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 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.
Published May 15, 2013
Board of Trustees , South Orange
Tags: Board of Trustees, Energy, environment, essex county, government, property taxes, Sheena Collum, south orange, Steven Schnall, Walter Clarke
Sheena Collum, Steven Schnall and Walter Clarke have won election to the South Orange Board of Trustees replacing outgoing members, Michael Goldberg, Nancy Gould and Janine Bauer. Their campaign stressed ‘the positive’ and hopefully will bring an infusion of energy, enthusiasm and efficiency to the town.
Schnall’s area of expertise is business and he plans to increase municipal efficiency, minimize spending and control taxes.
Clarke has a great record with the town in areas of environmental and energy policy. He brought electric vehicle chargers to town, helped bring about the Rahway River cleanup and was instrumental in the certification of South Orange in the Sustainable Jersey program.
Collum has made her mark in public safety, community emergency response and public information.
For more info and for tallies: