Login Form / Register

Registered users get additional benefits, including easier navigation, simplified commenting, and e-mail updates on new article posts. Please send an e-mail to "webmaster at westorangegrassroots.org" with the word "register" in the subject line to get further information.

Welcome to West Orange Grassroots
Main Street Redevelopment overview PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joe Krakoviak   
Wednesday, 22 July 2009 23:28

[Promoted due to popularity.]

Please click here for a list of major concerns about the redevelopment and financing at the end of this article.

The catalyst for the creation of West Orange Grassroots is the proposed financing of the $220-million (page 1, Downtown Redevelopment Financial Plan – Benecke, July 15, 2009) Main Street Redevelopment project (also known as Edison Village). The project is designed to re-invigorate the 21-acre neighborhood around the Edison Storage Battery Factory, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The project plans to create up to 609 residential units (including 71 to meet state COAH "affordable-housing" obligations), 18,500 square feet of retail space, and a 635-space parking garage, as well as infrastructure improvements for the town and environmental remediation. The project’s redeveloper is Prism Capital Partners, with financial support from Greenfield Partners.

Last Updated on Sunday, 23 August 2009 22:01
Read more: Main Street Redevelopment overview
A condo sale every four days for 3 1/2 years PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dino Rubino   
Monday, 17 August 2009 15:27

Prism Capital Partners, the developer of the Main Street Redevelopment project, plans to start selling condominiums in the 322-unit Phase 1 of Edison Village in July 2010 (Benecke Financial Plan Memo, July 15, 2009, page 1) and to complete sales by the end of 2013. That works out to a condo sale and closing every 4 days, for 3 ½ years straight, including weekends. Recent statistics (see below) challenge the efficacy of the Benecke report’s sales assumptions. But the issue of whether the troubled credit and real estate markets will recover sufficiently to support the sales projections is secondary to whether the township should be risking higher property taxes on the outcome -- through a guarantee of bonds supporting the Main Street Redevelopment.


As of the posting of this article Monday, West Orange had more than 440 homes listed for sale. Last week, the New York Times website real estate section listed more than 40 condos on the market in town. Many of these have been on the market for more than 60 days and are still there. They are two- or three-bedroom units and are in complexes with similar amenities to the Main Street Redevelopment project. Applying Prism’s projections, each of these condos would have been on the market for slightly less than 4 days. Does Prism’s projected sales volume sound unrealistic?


The Coldwell Banker Market Study, April 8, 2009 compares Edison Village with others within the market. The study found the highest sales volume among 14 condominium comparables of one sale every 8.3 days at 40 Park in Morristown, with the highest among 10 townhome projects of one every 4.1 days at City Homes at Essex Park in Belleville. [Note: Less than 4 percent of Phase I units are townhomes, according to the town planning department.] The averages in both categories were considerably lower.  The report does not specify the time periods that correspond to these sales statistics.

Last Updated on Monday, 17 August 2009 17:55
Read more: A condo sale every four days for 3 1/2 years
Town's video promoting Redevelopment financing plan now on YouTube PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 14 August 2009 15:38

[Update: The town opened the video up for comments, although none have been posted since August 20. I'm not certain if that means no one cares to comment or whether comments are closed again. The town did not post my comment, which included a link to this posting,  Fact, fiction and context in the mayor's video.]

The town has posted its video promoting the proposed financing plan for the Main Street Redevelopment project online at YouTube. It's a large file, over 10 megabytes, so you may find you have to wait until it loads fully. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDHX63ITw2s

The proposed plan for the first time gives the town's guarantee on repayment of $28.9 million in bonds issued to help fund the project, if the condominium owners and redeveloper are unable or unwilling to make the debt service payments.

You may also find that whomever posted the video did not enable comments. It could have been an oversight, despite the professionalism of the video. In any event, the town has not allowed anyone who views the video to comment on it.
So feel free to post your reaction to the video in the comments section at Grassroots. Please be civil and responsible in your comments.

Last Updated on Sunday, 23 August 2009 22:12
Town Council approves financing plan ordinance on first reading PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joe Krakoviak   
Wednesday, 12 August 2009 11:09

The Town Council voted 4-0 to approve on first reading the ordinance authorizing the proposed finance plan for the Main Street Redevelopment project at its Aug 11 meeting. The ordinance is up for second and final reading and Council vote at the Sept. 15 meeting. The Council must vote 4-0 to approve the ordinance, since Councilman Barnes has recused himself because his employer has previously done work for the redeveloper, Prism Capital Partners.

The proposed financing has met with widespread opposition from residents speaking against it at council meetings, a heavy volume of e-mails to council members, and a public meeting last week organized by the Mayor to discuss the issue. The proposed financing would make $28.9 million in bonds issued by the town to help build the $115-million Phase 1 of the project – parking garage, retail space, municipal infrastructure improvements and 322 condominiums – guaranteed by the town and its taxpayers if the condo owners and redeveloper are unable or unwilling to make the debt service payments.


Last Updated on Monday, 17 August 2009 21:22
Read more: Town Council approves financing plan ordinance on first reading

Page 36 of 38
Copyright © 2018 West Orange Grassroots. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.

Who's Online

We have 34 guests online


Featured Links: