Hearing Scheduled for Proposed ‘Hue Soul Apartments’ Complex in East Orange

429 433 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard East Orange
Site of proposed development: 429-433 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, East Orange. Photo via Google Maps/Street View.

A developer’s plan for a new mixed-use complex in East Orange is expected to be discussed during a meeting this week.

During a virtual meeting on Wednesday, February 3, the East Orange Planning Board is scheduled to hear an application by Novus Landmark East Orange Urban Renewal, LLC involving 429, 431, and 433 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, also known as Main Street, according to a notice of hearing.

The notice states that a five-story mixed-use building with 113 residential units, roughly 3,562 square feet of retail and restaurant space, and a parking garage with one space per unit is envisioned.

Site plans from MidAtlantic Engineering Partners that were released by East Orange’s municipal government in January refer to this project as “Hue Soul Apartments” and associate Novus Landmark East Orange Urban Renewal, LLC with an address on Newark Avenue in Jersey City.

A description of the project that was included within the plans notes that there would be eight studios, 82 one-bedroom units, and 23 two-bedroom units.

The premises are situated roughly halfway between the Brick Church and East Orange train stations. The site includes the East Orange Auto Sales property along with the building that has included the City Metro Diner, Ma Cuisine Café, and most recently, the Soul Food Factory.

An April 2020 presentation that was released by the City of East Orange states that “the proposed project would not be built under regular taxes” and that “the developer has requested a 22 year PILOT,” meaning payments in lieu of taxes. The presentation lists the hard cost of construction as more than $24 million

“Like in most surrounding cities, it is virtually impossible to undertake market rate development without the predictability of a PILOT,” East Orange Director of Policy, Planning, and Development Dan Jennings told Jersey Digs. “For each PILOT request, we conduct an independent assessment to determine whether a PILOT is necessary. If the answer is yes we try to negotiate the best deal for the city.”

The East Orange Planning Board’s meeting is slated to begin over Zoom at 7:00 p.m.

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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