Collum: Fourth and Valley Negotiations Are Back On

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Discussions for a mixed-use development at the corner of Fourth and Valley in South Orange are back on.

Village President Sheena Collum first announced that the negotiations with Meridia Capodagli Property had recommenced at the Board of Trustees meeting on April 25, saying that the developer had now proposed “something acceptable to the village” regarding bulk standards and was working with a representative of the Academy Heights Neighborhood Association on design standards.

In March, Collum announced that a proposed large-scale mixed-use development at Fourth and Valley would not move forward with Meridia as conditional redeveloper due to the size of the project. Meridia was proposing a 5-story, 330-unit project, according to neighbors.

Now that number has been significantly reduced.

“It will have 90 market rate units, 10 affordable, and a proposed 10,000 square feet of retail with possibly a restaurant with a rooftop bar,” wrote Collum in an email, after updating the public at the Board of Trustees meeting on May 9.

The development is now only on the parcel at the south side of the original site, on the property currently housing Monte Motors.

“The scale is similar to that of 3rd and Valley,” wrote Collum. “The conversations are ongoing with our development committee and representatives of the Academy Heights Neighborhood Association.”

At the May 9 Board of Trustees meeting, Collum noted that, because the development is situated in a rehabilitation zone, it is eligible for “up to a 5-year tax abatement.” However, Collum stressed that the town had made no commitment as yet for an abatement and was awaiting the completion of a financial analysis of the project before making a decision regarding an abatement (the town has hired a financial analyst to review such projects; fees for the analyst are paid by developers).

Collum also said that the project was being vetted through the town’s Development Committee, and next steps would involved design guidelines and standards as well as a study of traffic impact.

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