By Steve Sears
10 years is a long time to wait.
Then again, so is 40 years. Ask the folks living in the Central Avenue area of Orange and West Orange.
“The Central Avenue redevelopment has been in the planning stages for almost 10 years,” says West Orange Mayor, Robert Parisi. “Several of the approvals were provided almost as long. This project had delays related to the recession roughly 9-10 years ago.”
Parisi is referring to the Valley Arts District renovations, a project that has buildings abandoned or lying dormant for 40 years being replaced and renovated.
The cost of this revitalization is entirely funded by the developers, The Alpert Group, Ironstate Development, and Hands Inc. The total project cost is approximately $29,450,000. The owner is Valley Road Residential Urban Renewal LLC. “This project brings new life, new residents, parking and an entire renovation to a section of the street that had been forgotten and considered lost by many,” attests Parisi. “Most of the buildings I referenced have already been demolished as part of this project.”
The project officially began construction about 2 years ago, but as Parisi previously stated, its approvals were given many years ago. One building is complete and occupied, the second residential building is being constructed currently.
Parisi, Mayor of West Orange since 2010, says other redevelopments are in the works, but not yet finalized. “The Township plans to continue the redevelopment on Central Avenue by developing the property the Township owns contiguous to the existing construction.”
By Steve Sears