A plan to build a row of townhomes at 150 Taylor Street was approved by the planning board last week. The project, designed by Newark’s Brick City Reconstruction, includes four one-bedroom units, each with a one-car garage. The proposal requires the demolition of a one-story brick commercial building that used to house a supermarket.
A lawyer for the developer told the planning board that the project isn’t “viable without a tax abatement,” which requires approval from the city council.. “Most of the projects we’re presenting in Orange at this point — new construction — aren’t economically viable without a tax-abatement,” said Elnardo Webster, the developer’s hired attorney.
Council President Tency Eason, a planning board member, signaled that she may require that the units are “owner occupied” as a stipulation of an approval for a tax abatement. “If that’s what we’re after — home ownership — then the owner has to live in that property at least five years,” Eason said.
Across the street at 152 Taylor Street, the same developer and architect teamed up on a second proposal, which was also approved by the board. The three-story apartment building with nine residential units and an eight-car parking garage would also require a tax abatement. Both developments are located midway between the Orange and Brick Church train stations and are walking distance to Monte Irvin Orange Park.
Fiona Douglas, a Taylor Street resident, was concerned that development in her neighborhood would cause a loss of street parking in an already congested part of town. “Currently we’re struggling for parking,” Douglas said. “I really want to stress that.”
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