Jonathan Rose Cos. broke ground Friday on a project to transform a South Orange parking lot into 215 new apartments, just steps from the village's downtown and a rail station to Manhattan.
The $64.4 million project by the New York-based developer, known as Third & Valley, also will include 4,000 square feet of commercial space and a parking garage with more than 500 spaces. Completion is scheduled for fall 2015.
Representatives from the firm and local officials gathered Friday at the site, which sits at Valley and Third streets and also once housed the South Orange Rescue Squad, to officially kick off construction. The project is designed to fit the profile of other Jonathan Rose properties, which calls for environmentally friendly features and building materials.
It's also the latest redevelopment project in recent years for the Essex County suburb, which has sought to revive its main business district through a plan that goes back several years.
The village was featured in this week's NJBIZ Real Estate Report as a New Jersey town that's taking the right approach to development.
"The work that we're doing, really, is to carry out the vision that the town brought to the site," said Jonathan F.P. Rose, the firm's president, pointing to street-level retail, mixed-income units and new commuter parking. "All of those key elements of the project were really thought of before we came here, and then we brought our commitment to making this a much greener project."
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