South Orange Village Center Alliance

The past several months have been a whirlwind of formation and planning activity for the South Orange Village Center Alliance, but on an evening in late November the group formally launched its brand to the public. This is the chosen name for the special improvement district management entity that aims to bolster the economic and community health of our downtown district. The presentation and networking event was aimed primarily at introducing the organization and soliciting feedback from local business owners, though interested members of the general public were also well in attendance.

South Orange Village Center Alliance

Village President Alex Torpey was on hand to open the event and talk with attendees.

South Orange Village Center Alliance

Magic markers and huge sheets of paper became a temporary canvas for attendees to scrawl out their wish list of changes they’d like to see.

South Orange Village Center Alliance

Alliance staff and board members were spread around the room, the loft at the South Orange Performing Arts Center. SOPAC, along with New Jersey Transit South Orange Station, Eden Gourmet and a handful of others, is a highly visible anchor for our downtown.

South Orange Village Center Alliance

The formal presentation included the launch of the new website, which is intended to showcase South Orange’s commercial and community assets for prospective visitors and business owners. The website uses no stock photography. Images, many of which I provided, are all shot on location. In addition, my short film It Takes a Village is featured in the video library.

South Orange Village Center Alliance

South Orange Village Center Alliance

South Orange Village Center Alliance

Interested individuals signed up for volunteer groups.

South Orange Village Center Alliance

South Orange Village Center Alliance

South Orange Village Center Alliance

South Orange Village Center Alliance

This is what engagement looks like.

South Orange Village Center Alliance

One of the first items on the slate for the officially launched Alliance was making sure that Santa Claus found his way to our historic fire station for South Orange children to plead their cases.

South Orange Village Center Alliance

I filled in for the regular Santa photographer, Alliance Chair Matt Glass, who was out of town on that day.

South Orange Village Center Alliance

South Orange Village Center Alliance

South Orange Village Center Alliance

Santa always gets all the girls.