Good economic news emerges even during straitened economic times, as the long-anticipated extension of to Marsh Hill Road, whose construction is expected this summer, attests.
“It’s nice to see this finally done,” said Paul Grimmer, executive director of the Orange Economic Development Corp. “We’re going to see economic benefits.”
According to Grimmer, the town plans to put the roughly $1 million project out to bid in the very near future with construction that may take eight weeks underway as early as August. “That’s our goal, to get it done this year,” Grimmer said.
The project will open up 40 acres of property owned by Stew Leonard and also 28 acres owned by Field Brothers Property Management.
“I’m looking to having the road completed,” said Leo Field, a partner in the Trumbull-based management firm. “I know the town has worked hard on this for many years. It’s good to see it happen.”
Grimmer noted that an extended Edison Road will alleviate traffic flow in the area, and that the tax dollars generated from new development of the Stew Leonard and Field Brothers acreage would serve as “a very nice boost to the Orange economy.”
Field concurred. “It’s going to give us more access to I-95. I think it will help several of the properties in the area. Edison Road has been pretty active the last six to eight months. It’s active in a slow market,“ he said of the industrial acreage.
Years in the Making
One property to which Field referred is now the home of the United Illuminated Company, where occupancy began in May. Grimmer termed UI “a very good steward to the town.” He noted that the utilities company redesigned their driveway so that it would come out immediately opposite an extended Edison Road.
He said the fact that UI installed a signal at what will become the intersection of Edison Road and Marsh Hill Road has also benefited Orange, because UI has covered the traffic signal’s cost.
And the good news just keeps coming. Grimmer noted that the extension would open up greater access to the . He mentioned Aurora Products, which just purchased the property at 205 Edison Road, as a company that plans to locate in the area. Colony Hardware Corporation has leased 100,000 sq. ft. on South Lambert Road.
Although Grimmer said the idea for the project dates back to the 1960’s, plans for the approximately ¾ of a mile extension have been percolating with special force during the last eight years. During that period, Grimmer said the town amassed the public dollars that will fund the project—most recently, a $500,000 from the Small Town Economic Assistance Program that the state awarded to Orange late last December.
“This road has actually been on the list of to-dos since the 1960’s,” Grimmer said, adding that town has always identified the extended road as one that held economic promise for the town. “It’s a project that’s a long time coming.”