East Orange’s Brick Church Could Undergo 75-Unit Adaptive Reuse and Expansion Project

Brick Church Mlk Boulevard East Orange Nj
A developer is proposing a rehabilitation and repurposing of the Brick Church in East Orange, N.J. Photo via Google Maps/Street View.

Numerous residential developments have been proposed in recent years near East Orange’s Brick Church train station. Now, the actual Brick Church could become the site of a development project as well.

The church at 552 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard/Main Street is the subject of an application for preliminary and final site plan approval by a company called The New Brick Church, LLC.

During its virtual meeting today, Wednesday, October 6, at 7:00 p.m., the East Orange Planning Board is scheduled to discuss the LLC’s plan for the “rehabilitation and repurposing” of the church’s sanctuary and the construction of a six-story addition to the building, according to a notice of hearing.

The proposal reportedly calls for 75 residential units, 6,258 square feet of commercial space, and an 8,085-square-foot house of worship.

The notice states that there would be three studios, 50 one-bedroom units, 19 two-bedroom units, three units with three bedrooms each, open space, and 19 parking spaces on the premises, with 75 parking spaces being situated at another unidentified location.

Located at the corner of Prospect Street, the church has had several names over the years, the most recent of which has been the Temple of Unified Christians Brick Church.

Essex County deed records show that The New Brick Church, LLC, which listed its address as being in Borough Park, Brooklyn, bought the church property in 2020 from the Temple of Unified Christians for $462,000.

As Jersey Digs has previously reported, this part of East Orange has seen a number of developments proposed in recent years, the largest of which has been the Crossings at Brick Church Station complex that is envisioned for the Brick Church Plaza site. More than a decade ago, two mixed-use buildings were completed on either side of the church while other new buildings have opened along South Harrison Street.

The Brick Church train station, which is one of the busiest in Essex County and offers direct service to New York Penn Station, is likely one of the main reasons for the neighborhood’s increase in development. Two inbound trains and three outbound trains on weekdays operate non-stop between Brick Church and Penn Station.

Note to readers: The dates that applications are scheduled to be heard by the East Orange Planning Board and other commissions are subject to change.


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