Blue Onyx breaks ground on 78-unit complex in East Orange

Saying it will help bring much-needed affordable housing while helping to build community in East Orange, Blue Onyx Cos. broke ground on a 78-unit multifamily complex Tuesday.

The ground-up, five-story residential building will transform two lots and create a new campus — 14 Summit and the adjacent 18 Summit — which is designed to enhance and support the local community.

The construction at 14 Summit St. is expected to be completed by spring 2023.

CEO Levi Kelman speaks at the groundbreaking. (Blue Onyx Cos.)

The 77,913-square-foot project, located between North Arlington Avenue and North Walnut Street, will include eight studio apartments, 51 one-bedroom units and 19 two-bedroom units.

Blue Onyx officials said it will feature unique amenities, including a coworking space, state-of-the-art fitness center, pet washing station, community lounge, two rooftop terraces and bike storage rooms. Inglese Architecture and Engineering has designed “14 Summit” to blend with the surrounding brick buildings.

Blue Onyx CEO Levi Kelman said he hopes to build a community.

“Our existing, neighboring project, 18 Summit, offers quality, efficient and affordable units to an underserved population,” he said. “14 Summit builds off this communal success by catering to a broader consumer base in this very commuter-friendly and walkable area through a thoughtfully curated mix of diverse apartment types.

“This amenity-driven and inclusive project is designed with the vision to build a more connected community, which is at the heart of our mission.

“As always, we strive to carry out our development projects in a way that strengthens community bonds across New Jersey’s neighborhoods.”

The two-building, 2-acre complex offers easy access to the Garden State Parkway and Interstate 280 in the central section of Essex County. The transit-oriented site is located approximately a half-mile from Main Street, a major commercial corridor of the city, and the East Orange train station.

Blue Onyx has properties and holdings throughout New Jersey and in parts of New York. Since 2009, the company has focused on niche markets with untapped value and potential.

“Together, our two impressive properties in East Orange will cement the transformation we’ve pioneered in this area, with working families and commuters benefiting greatly from these new living options,” Adam Schlitt, manager of development, said.