While South Orange finalizes a request for proposals for a permanent tenant for the former Jersey Animal Coalition site at 298 Walton Street, the cross-fit training business Run Jump Lift will occupy the space temporarily for six months.
The South Orange Board of Trustees awarded the temporary lease at its meeting on Monday, April 11. The lease takes effect immediately.
Village President Sheena Collum explained, “We were approached through our Village Center Alliance by a business owner Run Jump Lift owned by Malcolm Chisholm who was interested in doing a temporary lease agreement…. [however] the Village will be doing a competitive RFP through our town-wide redevelopment designation to create a redevelopment plan to see what would be the best use for us, for our neighbors in Maplewood, for our animal control issues and also for the direct neighborhood.”
In the meantime, Collum noted that the Village had “built in six months where the property is not being used by anyone … so we thought it would be a good idea to open that up to someone to use.”
The short-term lease was bid publicly for two weeks and Run Jump Lift won. The cross-fit facility will pay $2,500/month for rent and maintain hours not to exceed 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Collum noted that Run Jump Lift has also indicated interest in leasing the property long term — as has People for Animals which is looking at providing a trap neuter program and animal shelter on the property.
Immediate neighbors of the project are happy with the temporary tenant.
“We are just delighted to have a new neighbor and have somebody make us stronger figuratively and literally,” said Richard Bell of the Farrell Field Park Conservancy during public comments.