Business & Finance

Essex Green Redevelopment Debate Continues in West Orange

24864cbf0a5cabd8c3c6_WP_20171205_20_41_53_Pro.jpg
Resident Robert Daniel expresses his distress that the council allowed the consideration of giving Essex Green’s owners tax abatements to redevelop the complex. Credits: Alan Grossman

WEST ORANGE, NJ — The ongoing debate on whether Essex Green and its adjoining Executive Drive should be declared an “area in need of redevelopment” became a major focus of the West Orange Township Council meeting on Tuesday when residents came to speak out on the subject.  

If approved by the West Orange Planning Board and Township Council, this declaration would make the area eligible for tax abatements and other incentives that could cost the township money.

“This is a massive real estate scheme that lacks credibility in the law,” said West Orange resident Sally Malanga. “If the planning board votes yes to calling Essex Green an area in need of redevelopment, I think it will be an abuse of a law geared for blighted areas.”

Sign Up for E-News

Resident Robert Daniel said he was “deeply distressed that the town council allowed the possibility of giving tax abatements to redevelop Essex Green.”

Referring to a possible plan to move the West Orange Animal Shelter to the newly renovated Essex Green if abatements are allowed, Daniel said, “The need for a new animal shelter should not drive what is happening in Essex Green.”

Resident Lewis Dorf said that the owners of Essex Green put out a comprehensive marketing plan months ago that showed Essex Green getting more high-end stores. He said they would not have put out such a document online if they felt the area was blighted.

In response to these concerns, Councilwoman Susan McCartney said the council only authorized the planning board to consider how the Essex Green site can be better used.

“There was no talk of funds,” she said. “In no way will we short-change the taxpayer.”

Councilwoman Michelle Casalino said the council must be proactive in looking into this issue since office complexes are now out of fashion.

“We will only support a plan that is advantageous to West Orange,” said Casalino, who added that the properties are obsolete—not blighted.

“I am concerned about opening up a Pandora box by certifying Essex Green as an area of redevelopment,” said Joe Krakoviak. “It opens up the possibility of tax abatements, which could cost West Orange millions of dollars in lost taxes.”

Earlier in the meeting, it was announced that McCartney will replace Krakoviak as council president in 2018. Read the story on her appointment HERE

The next council meeting will be held on Jan. 9.   

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Newark Councilwoman Launches Bid to Become First Female Mayor

January 17, 2018

NEWARK, NJ — Newark Central Ward Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins began her campaign to become the first female mayor of New Jersey's largest city, attacking the record and character of Mayor Ras Baraka.

Chaneyfield Jenkins also framed her run within the struggle of women in Newark and across America to assert themselves as part the growing movement against sexual assault ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_6d321ec9b97c5776a3cb_cruz_from_ap

Sun, January 28, 10:00 AM

Temple B'nai Abraham, Livingston

Victor Cruz, Former New York Giant, to Speak at ...

Sports

Carousel_image_6b43b5160fdb24b2f144_jan_28_jog

Sun, January 28, 1:00 PM

Our Lady of the Lake School, Verona

Our Lady of the Lake School Open House

Education

Carousel_image_29e48a9344d9033494d0_feb_13_jpg

Tue, February 13, 9:00 AM

Our Lady of the Lake School, Verona

Our Lady of the Lake School Open House

Education

West Orange Classic Film Festival Schedule for 2018

January 16, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Held on Sundays throughout January and February in the town where Thomas Edison invented movies, the West Orange Classic Film Festival has returned for its thirteenth season, once again giving lovers of cinema a chance to experience their favorite films on the big screen.

This year’s festival runs the gamut from slapstick comedy to character-driven thrillers, as ...

Follow the Money

In 2013 a man in the UK cleaned out his junk drawer and absently tossed an old hard drive dismantled from a Dell Computer into the trash.  The hard drive, rusting in landfill somewhere in Wales, contains 7500 bitcoins. 

  

At the time, his staggering loss was about $4 million.  But if he had wisely invested his failing hard drive in a bank safe deposit box his ...

Accepting Yourself

It is the beginning of January, which means college applications are due.

 

This is the time where high school seniors all across the country place their academic souls on the line and compete for spots in colleges and universities that reject more students than they accept.  

 

And so, as a public service to all of these smart and talented kids who spent their ...