The redevelopment of Orange’s Main Street District hit a major milestone recently with the opening of phase one of Russo Development’s Essex & Crane by Vermella — a luxury property that aims to provide a new era of residential offerings in the city.
Essex & Crane will be one of the largest and most modern apartment communities built in the city’s history, complete with public green spaces, pedestrian walkways and 750 parking spaces, and it offers great proximity to New York and New Jersey Transit transportation.
The first phase of leasing features a total of 209 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom floorplans. The property will have 410 units upon completion.
Adam Pasternack, president of Russo Property Management, said the firm is thrilled to enter the Orange market.
“We are very excited to bring our signature Vermella brand with generous well-designed amenities, high-quality building finishes and a unique lifestyle experience, which includes plentiful resident events and activations to Orange’s thriving transit village,” he said.
“Our site literally sits just footsteps from the Orange Train Station, and on the other side of that is Route 280. You’re a 30-minute drive from the city and even closer to Newark.”
Pasternack feels Essex & Crane will appeal to a variety of renters, including remote and hybrid workers, who will find more than 2,000 square feet of private work areas and contemporary conference rooms.
“You have the person that commutes into the city full-time, where they walk right onto the train — and then you have those that work from home, or from our coworking spaces that are individually designed with private conference rooms,” he said. “We also offer larger conference rooms so our tenants can host business associates.”
The development, Russo’s first “By Vermella” in Orange, will feature all of the luxury-level amenities Russo is known for:
- Gourmet kitchens with energy-efficient appliances and custom cabinets;
- Sound mitigation, high quality windows and 9-foot ceilings;
- In-home washer-dryers, ample storage space and smart locks
The facility has 23,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenities, including:
- Elevated outdoor terraces, grilling stations;
- A state-of the art fitness center;
- Private, secure off-street parking;
- A full-service convenience store, called Tulu.
Pasternack said coming to Orange was an easy decision.
“It was really super-compelling,” he said. “Like a lot of our other projects, it is within the city’s Main Street redevelopment area.”
Pasternack said the elected officials in Orange, led by Mayor Dwayne Warren, have been great partners.
“We worked closely with the city and to bring this former manufacturing facility to be redeveloped for a higher and better use,” he said. “The city has been an excellent partner toward achieving our vision, and also very receptive to our team’s ideas for this project.”
Pasternack said that, since Russo provides its own property management, it has learned how to be forward thinkers for its new developments — taking into account those aspects of apartment living that are so vital to its tenants’ happiness.
“We really do spend like a lot of time being forward-thinking,” he said. “We’ve had the benefit of developing and bringing about 4,000 units online in the last 10 years. So, with every project, we learn a little bit more and we understand what the resident wants.”
Most importantly, Pasternack said that Russo Development maintains the quality construction and comforts it has created in its previous developments, as it is the best way of delivering what the brand stands for.
Pasternack said residents will enjoy an active events calendar, created exclusively for this community to appeal to all lifestyles.
“Our projects are really communities,” he said. “We do a lot of resident events and bring people together. We feel that, if people like the people they live with, they will make friends and they will stay.”
The development is the third residential partnership between Russo and Dinallo Construction Corp. It follows Annin Lofts, a reinterpretation at the historic Annin Flag Factory in Verona, and Waldwick Station, a revitalization of the former DeMartini Coal and Lumber Co. site in Waldwick.