Former Thomas Edison Factory Being Converted Into Apartments



After many years of delays, residents could soon finally live in one of Thomas Edison’s former factories in suburban Essex County.

Redevelopment is underway at the former Edison Storage Battery Company Building along Main Street in West Orange, 13 miles west of Jersey City. The new ‘Edison Village’ complex is being developed in and around the massive six-story building, which has towered over the surrounding neighborhoods since the beginning of the 20th century. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places for over 20 years.

BuzzBuzzHome recently found these new renderings of the project by Minno Wasko Architects.

1 ashland edison lofts rendering
Credit: Minno Wasko Architects

According to developer Prism Capital Partners, Edison Village “is the largest non-waterfront redevelopment project in New Jersey”, and will feature over 300 apartments and penthouses in the building, in addition to hundreds of townhouses at a previously industrial lot on nearby Columbia Street. A new plaza called The Shoppes at Edison Village will be built at the site of a currently vacant tract along Main Street near Charles Street and could be completed as soon as 2017.

Prism also developed the Parkway Lofts in Bloomfield, which occupies a former General Electric warehouse.

There will be a pool, rooftop deck, and fitness center for Edison Village residents, and over 600 parking spaces and 18,400 square feet of retail space will be on site, according to a release, which also states that the complex is slated for completion in 2018. A community room, historical exhibit, business center, bike storage room, and game room are also planned.

3 main st west orange
Credit: Minno Wasko Architects

The decades-old windows of the building have already been removed, and are being replaced, marking one of the first pieces of construction on a project that was first proposed nearly a decade ago. TAP into West Orange reported last month that West Orange Historic Preservation Commission member Marty Feitlowitz “complimented Prism officials for working closely with the WOHPC on making sure the Edison factory’s windows comported as closely as possible to the original ones”.

An April article in The New York Times stated that the project will cost $230 million.

2 charles st edison lofts west orange
Credit: Minno Wasko Architects

Production of alkaline storage batteries at the factory stopped in 1965, according to a West Orange Township report. After the closure, other businesses operated in the complex, including the Fabulous Wallcoverings Factory Outlet and light industrial companies. Then, in the late 2000s, all businesses closed, and several adjacent buildings and a parking lot were cleared to make way for the development.

Just across Lakeside Avenue from the property is Edison’s former laboratory, now a museum of the Thomas Edison National Historical Park. Downtown West Orange is just down the street from the site, as is the Tory Corner business district. An NJ Transit bus to Newark stops outside of the building, and the Orange Train Station is a one-mile walk away. However, Prism may operate a shuttle bus to the station, according to The New York Times.

Edison Village is the latest development to come to a once industrial region of New Jersey. Similar projects are underway across the county.

[gmap height=”250px”]177 Main St, West Orange, NJ 07052[/gmap]

177 Main St, West Orange, NJ 07052


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