Developer to Propose Bringing 61 Apartments to Old Paterson School Property

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385 391 Totowa Avenue Paterson New Jersey
Site of proposed development: the old School 5 at 385-391 Totowa Avenue, Paterson. Photo via Google Maps/Street View.

An archaic edifice that once served as one of Paterson’s public schools could be redeveloped and expanded into an apartment building should a company’s proposal move forward.


The old School 5 at 385-391 Totowa Avenue could go from being a vacant three-story structure to a residential six-story one, according to a Paterson Board of Adjustment agenda. The document states that Taylor Five Apartments, LLC is looking to bring 61 apartments to the building, which can be found at the corner of Sherman Avenue.

Each apartment could reportedly contain one bedroom, with the exception of the building superintendent’s two-bedroom unit. A gym and a community room would be included elsewhere in the building while 25 parking spaces would be provided on the premises. The agenda says that an additional 15 spaces would be provided down the block at 404-406 Totowa Avenue.

Property sales records indicate that Paterson Public Schools sold the premises for $1 million in the fall of 2018 to a Paterson-based firm called 383-391 Totowa Ave, LLC.

The sale came after The Paterson Press reported that there had been confusion related to a deed from the 1800s over whether Paterson’s municipal government was the actual owner of the tract, but the school district issued a press release a few weeks later stating that the matter had been resolved and that they were the “rightful owner.”

The property is situated at the edge of the Hillcrest section of Passaic County’s largest city a few blocks away from Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park along with a property where another development with apartments was recently proposed.

Community members are expected to get a chance to learn more about the plans for 385-391 Totowa Avenue when the developer goes before the Paterson Board of Adjustment.

This matter was initially scheduled to be discussed in October 2020, but a new hearing has been scheduled during the meeting on Thursday, March 11. Those interested in participating can call 973-321-1579 at 7:30 p.m. and use 711680001 as the meeting identification number, the agenda says.

Note to readers: The dates that applications are scheduled to be heard by the Paterson Board of Adjustment and other commissions are subject to change.

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