The South Orange Village Center Alliance is seeking to expand the boundaries of the special improvement district that it oversees — bringing new developments along Valley Street into its assessment area and expanding services to those properties and their tenants.
A letter (see below) was mailed to all property owners in the area on October 29. The property owners have until Friday, November 20 to comment.
After that, the planning and zoning committees of the South Orange Village Board of Trustees will vet the request. Ultimately, an ordinance for the expansion of the district will be introduced before the Board of Trustees. The ordinance will have a first reading and introduction, following by a second reading and public hearing at a subsequent meeting.
Since its creation two and a half years ago, the South Orange Village Center Alliance reports that it has brought increased marketing, cleaning services and streetscape improvements to South Orange’s Village Center. The group performed a retail study, created materials to attract new businesses, and works strategically with town officials on development issues. More obviously, SOVCA produces events like Downtown After Sundown and PlayDay South Orange, which have enlivened the Village Center.
The district boundaries roughly follow the spine of South Orange Avenue from Prospect Street to Church Street and extend along Valley Street to Third Street. The new boundaries would expand the district south along Valley nearly to Fifth Street.
Why is the district expanding?
“We believe that expanding our district boundaries as we have proposed makes sense now, given the fact that Third and Valley will be open soon, and, as a result, will expand our retail footprint on Valley Street,” explained SOVCA Executive Director Bob Zuckerman. “We hope to provide the same level of business assistance, marketing and supplemental sanitation to this emerging new retail corridor on Valley Street as we do for the rest of our Village Center, which is why we are seeking to expand at this time.”