CRANFORD - Demolition of the abandoned house located at 112 Park Drive in Cranford, a property that protrudes into Nomahegan Park, began on Wednesday.

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders acquired the “elbow” of land and a street in November 2019. The .59-acre parcel was purchased through the Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund. The house and its accompanying section of street will be removed and become part of Nomahegan Park.

The house was vacated in 2007, and the County expressed interest in purchasing the property as early as 2010. Periodic negotiations with the owners continued until last summer when an agreement was reached.

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“Adding land for public recreation is a rare achievement in our densely developed area,” said Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski following the purchase back in November. “This small but significant parcel will improve a popular walking trail and add more than a half-acre to the natural habitat in the park, while removing a neighborhood eyesore.”

“Recreational space has been a priority of the Cranford Township Committee," added Cranford Mayor Patrick Giblin back in November. "We greatly appreciate the efforts of Freeholder Kowalski, Freeholder (Sergio) Granados, and the Union County Freeholders to acquire this property and expand recreational space at Nomahegan Park.  We look forward to much-needed beautification of the property.”