The What and the Why
In May 2003, JMF’s founder Joe Forgione saw the opportunity to truly revitalize the South Orange, New Jersey community through high-end transit-oriented residences and ground floor retail immediately adjacent to the train station.
More than 3,400 daily passengers came directly to the site to take advantage of South Orange’s enviable transit services, connecting South Orange to New York City, Newark and the Metro New York region. Despite this constant and significant influx of traffic, the area lacked reasons to stay.
Recognizing that in order for South Orange to be revitalized successfully it needed a big idea, Joe, along with his other partners, proposed two simultaneous projects—a high-end residential building and ground floor retail immediately adjacent to the train station. Breaking ground in 2007 on both projects, with retail – Manhattan’s legendary Eden Marketplace gourmet grocery and the Above Restaurant & Bar – opening its doors first in 2009.
In May 2010, The Avenue at South Orange officially opened to the public. Activity from new residents increased the economic sustainability of the Township’s downtown businesses and provided significant ratable revenues in the form of a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement with the municipality. An integral part the revitalization of South Orange, The Avenue at South Orange is widely recognized as being part of a well-planned, well-managed, smart-growth strategy that adds new residences, new businesses and new jobs in close proximity to transit, while preserving character and sense of community.