Published December 14, 2016
Fourth and Valley , Real Estate , South Orange , Uncategorized
Tags: Andrew Kit, architecture, Catherine Fisher, David Kraiker, development, essex county, Fourth and Valley, Haley Donovan, James Haley, ken krasner, Linda Cappaze, Meridia, nj, Real Estate, residential, retail, Sheena Collum, south orange, Sultan of Sanctuary, valley st., vision plan
I was encouraged at the most recent public SOPAC meeting which discussed plans for the proposed 106-unit development on the Southwest corner of 4th & Valley in South Orange. After many prior meetings over two years in which Village officials and neighbors worked with Meridia, the redeveloper, it appears that area residents are finally feeling that the project will improve the area and deal with potential issues regarding parking and traffic.
Architect James Haley of Haley Donovan made many changes requested by Academy Heights residents
, breaking up the facades, setbacks and heights of the building to make it look more varied and organic to the neighborhood. The newest plan also shows a generous amount of public space to be enjoyed by neighbors – something residents said was missing at the Third & Valley development
. Now featured are extra wide (20′) sidewalks – generating more public space and potentially allowing for the widening of Valley Street should traffic studies call for a turning lane or other improvement.
Village President, Sheena Collum said the Village hoped to re-introduce the plan and agreements in January at a Board of Trustees meeting. The redevelopment plan would then be referred to the Planning Board for approval, then back to the Board of Trustees for a hearing and a vote.
“Third & Valley did not have the robust public process this has had,” said Collum. “Credit the neighborhood for mobilizing.” Neighborhood residents, David Kraiker, Andrew Kit, Linda Cappaze, Catherine Fisher and myself (and others) got together many times in preparation for our meetings with the town on this project. Speaking at the SOPAC meeting, Andrew Kit said, “This is the ideal of what a public process should be like.” We also were vocal about the 320 Valley project that has broken ground nearby.
As the town’s ‘vision plan’ has named the Valley St. corridor as one of the prime areas it’s looking to redevelop (in addition to South Orange Av & Irvington Av), it is very likely there will be interest in other sites nearby in the near future. If you’d like to get involved with contributing to shaping the future of the Valley St. corridor projects, please reach out to me – firstname.lastname@example.org
Published March 20, 2016
developer , development , Developments , Fourth and Valley , Meridia , South Orange , Uncategorized
Tags: architecture, David Kraiker, development committee, essex county, Fourth and Valley, Meridia, planning board, Real Estate, Sheena Collum, south orange, Sultan of Sanctuary
In a March follow up meeting on the Fourth & Valley redevelopment project, the town planner summarized expectations and a general framework to town officials and concerned residents gathered.
The first meeting in February with developers looking to create a major residential and retail building at Fourth and Valley showed that there were differing expectations on all sides. The Development Committee had some major revisions to suggest to the developer, Meridia who was originally looking to build something ‘massive.’ Several members of the Academy Heights neighborhood association gathered prior to summarize their concerns and Academy Heights’ resident David Kraiker spoke on behalf of those members. Village President, Sheena Collum also made it clear that any development was going to be in line with what the community envisioned. It appeared that the developer appreciated the input.
Stay tuned for the next meeting when the developer is expected to submit a revised plan that would hopefully be even smaller scale than the above guideline.
Link to more info on meeting
Published November 29, 2015
Architecture , Architecture in Essex County , Essex County , Newark , Uncategorized , Verona , West Orange
Tags: architecture, Buildings, Cathedral Basilica, essex county, Glenmont, House Tour, Kip's Castle, Newark, sacred heart, Thomas Edison, Verona, west orange
There will be 16 historic buildings open to the public on December 5th and 6th. Amazing buildings include Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, the Glenmont (Edison) in West Orange and Kip’s Castle in Verona. For the full schedule check out the link.
Published September 26, 2015
development , South Orange
Tags: 320 valley st., Academy Heights, architecture, development, essex county, Parker Ave., planning board, prospect st., Real Estate, south orange, South Orange Ave., Third and Valley, valley st.
