Government

Court Date Set for Oral Arguments in Prism Lawsuit

a6c64ff9ef1710d77d4b_best_ab550d080eeda8bf8529_dfc88e0fa075685f5c0d23b520ed605cartist-rendering-of-main-street.jpg
Credits: www.westorange.org
a6c64ff9ef1710d77d4b_best_ab550d080eeda8bf8529_dfc88e0fa075685f5c0d23b520ed605cartist-rendering-of-main-street.jpg

WEST ORANGE, NJ - The Supreme Court of New Jersey has scheduled oral arguments on November 12, 2014, from 9:00 am to 11:00 am to begin the determination of the outcome of a lawsuit filed against the township by several residents unhappy with the approval of a $6.3 million dollar bond that would fund infrastructure projects around Prism Capital Partners, LLC proposed downtown redevelopment at the site of the Edison Battery factory.

The oral arguments will determine whether or not the ordinance establishing a $6.3 municipal infrastructure bond approved by the township on March 6, 2012, is valid. West Orange residents Rosary Morelli, Althia Tweiten, Windale Simpson, Mark Meyerowitz and Michael Scharfstein began lawsuits against the township on May 12, 2012, the first filed in Municipal Court after their group, Citizens for Responsible Government Spending, failed to have their petitions certified to go to a referendum vote. The group also objected to the township's approval of a 30 year property tax abatement. That lawsuit and its appeal were decided in favor of the township.

However, the New Jersey Supreme Court has agreed to hear the component regarding the ordinance. The plaintiffs claim that the town did not apply for approval from the local Finance Board at the NJS Dept. of Community Affairs after adjustments were made to the Redevelopment plans.

Sign Up for E-News

The First Phase of the proposed Edison Village would be comprised  of "approximately 333 residential rental units; (ii) approximately 18,500 square feet of commercial retail space; (iii) approximately 31,700 square feet of other amenity support space; and (iv) a parking structure containing approximately 635 spaces (the “Parking Deck”); and (v) such other parking areas as may be approved by the Planning Board in accordance with the provisions of the Redevelopment Plan to accommodate parking for residential and retail uses as hereinafter provided; together with such public infrastructure and improvements relating thereto, including utilities, roadways, pathways, sidewalks, public rights of way and open space, as identified in the Phase 1 Infrastructure Construction Agreement and other amenities on the Edison Battery Parcels (collectively, the “Phase 1 Project”)."

Speculation spearheaded by the group at township council meetings and supported by Councilman Joe Krakoviak, who voted no on the project, have centered around Prism's tardiness in property tax payments, which to date total $549,618.00 on multiple properties including the Battery Factory project at 175 Main Street and properties on Ashland Avenue comprising the site of the old Barton Press building.

As the property owners, Prism has until the end of the year to bring their taxes up to date before the township must consider the default process, though opponents of the project are calling for default proceedings to begin now. In addition, detractors of the project are claiming that there is no reason why Prism cannot begin construction, even with a lawsuit pending. 

With mayoral and township council elections looming, Prism and the Downtown Redevelopment project has become a focus of criticism for incumbents Robert Parisi, running for re-election as mayor, and Susan McCartney and Victor Cirilo, seeking re-election for township council.

In an interview with TAP into West Orange, Mayor Parisi commented on Prism, their tardiness in paying taxes and the start of construction, saying, "Why they don’t pay, it’s a little bit discouraging, but they do eventually pay the late fees and the interest and we’re going to continue to work with them and every tax payer who gets behind on their taxes.”

Contrary to his opponents in the mayoral race, Parisi does not believe that Prism's failure to begin construction on the project is due to financial insolvency. "Most of their financing for construction is going to be through lenders in addition to their own equity through their financial partners,” said Parisi, “so no I’m not concerned about that. They are going to have to be current on their taxes before they start the project.”

As for the $6.3 million bond, it would not take effect until the project is well underway and at the point where infrastructure work (roads, sidewalks, etc.) is required. To date, the township has not issued any money or bonds on Prism's behalf.

What many residents may not realize is that Prism has already invested a substantial amount of money in the property, including remediation totaling approximately $60 million dollars as well as paying milliions in property taxes since purchasing the parcels without any offsetting revenue and with carrying fees. 

TAP into West Orange will provide updated information as it becomes available.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

One Free Class at Cycle Bar Livingston

April 23, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Get a free ride at Cycle Bar Livingston. Livingston’s premium indoor cycling facility invites the public to sign up for their first ride free.

