From the Star Ledger:
When millennials searching for walkable, transit-oriented communities are priced out of high rises in Hoboken and Jersey City, will they head to East Orange?
A recent $12 million land sale seems to suggest it might be.
According to commercial real estate broker Gebroe-Hammer Associates, a developer has purchased four apartment buildings in the Essex County city. East Orange has been working in recent years to change its reputation from a high-crime neighbor of Newark to a bustling transit-oriented community and “an example of urban excellence.”
The four buildings – at 24 South Grove Street, 25 North Harrison Street, 235 South Harrison Street, and 107 New Street – are all near the Brick Church Train Station, about a half an hour ride to NYC.
“East Orange’s greatest assets are its mass transit links, which have drawn copious private investment that is the on-going stimulus for revitalization initiatives as well as the introduction of millennials into the tenant-base demographic,” said Gebroe-Hammer Managing Director David Oropeza.
“East Orange’s population renting percentage continues to climb and exceed the state average.”
According to city officials, ProudLiving Companies, a Montclair-based developer, purchased the buildings. Company representatives did not return calls seeking comment on the purchase.
The sale comes after several city initiatives to make East Orange a viable option for young professionals, including a clean-up of vacant properties, crime crack-down, and designation as a transit village.
City officials called the purchase “urban excellence at its best.”
“(It’s) a continuation of our partnership with property owners, developers and real estate firms to purchase and rehab older housing stock for our existing residents and to attract potential newcomers,” said Valerie Jackson, East Orange’s Director of Policy, Planning and Development.
“Modernizing these residential buildings will further enhance our efforts to develop around our train stations and increase the walkability of our community.”
It is unclear when renovations will begin.