Prism Pays Overdue Taxes to West Orange Township, Wins Final Approval For Phase 1



WEST ORANGE,  NJ - The company at the center of plans to redevelop West Orange’s downtown received final approval on Wednesday from the township’s planning board for the first phase of work, mere hours after settling nearly $125,000 in overdue property taxes.

The board gave its consent to plans for a combined residential and retail project centered on the former Edison Battery building at 175 Main Street. The project, to be known as Edison Lofts and built by Prism Green Urban Renewal Associates, represents the first of three phases of redevelopment planned for the area.

Sign Up for E-News

Wednesday’s planning board vote, which was unanimous, ratified minor corrections and clarifications to the language of a resolution passed at the board’s Sept. 5 meeting. That resolution had approved a detailed set of plans for Phase I.

At that earlier meeting, local residents had pointed out that Prism was delinquent on the property taxes it owed to West Orange on the property in question. Records available on the township’s website show that at the time of the Sept. 5 meeting, Prism had not yet paid its third-quarter taxes, due Aug. 1, on the 175 Main Street property in the amount of nearly $114,000. It was also delinquent on third-quarter taxes due on six other properties in West Orange, totaling nearly $10,900.

At township council meetings on Sept. 11 and Oct. 2, council members voiced concern over these revelations. Joe Krakoviak said he was “not comfortable with the idea that the planning board can give approval to an applicant that is delinquent on their taxes.” Council president Victor Cirilo said the township had “no tolerance [for delinquency]. You have to pay your bills. … If not, you suffer the consequences.”

Late Wednesday afternoon, Joanne Gagliardo, the township’s tax collector, confirmed by telephone that Prism had paid all its arrears earlier in the day. The planning board meeting was scheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m.

This is not the first time Prism has settled its property tax bills very shortly before a planning board meeting. Records show it failed to pay either its first-quarter or second-quarter 2012 taxes on the 175 Main street property on time.  These payments were due Feb. 1 and May 1 respectively. Prism ultimately paid these taxes on July 10. The planning board met to consider Prism’s application, among others, on July 11.

Councilwoman Susan McCartney, a member of the planning board, said at the Sept. 11 council meeting that planning board rules only require that an applicant be current on its taxes at the time of its original application, and that Prism had complied with this rule. Moreover, she said, “When they pull their permits, they have to be current [on their taxes].” Construction permits for Edison Lofts have not yet been issued by the West Orange building department.

Resident Rosary Morelli, however, disputed the claim that the planning board had properly ensured that Prism was up-to-date on its taxes at the time of application. This information could not be independently confirmed at press time.

Construction on the Edison Lofts is unlikely to begin right away. The planning board’s ruling may be appealed within 45 days, and construction permits must still be issued. In the meantime, several council members have pledged to investigate other concerns raised by residents at recent meetings. Notably, Prism is embroiled in a legal dispute with Wells Fargo over the mortgage on a property in the redevelopment area, the so-called Barton Press site on Lakeside Street. In response to this, and the revelations about Prism’s prior tax delinquency, Councilman Jerry Guarino, at the Sept. 11 meeting, called on the council to examine Prism’s balance sheet to determine the state of its financial health.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

$100 OFF per Week for Summer Camp Now!

July 12, 2018

Guerrero Marital Arts is now offering an 8-week summer camp for summer 2018!

Pick which weeks you want!

Camp Weeks are:

July 16, July 23, July 30, August 6, August 13, August 20, August 27

Includes the following:

Fun (through Sports, Play and Games)
Field Trips (may cost extra)
Life Lessons
Reading Time
Martial Arts
A great place to ...

Bucco Couture Summer Sale on All Custom Suits, Shirts and Casual Wear

NUTLEY, NJ — Save while looking sharp! 20% off all summer wear an extra 10% savings for Military, Veterans and all first responders at Bucco Couture, 187 Franklin Avenue in Nutley, with the launch of some new products such as our tracksuit line, crushed cotton drawstring pants and jeans. 

We also carry Bugatchi and Rober Graham casual wear as well as stretch high V-neck ...

Newark Lures Amazon With $1 Billion Payroll Tax Incentive

July 14, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Amazon will get a payroll tax break at a cost of $1 billion to the city should the company open its second headquarters in Newark, according to one of two ordinances approved by the Newark City Council council to sweeten the deal for the corporate giant and stand out among other locations vying for Amazon’s so-called HQ2.

“The City Council has brought Newark a ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, August 15, 10:00 AM

Cancer Center Resource Room, Belleville

Living Well with Parkinson’s Disease Support ...

Health & Wellness


Sat, August 25, 2:00 PM

Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center (OSPAC), West Orange


Arts & Entertainment Giving Back

West Orange PAL Spring Travel Baseball Teams Wrap Up (Championship Team Photos Included)

The West Orange PAL Spring Travel Baseball season started with a cold front. Practices began indoors in January with teams practicing two nights a week working on conditioning and baseball fundamentals. Once the snow had melted teams began battling the cold and working outdoors, with three or four practices a week in addition to their games. 

And the hard work and dedication paid off! All ...

Public Invited to Essex County Opioid Use Prevention Task Force Meeting

July 15, 2018

CALDWELL, NJ — All Essex County residents, mayors and councils, law enforcement members, school officials, clergy members, civic organizations and more are invited to join in the next Essex County Opioid Use Prevention Task Force meeting on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. to discuss how the Essex County communities can join work together to eradicate this epidemic.

The meeting will be held at the ...

Would Shedding

How much wood wouldn’t a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck woodn’t?


Enough already.  


I get it.  It is an easy mistake to make, misusing would and wouldn’t.  It happens to me all the time.


“Honey, when I said I didn’t see any reason why I would go to the ballet, I meant to say I couldn’t see ...

Extra Time

It was close to 70 minutes into the match and I had to go to the bathroom.  Badly.

As fans watching the World Cup know too well, bathroom breaks are a serious dilemma, especially for those who don’t have a TV in the loo.  This biological necessity is exasperated by beer, which during World Cup matches also fuels a strong propensity to throw chairs and instigate riots.