Thursday, April 18, 2013
Environmental testing of the property might slightly push back the closing date; also, township delays RFP process as task force gathers more information.
Maplewood Township's purchase of the Woman's Club might be pushed back to give officials more time to evaluate the property's environmental issues. However, the expected closing date of May 31 might still be on track depending on results of certain environmental tests. In addition, the timeframe for finding a partner to manage the property has been slightly delayed as a task force gathers more information needed to create a request for proposals (RFP). The Township Committee voted unanimously Tuesday night to ask the property's sellers to extend the town's due diligence period from April 20 to May 15. The town wishes to conduct a test of the soil used to fill in a stream that originally ran through the property; the stream was filled in…
Sunday, March 31, 2013
After pulling out of a deal to purchase the historic building, HK's Tom Kerns may still be involved in its redevelopment.
This article originally ran on March 28. When local philanthropist Tom Kerns announced in January he was walking away from a deal to purchase the Maplewood Woman's Club after the sale's completion was bogged down by a lawsuit, many residents feared the building's last hope for salvation was gone. Kerns -- president of the non-profit HK Project -- was widely seen as a "white knight" when he decided to buy the property in 2011 (through a limited liability corporation) and restore the 1930s building to its former glory, adding a new kitchen, lighting, air conditioning and even a recording booth for the private and community events he envisioned would take place. After he dropped out for personal reasons, the Maplewood Township Committee …
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Several important meetings are scheduled this week.
The South Orange - Maplewood Board of Education will host a regular meeting on Monday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m. at 525 Academy Street. On the agenda: the school budget, on which the BOE will cast a final vote on Thursday, March 21. To get up to date on the school budget, see Patch articles here, here and here. The Maplewood Township Committee will meet on Tuesday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall. On the agenda: South Orange Village will host a special public meeting with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. in Village Hall. The purpose of the meeting is to help provide residents with accurate information regarding the safety of water in South Orange and answer any other questions residents …
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Maplewood Historic Preservation Commission lays out options for Township Committee.
Members of the Maplewood Historic Preservation Commission (MHPC) detailed the advantages, disadvantages and ramifications of potentially designating the Maplewood Woman's Club as a historic landmark at last week's Township Committee meeting. The club is "saturated with Maplewood history," said Township Historian Susan Newberry, noting that an exhibit about the Woman's Club last year at the Durand-Hedden House drew national attention. (Newberry's complete statement and a copy of the Durand-Hedden newsletter are attached to this article as PDFs). MHPC chair Virgina Kurshan told the five committee members that the designation would be in line with the Township Master Plan's goal of preserving the town's historic spaces. Kurshan and vice …
Sunday, March 10, 2013
A look at what's coming up in town.
Here are some of the stories Maplewood Patch will be covering this week: Reminder: Monday is a four-hour day for all SOMSD elementary schools because of parent-teacher conferences.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Maplewood Township Committee votes in favor of bond ordinance and to authorize the purchase.
The Maplewood Township Committee voted 5-0 Tuesday night on the introduction of a new $1,100,000 bond ordinance for the acquisition of the Maplewood Woman's Club, and also voted unanimously to authorize the purchase of the club. One resident, Kurt Kiley, spoke out against the purchase during the public comment period, saying he believed the township would turn the property into a parking lot and deck. Before the votes were cast, Mayor Vic DeLuca said that after negotiations with the Woman's Club the purchase price had increased from $1,000,000 to $1,004,100. He also said the TC had agreed to the following stipulations from members who wished the club's history to be maintained: to leave a sign up on the property that says "Woman's Club…
Monday, March 4, 2013
What to know about Maplewood's proposed purchase of the historic building, ahead of Tuesday's Township Committee meeting.
The recent announcement by the Maplewood Township Committee that it would move forward to purchase the historic Woman's Club on Woodland Road has raised many questions about why the township should (or should not) purchase the 1930s building and property, what it plans to do with the property and how the move might impact Maplewood and its residents. Ahead of two votes the Township Committee's will take on Tuesday night -- to approve the purchase and to agree to add a bond of $1.1 million to the township's capital budget to fund it -- here are answers to some pertinent questions. What is the Woman's Club and why is it important to the township? The Woman’s Club of Maplewood was founded in December 1916 and was a vital part of the town …
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Township is exploring different options; preservation of the building is a goal.
Last week's announcement by the Maplewood Township Committee that the township intends to purchase the Woman's Club property for $1 million has set off a spirited debate about plans for the historic building, and the overall development strategy for the town. The purchase, for half the listing price, came after the collapse of the deal between the club and local philanthropist Tom Kerns. Kerns said he backed out for personal reasons, but some have surmised he grew frustrated by delays stemming from an ongoing lawsuit involving the Zoning Board of Adjustment's decision to grant a variance for the site. Township committee members said they are currently assessing the property's condition and restoration needs, and are exploring …
Sunday, February 24, 2013
A look at what's ahead in town.
The South Orange - Maplewood Board of Education will meet on Monday night at 7:30 p.m. at 525 Academy Street. The BOE will continue its discussion of the 2013-14 budget, including how to plug a $2.8 million shortfall. If you want to let the board know what you think of the proposed plan to cut teachers, you will want to be at this meeting. Also on Monday, this month's Maplewood Green Drinks event will feature guest speaker Nora Shepard of Safe Routes to School (SRTS), which is helping Tuscan Elementary School pilot a "Walking School Bus" program. Patch will interview one of the parent coordinators of the initiative. Elks Lodge, 220 Prospect Street, 7 p.m. We will also be looking into the continuing discussion of the township's budget, …
Friday, February 22, 2013
Also in Essex County news Woman, Pets, Rescued in Apartment Fire; Man Arrested in Connection with Heroin Death; Frelinghuysen Defends Spending, Supports Israel at Kushner Academy and Alleged Shoplifter Crashes Car on Bloomfield Ave.
Mayor made surprise announcement on "gamechanger" for Maplewood at Tuesday's Township Committee meeting. Essex County executive highlights accomplishments, announces litany of 2013 projects during annual speech. Man and woman allegedly distracted Main Street homeowner by soliciting roof repairs. A man and female purported to be representatives of a roof company. A West Orange High School female English teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student pleaded guilty Tuesday to endangering the welfare of a child, according to the Essex County Prosecutor’s office. West Orange Interim Superintendent Jim O'Neill says the county's plea bargain with a high school English teacher for her sexual relationship with a 15-year…