Orange, N.J. – There is a lot to like about Orange, N.J., one of New Jersey’s smallest yet most-transformative cities where upscale multifamily deliveries are drawing a new renter-by-choice cohort, according to the development team at PEEK Properties. The firm recently delivered 50 Class-A units to the market at APEX Orange Crossing, which launched leasing in August and is the first of three residential phases that also includes SUMMIT (99 units) and PINNACLE (91 units).

Situated at 276 Reock St. in the city’s Main Street Redevelopment Area, Orange Crossing serves as a high-identity residential anchor just one block from NJ Transit’s Orange Train Station and the Main Street Business District.

“While it may have been one of Northern New Jersey’s best-kept urban-living secrets, Orange is being considered more and more by renter-by-choice young professionals seeking a 24/7 living district with immediate-neighborhood rail connectivity to Manhattan,” said PEEK’s Phillip J. Evanski who, along with Emmanuel Klein, serves as the company’s managing partners. “After years of planning, Orange has successfully leveraged its Transit Village designation to power its redevelopment and engage responsible private developers with a shared vision for sustainable living options.”

Over the course of the past decade, public officials have collaborated with development firms like PEEK to transform underutilized land parcels surrounding the train station into sustainably constructed midrise and high-rise residential and mixed-use buildings. With Orange Train Station and Main Street as the epicenter – and APEX at Orange Crossing as the newest apartment property in the area – some of the latest residential development deliveries include Linc32 (113 apartment-rental units) and the adjacent Linc52 (24 condominium units), as well as the five-story, 72-unit mixed-use property at 50 – 55 South Essex Ave. In addition to flanking South Essex Avenue directly adjacent to and steps from Orange Station, the latter is home to the award-winning Four City Brewing Company, which occupies ground-floor retail space totaling 10,000SF, and serves as an important neighborhood anchor connecting all three of the city’s redevelopment zones.

In terms of underway construction projects, there is Orange Crossing’s second and third installments as well as Essex & Crane – the largest redevelopment for the district at 410 luxury apartment units. Other area improvements include green open spaces, pedestrian walkways and 750 resident and public parking spaces at the entry of Orange Station.

While the amenities vary by property, examples of on-site lifestyle conveniences include fitness centers, lounges, rooftop decks, bike storage, electric charging stations and on-premises or nearby parking garages. Nearby landmarks also include Libretti’s Restaurant in the Little Italy section, Orange Park’s 48 acres, Military Park Commons and the Orange Public Library.

“In the next 12 to 18 months, more than 600 luxury apartment units are coming online at or adjacent to Orange Station while across town less than a mile away at Highland Train Station another development hub is taking shape,” said Klein, who noted PEEK has a two-phase project at 416 Highland Ave., slated for a total of 240 luxury apartment homes. “Transit centers – especially those in former industrial cities – have proven their capability to pave the way for multifamily development, which in turn stimulates businesses and economic development – both of which appeal to local, regional and national retailers.”

Another high-profile redevelopment giving rise to the Highland Station neighborhood is 606 Freeman St., a planned 103-unit five-story apartment community. Situated within what is known as the Valley neighborhood, at the boundary near West Orange.

Transit-Focused Redevelopment Fuels Urban Transformation    

At PEEK’s APEX at Orange Crossing, Orange’s multi-tiered makeover has been a magnet for a new crop of tenants. “We’re hearing from many of our new residents they were pleasantly surprised by the ‘new’ Orange and its many choices for dining and shopping along Main Street as well as the arts district, parks and one-seat connectivity to Midtown Manhattan,” said Director of Property Management, Darla Rodriguez.

“A high percentage of our tenant demographic has ties to suburban Essex County municipalities,” she added. “As a result, they have embraced the changing landscape in Orange as a 24/7 walkable town with retail, restaurants, character and history offering a high-end living experience – with greater affordability as compared to surrounding towns and even Bergen or Passaic County.”

Orange is centrally situated along the important East Essex Corridor, which connects the collective “Oranges” – the urban hubs of East Orange and Orange as well as its suburban counterparts West Orange and South Orange – to Newark, a leading employment, educational, retail, dining, cultural, entertainment and recreational hub.

Positioned at the Crossroads of New Jersey, where I-280 and the Garden State Parkway intersect – the region’s highway network of the New Jersey Turnpike and Route 21 rounds out NJ Transit’s extensive rail and bus network.

Established in 2018, PEEK Properties is a fully integrated developer, owner and operator of multifamily projects located in New Jersey with a primary focus on urban areas that offer existing value-add properties or new development sites. While subscribing to a long-term strategic approach to owning and operating properties, PEEK seeks to work in partnership with local municipalities and is one of the earliest adopters of utilizing the Qualified Opportunity Fund structure for projects located in Opportunity Zones.