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

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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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16 COMMENTS

  1. VERY INTERESTING AND JUST LAST WEEK I WALK BY THIS AREA AND THOUGHT TO MYSELF IF I WIN THE LOTERY I WOULD BUY ALL OF THIS LAND FROM LOT STOP TO RITE AID WHICH IS CLOSED TO BUT HIGH CEILING STORES AND APARTMENT ON TOP WOULD DRASTICALLY CHANGE EAST ORANGE AND THESE PROPERTIES ARE LOOKING VERY SAD AND HOLD BACK NEGATIVE IMAGE OF STREET ORANGE ESPECIALLY NEAR CITY HALL AND BETWEEN THE TRAIN STATION… CANT WAIT TO SEE THE CONSTRUCTION AND COMPLETION…. EAST ORANGE MOVING ONWARD…!!!!1 IT SEEMS TO TAKE OVER 50 YEARS FOR ANY PROGRESS IN EAST ORANGE AND CREDIT TO THE CURRENT MAYOR WHO TRIES TO KEEP THE CITY CLEAN AND SAFE AND MAKES IT POSSIBLE FOR GOOD INVESTMENT

  2. Yeah. They don’t even show what the building will look like. No elevations or plans? What are they hiding? Hope city isn’t approving another basic project to make rich white men richer.

  3. That would actually be a great idea, Joe. Especially since rich white men aren’t really looking to build up East Orange for the black and brown residents who currently live there.

  4. why we start to think so negative… these are property developers and are in business of profit and is not a charity or not for profit business looking to make or develop properties for 600 or 800 monthly income. the investors are looking to develop and in business for return on inventment (EOI). How does skin color get in this conversation about developing properties that looks horrible and not collecting any taxes? East Orange economic development is actually very very slow for decades for its location on being a city that was most prosperous and wealthy with the best stores,, college and standard of living. and most surprising is that the Economic Development for the Essex County is in East Orange on freeway drive where actually its lacking any development looking at all these empty boarded up around 30 freeway drive and on halstead street all the way to central ave. It would take much to get the city clean and safe. We first as citizens must want improvement and welcome such and not wanting to keep the city having only below standard aparments and have to want to see all level of income moving in and all races with different kinds of resturants… we only have about three fine dining resturant. and mostly take out jamaican resturant with bad customer service in these places.. look at shoprite how the plaza is always filthy ?> THIS SHOPRITE IS THE WORST IN NEW JERSEY AND DONT MENTION ABOUT THE CUSTOMER SERVICE OF THE CASHIERS AND THE EMPLOYEES… these things need radical changes. Nice people from all walks of life and income level and races would love to move here but changes are necessary for all the people…
    SAY YES TO IMPROVEMENTS….STOP wanting to live in dirty,,,sub standard apartments and bad service fjor all residents who live here. why you have to go to West Orange shoprite for good service and go to Bloomfield or Montclare for nice Cuban or Indian or Jamaican resturant?
    Heard some in EO says the POPEYE IN Bloomfied taste betterr and the service is bette!! wow

  5. John Omaha, your post is the most negative one on here. Why trash our community to hype this project up so much? Do you work for Novus Landmarks East Orange Urban Renewal? Hmmm. If you mean Spice and Thing, A LOT more people LOVE that Jamaican Restaurant more than the one person who wrote a bad review about its take out–was that you? If they weren’t any good they wouldn’t be in business. Do you work at ShopRite’s Corporate Customer Satisfaction Department? No? So how do you know it’s the worst one? Because you say it is? Spending money in in fancy Montclair and Bloomfield and then complaining about the state of East Orange makes you look ridiculous and like you’re better than your neighbors.

  6. its 11 pm at night and just finish my first attending any East Orange public city meeting due to my work schedule but due to my recent foot surgery im home for awhile and was so so impress with the design of the building and get to see all the details of the apartment and retails stores along with the automatic car parking system etc and one word…OUTSTANDING and only wish the developers bought the Rite Aid building too and make a duplicate… and cant wait to this another GOOD THING COMING TO EAST ORANGE…if you dont like progress then MOVE OUT…

  7. Doubt East Orange residents are their target market for this good thing as you say and you’ll find yourself moving out of East Orange anyway. But you know…progress.

