Renovations to the former South Orange Village Hall are moving along, and the community will soon have a gorgeous new restaurant, beer garden and event space anchoring downtown.
“Meet your new Village Hall Restaurant, Beer Garden, and Catering Hall/Event Space coming very soon,” wrote Village President Sheena Collum on Facebook on May 18. “I promise it will have been worth the wait. The attention to detail and craftsmanship is absolutely breathtaking. This is an adaptive reuse and historic renovation at its finest.”
The project has been years in the making, with Landmark Development receiving unanimous approval from the South Orange Village Board of Trustees for financial and redevelopment agreements for the sale of historic Village Hall in November 2015 after months of wrangling, public forums and a bidding process for the site. The project is receiving a 20-year, graduated PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes).
The site plan was approved by the South Orange Planning Board in 2017, and Landmark paid the Village $1.2 million for the property. Total costs for the construction, liquor license, purchase, landscaping, contingency, etc. were projected at that time to bring the project’s costs to about $6.5 million for Landmark.
A lawsuit by a neighboring property owner, challenging the Planning Board’s ruling on the project, was settled in 2018.
Photos courtesy Sheena Collum.