An East Orange property long home to a vacant mansion could become the site of a development with 78 residential units.
An ordinance posted by the municipal government shows that a project with 11 studio apartments, 48 one-bedroom units, and 19 two-bedroom units is in the works for 14 Summit Street along with neighboring 158 North Walnut Street. The building would also contain two rooftop terraces, a fitness room, a laundry room, bike storage, and a lounge for residents.
An “entity has submitted an application to the City for the approval of a long term tax exemption for the project,” according to the ordinance, which does not specify the name of the entity or the length of the requested exemption. However, it says that “after review of the application, the mayor recommended that the application be approved on such terms as set forth in a proposed form of financial agreement.”
The ordinance also states that “despite the entity’s current and future substantial investment of ‘at-risk’ equity and traditional borrowed funds for acquisition, development and construction of the project, such amounts of equity and traditional borrowed funds are insufficient to pay for all of the costs associated with the acquisition, development and construction of the project.”
In accordance with the Bond Financing Law, the annual service charge paid by the entity in lieu of real property taxes “shall, upon the recordation of this financial agreement and the ordinance, constitute a municipal lien on the Hue Property and the project,” according to the ordinance, which goes on to describe plans for the municipal government to issue special obligation PILOT redevelopment bonds of up to $1 million in order to finance costs of the project such as infrastructure improvements.
The East Orange City Council passed this ordinance on second and final reading during a meeting on August 24.
Although the ordinance does not specifically mention the name of the entity, it notes that this firm was previously appointed by the East Orange City Council as the redeveloper of the site.
This is far from the first time that development plans for this site have been discussed. More than four years ago, a resolution stated that 14 Summit Holdings, LLC sought to acquire 14 Summit Street from East Orange’s municipal government for a project consisting of 62 residential units and 69 parking spaces.
Then, a 2017 resolution authorized the conditional designation of 14 Summit Street Holdings, LLC as the developer of 14 Summit Street and mentioned that the company owned neighboring 18 Summit Street. A subsequent resolution amended this designation.
Property records show that 14 Summit Holdings, LLC, which listed 914 Madison Avenue in Paterson as its address, acquired 14 Summit Street from the City of East Orange for $325,000 in 2017. In 2019, the municipal government sold the tract at 158 North Walnut Street to 14 Summit Street Holdings Urban Renewal Entity, LLC of 914 Madison Avenue in Paterson for $37,500, according to the Essex County PRESS service.
The website of Blue Onyx Companies includes an undated rendering of a project envisioned for 14 Summit Street. It notes that “building on the success of the 18 Summit Street Apartments, and leveraging the cost efficiencies proximity offers, we envisioned this ideal next project for this community,” adding that “this is an amenity-driven, millennial focused project that allows us to cater to a broader consumer base in this very commuter-friendly and walkable area.”
Blue Onyx Management previously had an office at 914 Madison Avenue in Paterson.