  8. every progressive city needs to have no or very little abandon properties,, low crimes rates… employment above 80 percent, a mixer of low and high income residents,,,, clean street… safe streets without loitering all over,,,, good schools…. big and small business… access to good health care.. clean air and water…..shopping and transportation… East Orange has most of these and we already have lots of low income residents and apartments and run down homes and apartments buildings where land provide very low sub standard apartments and i have lived in one on south munn where mice runs over my feet and in my kitchen… the washing machines breaks every week… the elevators only work two days a week… and this is a very large building where people go to city hall including myself and nothing happens. Now they will see people moving out and better available apartment to live or a choice of living in luxury if you can afford these building but the choices are available or living in a regular building and or if you want to live in a Penthouse in east orange you can…. we will now need better and more business and shouldnt have to go to Bloomfield or Montclair to a nice diner. we should all the choices and have all races in the city…. black…white.. indian…. chineese….etc… if you cant afford the new building dont hold grudges for the people who can afford to… we need progress. WE NEED TO STOP HEARING PEOPLE SAYING I LIVE IN THE “HOOD OF E.O. BUT INSTEAD SAY I LIVE IN “THE CITY OF EAST ORANGE”…….. actually the non luxury building have certain amount of apartment for low income ……….

  9. thanks Matt for the details of the presentation of the new projects.
    Natalie R seems she is not down for East Orange Progress so with that simple assumption let me ask her what she recommend moving forward or should we just leave these abandon properties alone? where they are kept dirty and sometimes broken into for crimes purposes like the building on South Harrison which crack heads and drug dealers used to use over 7 years ago and now a nice building and where they pay taxes to the city to help with garbage collections and hire more police officers….etc. Keep the filthy shopRite with all these guys hanging out and begging money….. keep things as is ? let me hear your suggestions ……

  10. good night ms/mr Tawnibriks! I just caught you message above address to me. I live in East Orange for the last (15) fifteen years and the city only for the last few years start improving and now people like you want it to stay the same… LETS KEEP EAST ORANGE LOW OR BELOW POVERTY CITY. you are among the worst who dont like improvement because you live here and love for the city to stay the same or maybe you want it to go backward with high crime which create abandon properties… drugs… filthy streets. I would therefore recommend you move to a city of your liking. If you stay in E O you will only be complaining of progress. mix income moving in… new apartments construction… more variety of stores to shop and hopefully a diffrent supermarket… Whenever I tell someone I live in E. O i always feel proud. I am Jamaican and we need some fine dining which should include Jamaican, Chineese., African, American, Indian and Spanish resturant giving full service (FINE DINING). Clean street… different race and income level of people. I dont work at any of these places as you assume simply because you dont see anything wrong and so poeple like you will always stay the same in the same job, same living accomodations and earning the same. Improvement to the city and yourself is vital.. I know of people who want to buy a house and they move away from E O to so many other cities around because they dont feel E O is not so nice place to live. People are moving here because they have hope for the future and they see better days are coming to East Orange… If you dont want this…..choose…!! These properties are vacant dilapidated and not earning or no taxes paid to the city. Now the city can hire more police and provide better streets new and clean to the people of East Orange. You may work at Shoprite which is ok but go to other shoprite in west orange and see how nice the cashiers are… the parking lot is clean and no one hanging out in front. we also dont have a choices in stores… changes are coming

  11. LOL… RICH WHITE MEN…. these properties are not in use…. mostly bushy or abandon properties which means sore eyes for the people who live nearby and usually a place for illegal activities and most of all no taxes collected… it dosent Matter if the developers are WHITE MEN ….BLACK MEN…. YELLOW MEN… its good if any men whatever color decide to develop these properties.. I suggest you get a loan and study Real Estate management and provide you have the money to invest and I can then say “CONGRATULATION!” P.S. incase you are not aware that these properties will be rented for market rates… they are not LUXURY BUILDING like most on South Harrison… so here we are having different level of apartments… If you can afford to live in luxury you can and if you cant there are hundreds of apartment available… once more if you dont like a city improve or elevate then moved out to a city that tell you that they have no plans to improve that city….

  12. While everyone trolls each other, the developer is already trying to sell this property with approvals for $5,500,000+. You know what real progress is? Actually building something.

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