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Monday, October 31, 2016

New Mixed-Use Building Planned for South Orange


South Orange, New Jersey: A rapidly changing Essex County community could soon see another development project.

A new mixed-use development has been proposed for 114-116 Valley Street in South Orange, near the corner of Third Street. Documents from the South Orange Village Planning Board show that the developer is planning a three-story building at the site. Should the project be approved, there will be six one-bedroom units and two two-bedroom units on the upper two floors of the building, plus 600 square feet of ground floor commercial space. 12 off-street parking stalls are also proposed.

Currently, NAPA Valley Auto Parts and a house reportedly dating to 1850 are located on the property. Under the plan, the buildings would be demolished to make way for the new development. The developer, 116 Valley Street, LLC is based out of a house in Hillsborough, Somerset County. NJ Parcels records show that the company acquired the house last November for $158,000 as a sheriff's sale.

In recent months, two projects have been completed on Valley Street. Third & Valley, a 215-unit development with retail space and an outdoor pool, opened this summer near the property, and Blink Fitness opened near the Stop & Shop supermarket last week. A 22-unit apartment building is also planned for 320 Valley Street, and proposals have surfaced for residential development at Fourth and Valley Streets.

The board will hear the proposal on Monday, November 7th at 7:30pm at the South Orange Performing Arts Center.

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Photo of the Day 10/31/16


This photo shows the Military Park Building and 80 Park Place in Newark's Downtown.

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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Photo of the Day 10/30/16


Although currently a vacant lot in the East Ward, the next phase of Newark's Riverfront Park will be developed here.

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Photo of the Day 10/29/16


These photos show the headquarters of the Essex Fells Police Department and the Essex Fells Volunteer Fire Company.



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Friday, October 28, 2016

Newark Museum's Front Entrance Will Be Utilized Again


Newark, New Jersey: Visitors could soon be able to enter New Jersey's largest museum through the front entrance again.

Currently, in order to enter The Newark Museum, located at 49 Washington Street opposite Washington Park in Downtown Newark, visitors must walk around the corner to the parking lot and enter through the side entrance. The original main entrance, located under signs reading 'Science', 'Art', and 'Industry' in a part of the building that dates back over 100 years, has been closed for decades. 

However, city documents show that museum officials are planning to change that. The Newark Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission approved a proposal in July to allow the museum "to build, repair and reposition the existing bronze Washington Street front doors in order to facilitate required egress". Plus, a new handicaipped accessible ramp will be installed, as will a bronze and glass entryway to "create an inviting and engaging appearance for both visitors, local residents and passers-by".

Admission to The Newark Museum is free to Newark residents, and the museum will hold Newark Community Day this Saturday from 11:00am to 9:00pm, with a variety of free art projects, tours, scavenger hunts, and other activities for families in the afternoon and adults at night.

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New Warehouse Planned for Large Lot in Newark's East Ward


Newark, New Jersey: A new warehouse is proposed for Newark's East Ward.

According to a legal notice, the massive new facility could be built at 173-269 Doremus Avenue, near Roanoke Avenue and Avenue P, in an industrial area of the city between the New Jersey Turnpike and the Passaic River. The warehouse and distribution center, which would be owned by The Morris Companies in Rutherford, Bergen County, is slated to contain 872,000 square feet of floor area, plus car and truck parking. The lot has most recently been vacant, but has previously been used for container storage.

The Newark Central Planning Board heard the proposal earlier this week.

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Fairfield Dunkin' Donuts Location to Reopen


Fairfield, New Jersey: A former Dunkin' Donuts location in Western Essex County will be reopening. 

The Dunkin' Donuts location at 294 Route 46 East, between the Horseneck Road overpass and Hollywood Avenue, closed its doors close to five years ago. Since then, the restaurant has sat abandoned on the side of the highway next to the Comfort Inn. Now, according to a legal notice from the Fairfield Township Planning Board, a company called Siddhi Vinayak Donuts is proposing to reopen the location. The board approved of the franchise's proposal earlier this month with conditions.

There are two other Dunkin' Donuts locations with the Township of Fairfield, one of which is along the westbound side of Route 46.

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Photo of the Day 10/28/16


This photo was taken outside of the Golden Farm Market in Newark's East Ward.