There are more developments planned on Valley all the way down to Roland. The newest proposed project at 320 Valley calls for 22 units with one retail spot available. Proposal sketch above and current photo far above. All this on a plot that currently only has ONE two-family home – the blue home pictured above.
There are many trees and shrubs (pictured) which give the area respite from the bustle of Valley St. It would appear that the developers will build all the way down to Valley St. for the retail spot which would eliminate the greenery. Ora Manor is immediately to the south (not pictured) and extends to the street., so current zoning shows that the proposal is ‘conforming’, but just because it’s conforming doesn’t mean 22 units are good for the residents of the area. There are still vacancies in retail on South Orange Ave. and Valley and I believe that an organic style of retail/restaurant resurgence that residents crave will occur where rents are (were) low (Walnut St., Montclair) not where developers will be charging high rents which will most likely only attract boring chain, franchise type retail instead of more appealing, original or mom & pop style shops.
This development will probably be discussed in much more detail at the next planning board meeting in October. Perhaps the developers can scale down the project to 12 units and leave some of the greenery there.
David Kraiker of Nextdoor Academy Heights made me aware of this particular development and is involved in many Academy Heights area issues. If you live between Prospect and Valley and between South Orange Ave and Parker, join Academy Heights on Nextdoor.com.
Published March 31, 2015
151 Irving Av. South Orange , Architecture in Essex County , Essex County , Historical Homes , Matters Magazine , South Orange
Tags: 151 Irving Ave., architecture, essex county, First Lady, Frances Cleveland, Frances Preston, Grover Cleveland, listings, Matters Magazine, south orange, Sultan of Sanctuary
The home of a first lady is always intriguing. The folks at Matters Magazine thought so also and did a multi-page spread. It includes a lot more detail about Frances Cleveland (wife of Grover)
here’s the link to Matters Magazine’s feature.
here’s the link tot listing for sale
Published March 27, 2015
106 Roland Ave. , Architecture in Essex County , music , Real Estate , South Orange
Tags: 106 Roland Ave., architecture, essex county, music, nj, south orange, Victorian, Vintage, warmth
Public Open House – Sunday, March 29, 1-4pm
106 Roland Ave.
South Orange, NJ
5 Beds and 2 Baths
Mahogany front porch, HW floors, great flow from LR to DR to Family Room, updated, eat-in Kitchen w/granite/SSAppl, back patio set in verdant garden, sunny Family Room, Mud Room, 3 beds & bath on second floor, 2 beds & storage room on third floor. Finished basement with full bath.
For all the details on this Vintage Victorian Beauty, here’s the link
Published March 12, 2015
Architecture in Essex County , Board of Trustees , development , Essex County , Irvington Ave. , Seton Village , South Orange
Tags: architecture, Barry Lewis, Board of Trustees, BOT, craft beer, David Kasdan, essex county, Festival, food truck, IACAC, Irvington Ave, Josh Mann, Real Estate, retail, Seton Village, Sheena Collum, south orange, Steve Schnall, Sultan of Sanctuary, Temple Beth-El
In a public meeting at Temple Beth-El in South Orange, Doug Zacker of the Seton Village Committee (formerly IACAC) and representatives of the town, (CFO Barry Lewis and two members of the BOT, Sheena Collum & Steve Schnall) had the buyers of a property on Irvington Ave. present more details of their proposal. The buyers were Josh Mann and David Kasdan, two local developers/residents who are hoping to construct a building with rental units and and a small amount of retail space.
As there is a growing buzz about the area after this fall’s Craft Beer and Food Truck festival, interest in a ‘centerpiece building’ on the main corridor is high. Some of numbers revealed (four stories between 50 and 57 feet and 72 units) were a concern for many of the immediate neighbors. There were very legitimate questions about parking, storm water runoff, noise and a loss of sunlight for immediately adjacent single family properties.
In my opinion, 3 stories and perhaps about 50-60 units might be a more appropriate fit for the area. With the right changes and compromises, I hope it could still be economically viable for the developers. Stay tuned.