The Residences at Edison Lofts on Main Street in West Orange — Courtesy: Prism Capital Partners
By Joshua Burd
Prism Capital Partners has all but leased up a collection of 300 apartments in West Orange, part of its redevelopment of a historic Thomas Edison factory complex in the downtown.
The developer announced last week that the Main Street property, The Residences at Edison Lofts, is now 95 percent leased. Executives say the luxury complex has drawn interest from “residents of all ages and a wide geographic area” since it opened in 2018, contributing to the milestone for the acclaimed project.
“We are incredibly proud of what we have accomplished here,” said Edwin Cohen, a principal partner with Nutley-based Prism. “Edison Lofts is a true preservation of this New Jersey landmark, one that brings a once blighted section of downtown into modern times and sets the stage for its future progress as a dynamic community.”
The debut of the rental property marked a transformation of the once-crumbling, 400,000-square-foot Edison Battery Factory building and its surrounding grounds, Prism said. The structure is now home to a mix of studio and one-, two- and three-bedroom units, offering amenities such as a fitness center, an indoor pool and a rooftop deck, among others.
The project also includes a ground-up component known as The Mews at Edison Lofts, which Prism describes as a boutique collection of 34 homes. Additionally, the site houses a discreet 630-space parking structure and 18,400 square feet of retail space.
“For Prism, purchasing a vacant, negative cash-flow property like this poses enormous financial risk,” Cohen said, recalling the firm’s designation in December 2006 as the redeveloper for the 21-acre Edison Village site. “In addition to monthly carry costs, there is a significant amount of capital investment necessary to turn the property into a stabilized, income-producing asset.”
Prism completed a significant amount of demolition and site work in 2008, prior to the Great Recession, and finally received site plan approval for the Edison Lofts component in late 2012. Following a lengthy legal challenge from a small group of residents, the firm secured construction financing in February 2016.
“From the very start, Prism has remained committed to this special project,” Cohen said. “We have delivered on our promise to create a property that serves as a key economic driver for this vital section of West Orange’s Main Street and highlights the deep history of this iconic structure that had fallen into disrepair.”