We know South Orange struggles as much as we do…pressure to increase housing density shows no sign of relenting—yet in the same month South Orange saves and re-purposes Town Hall, and opens a cutting edge community oriented business. You go South Orange! Great article on Village Green:
Re-purposing comes in many forms. South Orange reviewed three adaptive re-use alternatives for their historic Town Hall. On Springfield Avenue, national chain Advanced Auto Parts studied the old World Tire facility (circa 1940) and decided on adaptive re-use rather than demolition and construction of one of their signature highway stores. They leaned on the brand image a bit to save money, and the environment. More info on the Village Green: http://villagegreennj.com/business/advance-auto-parts-opening-springfield-avenue-july-16/
Our re-purposing “story board” looks at 97 Baker Street, recently sold and now ready for a second floor addition. The new 97 Baker will have three apartments on the second floor, a re-located dry cleaner counter and existing yoga studio on the first floor, plus a new simulated golf driving range and a juice bar. The recent purchase price was $1.2 million in an estate sale, and the new owner chose to invest in the second floor addition on top of that. JMF wants to buy the Post Office building for under $1 million? The Post Office is 15,000 square feet of finished space, while 97 Baker is only 7,000 square feet… Scratching your head like we are? See this storyboard start to finish at bit.ly/Repurpose_story
Note: Blueprints as Filed With Planning Board
Here is our final page of the Re-purposing “Story Board”. Part 1. South Orange evaluated three alternative uses for Town Hall, chose one following public review; Part 2. Advanced Auto re-purposed World Tire, and created a well-sited, environmentally friendly project to house their new retail location on Springfield Avenue; Part 3. 97 Baker Street is getting two new businesses at a small site that cost more to buy than JMF may pay for the Post Office (!), and 97 Baker gets a new second floor for residential use as a bonus. So what does the analysis for the Post Office site tell us to do? Well, so far, not very much. When we asked in early March, the Township reported that no analysis had been done. See this storyboard start to finish at: bit.ly/Repurpose_story. Tell the Town to step back and re-evaluate their 10 year old plan for the Post Office site. Planning Board meetings will start soon.
A growing collection of re-purposing examples of all kinds–post some of your own!