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Photo of the Day 10/27/16


This photo shows the Midtown Manhattan skyline and the Pulaski Skyway as seen from the Jackson Street Bridge in Newark.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Beginning of the End for Abandoned Essex County Jail?


Newark, New Jersey: Could this be the beginning of the end for one of Essex County's largest abandoned buildings?

Currently, the former Essex County Jail sits vacant and abandoned at the corner of New and Newark Streets in the University Heights neighborhood of Newark's Central Ward. The building, closed for over 45 years, sits next to the Norfolk Street Station on the Newark Light Rail. The building, part of which is nearly 180 years old is best known becuase the 1992 film 'Malcolm X' was partially filmed inside of it.

One of the reasons why the massive complex has never been demolished is because it is listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and the New Jersey Register of Historic Places. However, records from the City of Newark show that this could soon change. According to the minutes from the July 13th meeting of the Newark Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission, Rutgers Law School filed a petition to de-register the complex, which is owned by the City of Newark, from both registers, and that no action was required by the commission.

Rutgers Law School did not respond to a request for comment, and no proposals have been heard by city commissions and boards recently regarding future use for the facility. Former Essex County facilities that became abandoned have seen mixed fates, with the former Essex County Isolation Hospital in Belleville becoming a mixed-use development, while the former Essex County Hospital Center in Cedar Grove was demolished to make way for a park and the former United Hospital in Newark was demolished to make way for the Donald Payne School.

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New Pizzeria Opens in Downtown Newark


Newark, New Jersey: A new pizzeria is now open for business in Downtown Newark.

Two Brothers Pizza opened at 16 Clinton Street in Newark's East Ward, between Broad Street and Beaver Street, at the beginning of last week. The space is located within the National Newark Building, and was previously occupied by the Grill House restaurant and the Galleria. According to the business Instagram account, many items are served, such as spring salad pizza, pineapple and bacon pizza, garlic knots, and cheesesteak. 

The restaurant, which had another location along Broad Street in Newark's Lower Broadway neighborhood, does not appear to be affiliated with the New York dollar pizza chain with the same name.

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Photo of the Day 10/26/16


This sign welcomes visitors to Essex Fells, the smallest borough in the county.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Photo of the Day 10/25/16


This photo shows the Dock Bridge in Newark with the area where Riverfront Park will be expanded to in the distance.

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Street Corner 'Urban Superette' Coming to Downtown Newark


Newark, New Jersey: A new convenience store concept is reportedly coming to Newark. 

According to a listing from Colliers International, Street Corner Sips, Snax & Stuff will open a location within the IDT Building at 520 Broad Street in Downtown, between Bridge Street and Lombardy Street, just across from Washington Park. Street Corner is based in Topeka, Kansas, and currently has franchises at the Newport Centre Mall in Jersey City and in Jackson, Ocean County and Rockaway Township, Morris County. The company Facebook page advertises its new 'urban superette' stores, one of which is located in Downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, as offering convenience items, groceries, fresh foods, a salad bar, and deli, plus fingerprint payment. 

The first floor of the IDT Building is being converted into retail and commercial spaces. As Essex County Place exclusively reported last month, Planet Fitness is coming to one of the spaces, while the others are available for lease. 

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New Tower Planned Near Brick Church Station


East Orange, New Jersey: A new building could tower over the City of East Orange.

A massive 17-story residential tower has been proposed for 20-30 Evergreen Place, at the corner of Freeway Drive East, just across Route 280 from the Brick Church Station on NJ Transit's Morris and Essex Lines. In March, East Orange's City Council approved a resolution to designate TD+Partners and J.G. Petrucci Company, Inc. as the lot's developers, stating that "the City desires that the project area be developed in accordance with the (Transit Village) Redevelopment Plan".

TD+Partners has since posted designs for the project, referred to as 'The Station at Brick Church'. According to the company's website, the project, which will cost $100 million, "will transform a more than 20 year vacant property in the City of East Orange into a captivating mixed-use community". Phase 1 of 'The Station' could be completed in 2018, and Clark Caton Hintz will be the project architect.

The property has been vacant for close to 10 years, but previously contained two abandoned office buildings.

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New Wireless Tower Planned for Short Hills


Short Hills, New Jersey: A new communication structure could tower over a wooded part of Millburn Township.

