Business & Finance

South Orange Village Center Alliance Holds Board Meeting; Discusses New Merchants, Redevelopment

Preliminary rendering of development on South Orange Ave. Credits: Marchetto, Higgins, Stieve Architects

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The South Orange Village Center Alliance (SOVCA) held its monthly board meeting on Jan. 18

The meeting was convened by Matt Glass, Chair of the SOVCA Board of Directors, as SOVCA Executive Director, Bob Zuckerman, was away. Glass provided an update from Zuckerman, which included the following topics.

New Merchants

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Three new merchants will be opening soon in South Orange Village. Mod Studio, a store geared towards kids and tweens, will open in the former Bubble Tea space. A Paper Hat and Design Supply, an art supply store, plans to open in the former Signal Graphics space. Mod Studio and A Paper Hat and Design Supply both plan to open at the end of February.

Private Quarters, a hair salon, will be located next door to Noodlefan, with an opening date still to be determined.

Other potential new businesses were discussed, including the possibility of a hardware store opening and two potential new restaurants.

Parking Committee

A new, special Parking Committee was formed with members of the Parking Authority, Development Committee, Township Administration and South Orange Trustees along with Stuart Wainberg, local property owner, and Mark Murphy, owner of Mark Murphy Music, to address parking concerns due to construction at the site of South Orange Village Hall and the impending redevelopment of the former Blockbuster building.


Glass provided an update about the redevelopment planned for the former Blockbuster building. He also noted that the developer is now working with an architect on the proposed redevelopment, which includes the possibility that the developer may be able to purchase additional adjacent buildings at the corner of Vose and South Orange Ave., where Chris's Texas Weiners is currently located.

Hotel Feasibility Study

There are currently two studies regarding the feasibility of building a hotel in downtown South Orange by two different developers and hotel operators.  A minimum of 100 rooms are required by the state to acquire a liquor license, which is essential in order for the hotel to be successful.

Lighting at Train Station

SOVCA is committed to spending about $10,000 to  $12,000 to install new lights under the train trestle crossing South Orange Ave., according to Adam Loehner, Deputy Village Administrator.

SOVCA will hold their annual public meeting on Feb.7 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Boccone South (59 South Orange Ave.). The meeting is open to all and pre-registration is not required. 

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