Archive for January, 2015

Church st development


A long-vacant parcel of buildings and land on a prime corner of downtown South Orange will finally be developed, as the new owner plans to demolish the derelict structures fairly soon.  Developer, Ed Ayuso has purchased the vacant lots at the corner of Church St. and South Orange Av. He is looking to ultimately construct a combination of residential units and retail.

However, he will construct an interim 50-space parking space prior to the residential/retail development.  The parking lot has already been approved by the town.

There will be cooperation with Jonathan Rose companies, the developer of the 3rd and Valley project.  NJ Transit will also be involved.

I wonder when the Bakery and Fitness centers on the ground floor of the Gateway will finally open.  Hopefully all these new renters will deliver even more restaurants and shops to downtown South Orange


see developer’s link for more details

Maplewood Post Office – Feb. 12 update

mplwd P O

Feb. 12 – The developer has agreed to make changes to the Maplewood Post Office redevelopment.  Pressure from the Maplewood Planning Board, the Maplewood Village Alliance, a former mayor Fred Profeta, and town residents resulted in Joe Forgione of JMF Properties:

1) lowering the height to 45 feet,

2) limiting the project to three floors and

3) reducing the number of residential apartments from 23 to 20.

Current Mayor Vic DeLuca reached out to Joe and framed the sentiments of the above groups for the developer who has agreed to those changes and will keep the project moving forward.

The current post office finally closed on the 12th.  Please see the link below (near) for more info on where to go for postal services.




Jan. 21 – Changes may allow a rise in height limit of proposed development of current post office site to 53 feet.  Have you seen the balloons?

Attend the meeting on Feb. 3 at 7pm at Maplewood Town Hall.  Let’s get this right.

link to more info below

Solar energy in residential real estate update



A new multi-state study shows that homebuyers are more and more willing to pay for homes with photovoltaic energy capabilities or to install systems themselves.

Since the systems are now more commonplace, appraisers are trying to figure out how to value such systems.  In the past, there were rarely comparable properties with panels or other green features for appraisers to use, but now energy efficiency is becoming more popular.  New addendums and standards are being introduced to make ‘adjustments’ easier when there are still no true comparables.

Solar City is starting a project with Bank of America / Merrill Lynch to help homeowners fund solar power systems more easily.

 for more details see links below


Art Garage in Montclair


The Art garage is an art school and a gallery – a place to experience first class art and music and a place to learn how to…

Upcoming shows include Jill Sobule (sold out friday) and James Maddock (Feb. 28)

Spring brings the GLAM St Fair – (Glen Ridge Av Merchant) which is currently taking vendor applications

New water supplier for South Orange?

P1240102Change sounds (and tastes) good to me.

Recent town meetings confirmed that the Township of South Orange Village will have a new water supplier by 2017.   Reasons include an EPA violation for exceeding the allowable limit of one volatile organic compound (PCEs)  in 2011. The town sued over the issue.

The village will end its relationship with the East Orange Water Commission (EOWC) and begin a new contract with the New Jersey American Water company (NJAW).  Members of the BOT and Village Administrator Barry Lewis had been negotiating with the NJAW which already supplies Maplewood, West Orange and Millburn.

NJAW supplies water to 14 million people nationwide; 2.5 million — or one in three people — in New Jersey get their water from them.

Its Canoe Brook water treatment plant built in 2012 (near the Mall at Short Hills) uses green technology including ozone-based technology, carbon filtering, and solar operated agitators — and no chemicals — to clean and regulate the water.

Year End Sales figures for nearby towns