CRANFORD, NJ – The Cranford Township Committee has authorized the negotiation and execution of an agreement to purchase the Birchwood property.

After years of Affordable Housing litigation that went all the way to the NJ Supreme Court, the Township of Cranford exhausted all of its legal opportunities to oppose the development of the 360 rental units at the property on Birchwood Avenue.

The goal is to reduce the density of the project, in addition to reducing the impact on the school systems, traffic on local roads and the infrastructure, including the existing sewer systems.

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As part of the negotiations, the seller reduced the asking price by several million dollars and has agreed to terms that are acceptable to the township. The currently agreed to sales price of $18 million is under the $19.5 million appraisal of the property and court approved 360-unit project.

As a safety net to the township, the seller has agreed to, at the township’s sole option, to repurchase the property at mutually agreeable terms if necessary. The plan is to reduce the density of the project by approximately 135 units, increase open space and flood mitigation opportunities, as well as work to minimize any cost to the township taxpayers.

This plan accomplishes many conflicting objectives which include:
1. Reducing the overall density of the project,
2. Reducing the impacts on the school system,
3. Reducing the impact on the local infrastructure of the township,
4. Minimizing any financial impact to the township, and
5. Satisfying the requirements of the court for the Township’s Affordable Housing requirements.

The method for implementing this plan includes a transparent, open, and aggressive public request for proposals from all interested developers.

The township will purchase the property under the appraised value and have the opportunity to plan the future for the site.

If you have any questions, please email Terence M. Wall, Township Administrator at                                          t-wall@cranfordnj.org