the area. I know this “artsy” message is long, but as a board member of the Arts Council of East Orange, I know that East Orange has many talented artists & musicians, including the students at Cicely Tyson. We just need a place to showcase their work and let the rest of the world know! And Thank You, Mayor Green for MACfest, The Gallery Under The Stairs, Jazz In the Plaza, and most recently, the Tom Nussbaum mural, East Orange Boogie Woogie. I appreciate your ongoing support of the arts and hope you will consider some of these suggestions.

  13. This is catering to the medical and law students in the Newark, Bloomfield, and South Orange area. Not to mention NYC. And when they get their degrees they will do like they always do, move. Thus leaving East Orange a wasteland like it has been 4 times. The art project proposed is the only via solution to sustain this project after the “new layers and doctors” move. It does solve commuter parking, and the stores will generate revenue. But what about safety of residents and their property? Do we have enough police? Do we want to be another Jersey City. And there needs to be more affordable units for project. There are already “greedy” “fake” landlords in the area, this project should be half sliding scale, half market value. If it’s not it should not go up. It should be a 3% enterprise zone also for the businesses that will be losing income during the time of building when it opens back up. And the small business owners suffer in East Orange due to “fake ” landlords with shoddy store front properties rented by small business owners. Which cause buyers to go else where. I have lived here before there was a Brick Church plaza so I’ve seen things come and go. But very few things get sustained. I also agree that the project be more open air. That proposed look is ugly and looks closed in like the one in Bloomfield. That’s not East Orange. Look at it’s history. Trees and open spaces.
    I like the idea of new commercial space, but the apartments have to go unless they change the structure of them . It should have been a loft theme with spaces in between so the artist here can continue on the tradition of the past. I don’t like the looks of it. And what is going in the Western Beef spot? There’s a whole lot of building, but nothing of a sustainable quality.

  14. East Orange is not a low income city anymore especially now that New Yorkers are in every corner of EO. So definitely things will change, you can call it gentrification or whatever but more is coming so just get ready!

  15. I relocated from New York 6 yrs ago and its about time this site was redeveloped. Every neighboring town has made moves except for East Orange and lets be honest Shoprite is not the best supermarket around considering Extra’s prices are a bit lower. I hope this redesign also includes the Forman Mills because that too could use a face lift. Change also brings much needed jobs to the area and with kids coming out of College with student debt any good paying job is welcomed. East Orange is in desperate need of retail stores as well and maybe now I’ll have a reason to shop in the area as opposed to going elsewhere. I think the mayor should also get rid of all those old payphones and replace them with cell phone charging stations.

  16. The area around Brick Church is nowhere near this size. This rendering doesn’t look realistic so I’ll believe it when I see it. I’m actually all for this but we’ve been down this road before. They release renderings of a supposed fancy new development (cough – The Crossings at Brick Church) and then it mysteriously disappears when the developers pull out. The city lets developers walk all over them. They’re afraid to ask for basic things or say no. Like whoever approved the Lotus 360 building’s hideous ship-looking design clearly got a kickback to look the other way. I agree with the other commenter that the design looks too closed off and a jumbled mess, not appealing at all to be the heart of the city and what’s supposed to attract people. They need to make the developers go back to the drawing board like all of the other towns have no problem doing. The design doesn’t fit the space and it looks like a city within a city. And a Rainbow store?? You attract what you present. Aim higher! Say no! Say what you want about the Jersey City mayor but he had a vision for the city and didn’t waver. It left some people unhappy but that’s life. It’s clearly paid off for them.

  17. This is Wonderfere, Wonderfere, Wonderfere News said Tyler Perry’s Medea!! I can hardly wait for construction to start and finish. Fellow E.O. residence’s get on board with the progress that is being made in our city or get left behind.

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