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EAST ORANGE, NJ-Construction has started on the Woodlands at Upsala, a $15-million residential community that will rise on a 20-acre portion of the shuttered Upsala College campus. The project will combine a total of 68 townhomes and single-family residences. The joint venture developers of the project are the Applied Development Co. of Hoboken, NJ and the Alpert Group of Fort Lee, NJ, which was designated as the site’s redeveloper by the local city council.

“Upsala College has been an important part of the community since the 1920s,” says Joe Alpert, a principal in the joint venture. “But since its closure a decade ago, the property and its structures have deteriorated into a terrible eyesore and unsafe environment for the surrounding community.”

Founded in 1893 in Brooklyn, NY, the institution moved to Kenilworth, NJ in 1898, and to the local campus in 1924. After the college closed its doors in 1995, the 40-acre site was acquired by the East Orange Board of Education, which built the current East Orange High School on the eastern half and sold the western half to the city.

The site’s wood-frame and brick buildings, which once served as dormitories, a library and administrative offices, will be demolished to make way for the redevelopment. Initial units are expected to be ready for occupancy by the end of 2006.

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