SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Officials anticipate relocating Village Hall offices to 76 South Orange Ave. late this month.
The Board of Trustees approved a two-year lease with South Orange Property LLC at its meeting July 22. Village offices will occupy about a third of the space on the third floor, according to village Administrator Barry Lewis Jr. Under the terms of the lease, the village will pay $13,317.33 a month for approximately 7,264 square feet. He said utilities and janitor service are included in the rent.
The board also approved a contract with Business Relocation Services, based in Secaucus, to assist with moving at a cost not to exceed $60,000.
The renovation of Village Hall is projected to take two years. The village has the option to renew its lease in increments of three months, up to a total extension of two years, at the same cost.
According to Lewis, the village initially planned to move offices to trailers on land owned by the village. However, he said, it turned out to be cost-prohibitive to prepare the site and lease the trailers. He said it would have cost $40 per square foot, compared with the $22 per square foot for the office space across the street.
“We started looking” for existing space in South Orange, he said. “There are very few locations that have the square footage that we need.”
Lewis said that officials considered the vacant Blockbuster site, but the restroom facilities were inadequate for the village’s needs.
The lease is set to begin “on or about Sept. 1,” but Lewis noted that the village will be given access to the space beginning late this month. The move has “got to happen pretty quickly,” he said.
The building owner will be responsible for basic preparation of the office space, including carpeting, painting and other “ordinary maintenance,” according to the lease. The owner also will install service counters, walls and other improvements specifically requested by the village, and the village will pick up the tab for that work. Those renovations will be completed for a cost not to exceed $35,000.
The village will be allotted 18 designated parking spaces, with 10 of them located in the parking garage. Two of the spaces will be limited to 15-minute parking and marked “South Orange village business only.”
Plans call for completion of renovations by August 2015 at an estimated cost of $6.5 million. Renovation will begin once asbestos abatement is completed. That work is anticipated to take approximately four months.