Unknown complications hold up Edison Village loan

Delay in acquiring $70 million construction loan keeps Edison Village redevelopment halted

WEST ORANGE, NJ — DGP Urban Renewal LLC — the entity consisting of Dune Real Estate Partners, Greenfield Partners and Prism Capital Partners — still has not closed on the $70 million construction loan it is seeking to fund the Edison Village redevelopment project, which means the property transfer from Prism to Dune has yet to take place and the August 2015 redevelopment agreement granting the right, title and interest in the project to Dune remains unexecuted.

Township business administrator Jack Sayers confirmed to the West Orange Chronicle that the loan has not been obtained as of press time Jan. 19, which he said probably means DGP and its lender are still working out some issues. Sayers said the township’s redevelopment counsel has not told him what those issues might be, and he does not know when the loan will be closed.

Prism Principal Partners Eugene Diaz and Edwin Cohen did not respond to a request for comment. Representatives from Dune did not responded to requests for comment either.

One matter that is no longer tying up the loan is the right-of-way located near 66 Main St., which Sayers said at the Jan. 5 West Orange Township Council meeting was an issue that might hold up progress. At its Jan. 13 meeting, the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders passed a resolution adjusting the lot line by granting DGP a quitclaim deed relinquishing all right, title and interest in the 505 square feet of county-owned land created by the right-of-way for the nominal fee of $1. The resolution stated that the parcel was not needed for public use.

But even with that issue resolved, the fact that the loan has not yet been obtained may be frustrating to township officials and residents alike who hope to see the mixed-use project — approved in 2006 — finally get off the ground. On Aug. 11, 2015, the council thought it was moving in the right direction by approving a redevelopment agreement bringing Dune and its $35 million infusion of new capital into the fold, only to learn three months later that Dune had never signed the document. In fact, the real estate investment firm made it clear that it will only sign the agreement after it receives a $70 million construction loan the newly formed DGP entity is seeking, at which time the property transfer between Prism and Dune will also be completed.

And though Diaz told the council at its Oct. 27, 2015, meeting that the loan would likely be obtained within the next 60 days, more than 80 days later that estimate has been proven wrong.

But the township has not lost hope, with Mayor Robert Parisi telling the Chronicle that the administration is supporting the process in any way it can.

“The town is trying to help by providing any items that need to come from the township,” Parisi said in a Jan. 15 phone interview. “We’re working with them and hopefully can ensure that they close soon.”