Click HERE to see the full class schedule.

During this week only, Cycle Bar is also participating in the Livingston Fitness Crawl, offering five days of free classes through Friday.  

Cycle Bar ...

Livingston Fitness Crawl: Five Days of Free Classes at 12 Livingston Businesses

LIVINGSTON, NJ — The public is invited to enjoy one free class at as many of Livingston’s fitness businesses as they would like during this week’s Livingston Fitness Crawl, a Livingston Business Improvement District event, beginning on April 23 and continuing through April 27.

For five days, no purchase is necessary at the following locations:

BARRE3 ...

Full Pet Grooming Service 25% OFF

LITTLE FALLS, NJ - Cloud Canine Grooming Salon & Spa in Little Falls is open for business and owner and pet stylist Melissa DiRoma is offering 25% off a FULL GROOMING SERVICE for all new customers. Call (973) 837-8884 or visit http://cloudcaninesalon.com to schedule your appointment. Mention promo code TAP DOG for discount. 

About Cloud ...

Free Wellness Event at The Joint Chiropractic

WEST CALDWELL, NJ — The public is invited to a "Wellness Event to Remember" at The Joint Chiropractic in West Caldwell on Thursday, April 19 from 7 p.m. to  9 p.m.

Guests will include:

Michael Piercy, owner of The Lab
Justyna Debski, owner of Revive Mind Body
Karen Caplan, owner of Nutrition Transitions

Join the ...

Luxury Facial Services 50% OFF

MILLBURN, NJ - DeAmour Salon & Spa is proud to announce its newest team member, Renee Rudikh, formerly of the famous Georgette Klinger Spa at the Short Hills Mall.

Rudikh has extensive experience and specializes in a plethora of facial styles including: deep pore cleansing/European, microdermabrasion with collagen, teenage, men's, back, LED and customized European ...

YMCA $0 Enrollment in April

LIVINGSTON, NJ - For the month of April, the West Essex YMCA is offer $0 enrollment. 

Take advantage of all that your local Y has to offer for the whole family!

Personal Training
Group Classes
Swimming
Camp
Childcare 
Low monthly membership
And much much more!...

Check out all that the Y has to offer HERE

About the West Essex YMCA:
The West Essex YMCA has ...

Women Need Better Treatment Behind Bars, Lawmakers Say

April 24, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Middlesex County Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez and U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) held a roundtable discussion on Monday with criminal justice reform advocates and formally incarcerated women to discuss legislation Lopez and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle are introducing, modeled after legislation Booker introduced in the Senate, to reform the way women are treated behind ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_db004570084548800c6c_jww_pgp_headshot

Wed, April 25, 7:00 PM

Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, South Orange

Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity

Education

Carousel_image_ef0d6423aefa47ca7bd5_screen_shot_2018-03-16_at_4.56.35_pm

Thu, April 26, 5:30 PM

West Orange High School - Cafeteria, West Orange

Annual Spaghetti Dinner

Food & Drink

Letter to the Editor: Lions Club of West Orange Spaghetti Dinner

April 16, 2018

Dear Editor,

Since 1953, the Lions Club of West Orange has been recognized throughout the township for our service to the blind and visually impaired. A majority of the world’s eye banks, clinics, and eye research centers are established and supported by all Lions Clubs throughout the world.

We are men and women committed to helping provide quality eye care, eye ...

West Orange Community House Seeks Community Sponsors

April 17, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — The Boys & Girls Club at the West Orange Community House (WOCH) has opened its new 9,000 square foot recreational facility at 250 Main Street in West Orange.

The WOCH has been supporting families of West Orange for 100 years, and needs help to continue providing much-needed recreational programs to West Orange. By placing an advertisement banner on the gym ...

Lock Down Initiated After Stray Bullet Found at Morristown High School

April 24, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ -  Morristown High School was on a school-wide lock down as of 1 p.m. on Tuesday after a stray bullet was discovered on the athletic fields of the school. 

Police were on the scene and currently investigating the incident. The school initiated a "shelter in place," which means instruction continued as students stayed in their ...

Cluelessly Clueless

I teenaged my way through high school under the assumption that my parents had no idea what I was doing.  I like to think I was pretty good at withholding information and presenting situations in ways that were other than they really were.

 

Still, sometimes they found things out.  Like the time my friends plopped me on our front door step at one o'clock in the morning ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...