WEST ORANGE, NJ — Due to the new apartments quickly filling up at Mews at Edison Lofts, the Township of West Orange announced its plans on Tuesday to add a jitney stop there to provide its residents with free jitney services to catch the New Jersey Transit Midtown Direct train line at Brick Church Station.
John Sayers, business administrator, reported that there are now 14 people living in the 21 rented units at the Edison Mews, which was created by renovating the Edison Battery Building. Sayers said that Prism Capital Partners, which launched the construction of this project in 2016, expects the Edison Mews to be fully rented by the end of July.
As per the contract with the township, Sayers said that Prism will pay the Township of West Orange $30,000 to help offset the jitney service once the entire Edison Mews complex is rented.
Lenny LePore, municipal engineer, said the $30,000 figure that was agreed to at the time of the agreement between West Orange and Prism to build the Edison Mews covered the cost of the driver and the additional time element to pick up passengers. He added the costs to run the jitney have increased, so the $30,000 will no longer cover all the costs to serve the Edison Mews residents.
LePore said the route 6 jitney would have an additional stop to help Edison Mews residents catch the Midtown Direct train from Monday to Friday.
During public comment at Tuesday’s meeting, resident Clare Sylvestri said she was pleased to hear that Prism would allot $30,000 to help cover the cost of the jitney service.
John Gross, chief financial officer, added that it is good to see Prism exceeding its initial projections to rent the units.
“West Orange will get revenue from this project this year,” said Gross.
With regard to Prism, Councilman Joe Krakoviak asked Gross and Sayers why Prism has not paid its taxes since May 1, making it now two months overdue. He added that as part of its redevelopment plan agreement with the township, Prism had agreed to pay its taxes on time—something it has failed to do numerous times, he said.
Gross said that Prism has been notified about the late taxes, and that its taxes have always been paid with 18 percent interest added in to cover late fees in the past.
“When Prism is called, they always pay their taxes with the 18-percent interest when they are late,” said Sayers.
The next council meeting will be held on July 17.
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