According to a legal notice published in The Star-Ledger, Mobilitie, LLC is "proposing to construct a new telecommunications tower facility" along John F. Kennedy (JFK) Parkway. The notice states that the tower is slated to consist of a 120-foot utility pole one mile west of Parsonage Hill Road. Those who wish to comment regarding the potential effects of the new facility are asked to call (781) 572-0698.

Mobilitie, a Sprint vendor, is based in California, and markets itself as "the largest privately held wireless infrastructure company in the United States".

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New Coffee Shop Opening in South Orange


South Orange, New Jersey: A new restaurant is opening in South Orange.

The South Orange Coffee Shop and Deli is coming to 311 Valley Street, between Lackawanna Place and Fourth Street. A business employee told Essex County Place that the business, located adjacent to Memorial Park, will be open mornings and afternoons every day except Sunday. It will be the only coffee shop along the Valley Street corridor.

The space was previously occupied by Valley Portuguese BBQ and The Blue Lily Gift Shop.

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Photo of the Day 10/24/16


This photo shows Riverfront Park in Newark with One World Trade Center in New York in the distance.

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

PHOTOS: Clinton and Trump Hold Rallies in Philadelphia Area


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Both of the leading presidential candidates came to rallies in Southeastern Pennsylvania this weekend that were attended by thousands of people.

Republican Donald Trump spoke at an event at an athletic club in the suburban Bucks County township of Newtown on Friday evening. Topics addressed by Trump ranged from immigration to Common Core, and he also discussed manufacturing in the region, stating that "just a few miles from here, there's a famous bridge that says Trenton Makes, The World Takes. Under a Trump administration, I can promise you we are going to start making things in America again." At one point, after making claims regarding crime rates in the country, Trump said "you don't hear that from these dishonest people back there, meaning the media, look at them", at which point the entire crowd turned around and booed, chanting ''CNN sucks" and other lines.

The following evening, both Democratic candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and vice-presidential candidate Senator Tim Kaine took the stage 30 miles south on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, with the Center City skyline in the background. Clinton, speaking outdoors on one of the coldest nights of the season, mentioned mass incarceration, the economy, higher education, and other issues. Additional speakers included candidates for Pennsylvania state offices and Katie McGinty, a candidate to represent Pennsylvania in the United States Senate.

One of the 7,000 attendees at Clinton's rally was resident Michael Grant, best known as Philly Jesus, who told Essex County Place that having events like this in Philadelphia is "nice", but that he is "on the fence" about which candidate he supports.


Above: Donald Trump speaks in Newtown, Pennsylvania


Above: Audience members protest the media at Donald Trump's Newtown, Pennsylvania rally


Above: Trump speaks to attendees in Newtown, Pennsylvania


Above: Donald Trump's speech was broadcasted live from Newtown, Pennsylvania


Above: Hillary Clinton waves to rally attendees in Philadelphia


Above: Senator Tim Kaine speaks at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia


Above: Attendees watch Senator Tim Kaine and Secretary Hillary Clinton in front of the Philadelphia skyline


Above: Hillary Clinton watches as Senator Tim Kaine speaks in Philadelphia


Above: Secretary Hillary Clinton speaks to the crowd in Philadelphia


Above: Secretary Hillary Clinton spoke in Philadelphia at approximately 10:00pm after speaking in Pittsburgh earlier in the day


Above: An attendee takes a photo as Hillary Clinton speaks in Philadelphia


Above: Philly Jesus leaves Hillary Clinton's rally

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Photo of the Day 10/23/16


This photo shows Cherry Lane at South Mountain Reservation in Millburn.

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Photos of the Day 10/22/16


These photos show Saint Peter's Episcopal Church in Essex Fells.



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Friday, October 21, 2016

Photo of the Day 10/21/16


Rutgers-Newark will build a new mixed-use development at this site on Halsey Street.

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Photo of the Day 10/20/16


The recently redeveloped 91 Halsey Street in Newark is seen in this photo.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Photo of the Day 10/19/16


This photo shows buildings along Broad Street in Downtown Newark.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Photo of the Day 10/18/16


This photo shows the Hahne's Building in Newark.

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Photo of the Day 10/17/16


This photo shows the historic Veterans Administration Building in Newark.

