Posts Tagged 'Beifus'

Gateway, South Orange


The old Beifus property near the South Orange train depot has finally been transformed. After the town waged a protracted legal battle with prior deadbeat owner, Andrew Beifus, over the vacant lot, real estate developer, Edward E. Ayuso II acquired the property from the lender and put his expertise and energies to work on creating The Gateway.

It’s now a 4-story mixed-use luxury building located at 9 West South Orange Ave. and features a collection of 57 luxury residential units and ground floor retail stores. The retail so far includes Mara’s Café & Bakery and D & I Fitness. Tenants are moving in and energizing the formerly fallow plot, creating some revenue for the town and hopefully anchoring more retail and action heading farther west up South Orange Ave.

link below for more info


State of the Village

An interesting upgrade in communication took place last night.  South Orange Village President, Alex Torpey delivered the State of the Village live in an address to the public instead of in an internal town meeting.  It was good to hear where the mayor hopes to take the town.  The mayor touched on IT, property taxes, redevelopment, ‘bureau pathology,’ green issues, budget and other issues.

One new wrinkle is that there will now be ‘single-stream’ recycling.  Glass, aluminum,  paper and newspaper will all be combined in a single toter for pickup starting in July.


For more info check out the video posted on Patch –

Beifus Revisited

Beifus lot from South Orange Ave.

The saga of the old vacant ‘Beifus’ property in downtown South Orange has turned another page.  Last year I posted about the town’s foreclosure on the previous owner.  Now there is potentially good news as South Orange Commons III, LLC has purchased the property and will seek approvals to develop the site.  The South Orange Planning Board approved a plan in 2005 for the site and S.O. Commons LLC’s plan is very similar.

There will be a mixed-use complex with an approximately 100,000 square-foot building. The building will contain approximately 9,800 square feet of ground-floor retail space, three upper floors with 57 high-end residential units, and 97 surface parking spaces.

South Orange Commons is owned by Edward E. Ayuso II, Mark L. Berger, and an affiliate of Stamford, Connecticut-based Soundview Real Estate Partners that is involved in other projects in town.

Beifus property sheriff sale in South Orange

Beifus lot from South Orange Ave.

For anyone following public affairs or property taxes in South Orange, the continuing Beifus property foreclosure saga is about to add a chapter.  On June 1, there will be a sheriff sale.

Behind the fence, and next to the train station is continual vacancy, dispute and lost revenue for the town.  Before being demolished six years ago, it was the home of Beifus Mercedes, a car dealership.   Hopefully now there will finally be a break in the legal, financial and political inertia that has deadlocked this prime piece of property for nearly 10 years.

Nearby are the possibilities of what could be.  On the other side of the train station are the new luxury condos on Vose, Eden Gourmet and the rooftop restaurant, Above.  But at 9 West South Orange Avenue, the weeds grow and the fence has worn down.  With the property now in foreclosure, the courts are in charge.  Andrew Beifus Jr., 67, the property’s owner and developer has received the lion’s share of the anger over the project and he has since moved from the area.

In hard times, when the village relied on $750,000 in extraordinary aid to help balance its municipal budget, the Beifus project represented more than just an eyesore, but a massive loss of revenue in the form of property taxes and economic activity.

The property was also an integral part of the village’s redevelopment zone, a central business district development plan created by the Township of South Orange Village in 1994.  Since then the stops and starts have been too numerous to detail here.  For more details on the foreclosure and sheriff sale please see the link below.

Beifus lot