SOVCA to lead master plan sessions in Downtown South Orange

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The South Orange Village Center Alliance has announced the scheduling and dates for engaging with downtown businesses in the South Orange Master Plan visioning process.

“The Master Plan process is an extremely important tool for our various stakeholders to imagine what kind of downtown they would like to see in the years ahead, so I’m thrilled that SOVCA will be serving as ambassadors for the business and property owners throughout our district,” SOVCA Chairman Steven Pedigo said.

Pedigo has significant experience working with cities on their master plans as director of the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate Urban Lab and as director of research and advising for the Creative Class Group.

“The new Master Plan will be a blueprint for how our downtown evolves in the coming years, and will touch on all the vital components that comprise a great downtown, including retail mix, development, parking, walkability and sustainability,” SOVCA Executive Director Bob Zuckerman said. “We’re excited to meet with our stakeholders to hear their thoughts and ideas on the future of downtown South Orange, because as business owners and property owners they will play an instrumental role in how downtown South Orange is shaped over the next several decades.”

These Master Plan meetings will be question-and-answer sessions led by Zuckerman, who will play an impartial role as moderator. Sessions will be as follows:

  • Session for downtown property owners on Tuesday, Jan. 15, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at 76 South Orange Ave., third-floor conference room;
  • Session for downtown upper-floor businesses, meaning professional offices, on Tuesday, Jan. 22, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at 76 South Orange Ave., third-floor conference room;
  • Session for retailers, restaurateurs and service business owners on Monday, Feb. 4, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at The Fox & Falcon, 19 Valley St.; and
  • Session for retailers, restaurateurs and service business owners on Wednesday, Feb. 13, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at The Fox & Falcon, 19 Valley St.

Boards, commissions and advisory groups, including SOVCA, have self-selected representatives to the Master Plan process, and Zuckerman will be the point person for SOVCA’s downtown sessions. Zuckerman will report his findings to the Master Plan Steering Committee, which is responsible for submitting all information back to the Master Plan Management Committee. From there, the input collected will be turned over to Topology, South Orange’s planning firm that is overseeing the Master Plan, to begin drafting the new Master Plan.

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