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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Photo of the Day 10/16/16


This photo shows the main branch of the Newark Public Library.

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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Photo of the Day 10/15/16


This old light is located atop the Bridge Street Bridge in Newark.

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Friday, October 14, 2016

Photo of the Day 10/14/16


This photo shows the New Jersey Bell Headquarters Building in Downtown Newark, which is being converted into apartments.

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Photo of the Day 10/13/16


This photo shows Broad Street in Downtown Newark.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Photo of the Day 10/12/16


This photo shows Downtown South Orange before a rain storm.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

South Orange Seeks New Use for Former Animal Shelter Building


South Orange, New Jersey: Local officials are once again seeking new use for a former animal shelter.

The Township of South Orange Village has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the former Jersey Animal Coalition (JAC) shelter, located between Farrell Field and the South Orange Department of Public Works facility at 298 Walton Avenue, near the Maplewood border. The request states that the Village "is accepting proposals for the lease and occupancy of property". 

Proposals are expected to include "adaptive re-use of the building" while "preserving and utilizing existing structure and the creation of a use and occupancy that is in scale and compatible with the surrounding neighborhood and the ongoing Department of Public Works operations on the same site". Submissions are due by Friday, October 14. 

JAC opened an animal center in the Village-owned building in 2005 to serve South Orange and Maplewood, and it remained open until March of 2014, when a joint health inspection by the South Orange and New Jersey Departments of Health led to the shelter's closure for alleged health code violations. After JAC sued the Village and several of its agencies and employees in July, 2014, a New Jersey Superior Court judge ordered that the shelter be allowed to reopen. As part of an agreement with the Village, JAC left the shelter in November, 2014. Most recently, Run Jump Lift has operated a CrossFit studio in the building.

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Photo of the Day 10/11/16


This photo shows a 'ghost sign' for Bamberger's in Newark.

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Chipotle Not Opening New Location in South Orange


South Orange, New Jersey: Once again, rumors have circulated on social media regarding a Chipotle Mexican Grill location coming to Downtown South Orange. 

"I've been waiting for the South Orange Chipotle since the day I was born", tweeted one user.

A flyer was created this week advertising a new Chipotle 'restaruant' at the recently completed Third & Valley development at 153 Valley Street. The flyer claims that a grand opening celebration will be held on Saturday, March 11th.

However, officials tell Essex County Place that there are no plans for a Chipotle in the Village. 

"I saw it myself tonight", said Bob Zuckerman of the South Orange Village Center Alliance, referring to the flyer. "It is indeed fraudulent", he added.

Danielle Moore, Chipotle's Public Relations and Communications Manager, told Essex County Place that the company does not discuss new restaurant locations until a lease is signed and construction has been scheduled.

Two years ago, a fake flyer was created advertising a new Chipotle restaurant at The Gateway on West South Orange Avenue. The only Chipotle locations in Essex County are in West Orange and Newark, and the only business currently slated for Third & Valley is Artistry Salon.

Photo via dvnk82/Twitter

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Phil Murphy Opens Campaign Office in Newark


Newark, New Jersey: A candidate for New Jersey governor has opened another office in Essex County.

Phil Murphy, who is running as a Democrat in the 2017 election, just opened an Essex County campaign office last week at 744 Broad Street in Downtown Newark, between Commerce Street and Clinton Street. The space, located on the first floor of the National Newark Building, was previously occupied by Verizon Wireless and FedEx Kinko's. 

Murphy, a resident of Middletown, Monmouth County, was endorsed last week outside of the Essex County Courthouse by several local officials, including Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Congressman Donald Payne, Jr., Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca, Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, and Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr.

New Jersey State Senate President Stephen Sweeney announced last week that he would not run for governor after telling Essex County Place in July at the Democratic National Convention that "I think you've got a handful of candidates who are going to run and we'll see what happens". 

State Senator Raymond Lesniak, who told Essex County Place over the summer that "if I enter the race, I expect to win", announced that he was filing paperwork to enter on Friday, according to WHYY. Senator Lesniak has already begun tweeting about the race, posting yesterday that "the leadership thought it better to support Murphy with his tens of millions of campaign funds and support from the political establishment".

Murphy for Governor already has a presence in Newark with its campaign headquarters at the Gateway Center.

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