Edison, NJ - Edison residents are noticing a number of new residential constructions across town.
220 apartments on Jackson Avenue.
16 new homes on Harding Avenue.
5 new homes on Ethel Road.
7 new homes on Tamagnini Ct.
13 new homes on Denver Road.
3 new homes on Oak Tree Road.
New constructions on Calvert and New Dover roads.
These are just some examples of residential units that were recently built or are presently under construction.
“It’s Camelot of Edison, high end apartments that we are building, it’ll have a leasing office with a pool, amenity with a children’s playpark, dog run, we’re marketing around an Edison theme,” said Frank Mazzuca, the project manager for Kaplan Companies, which is constructing 220 apartments next to Herbert Hoover Middle School. The complex will also have an “in ground pool with a shallow section for children, fire pit for the adults, infinity lounge inside the clubhouse that has a pool table, [and] a full gym.”
“It used to be the porcelain factory, which we bought the property, and now we have 200 apartments, everybody has their own washer, dryer, sink and appliances, granite countertops, state of the art vinyl floor, which are actually more expensive and deals well with pets,” he said.
The number of new residential properties is placing a burden on Edison’s schools according to the Edison Board of Education. Last week, the Edison Board of Education voted 8-0 to authorize its attorney to file a lawsuit against Edison Township and the town’s Zoning Board.
“Many nights I have heard complaints from parents and taxpayers attending our meetings about over development and its impact on our schools,” said Board of Education President Jerry Shi, who introduced the resolution authorizing the lawsuit. “For the most part this Board, out of respect, deferred to the judgment of the municipal government. But that deference has its limits,” he said.
There are currently 16807 students enrolled in the Edison School District. That’s an increase of 262 students from just a year ago. The cost to educate each child is approximately $14,000 meaning that, with an increase of 262 students, the District’s cost increased approximately $3.7 million.
“Well with every new building of multi-family homes, that’s adding to the number of children that’s going to the school system, and Edison is basically exploding with new town houses, homes, apartment units, and it is so out of control. But yet, we still have the same number of schools, and they are getting more and more overcrowded to the point where it’s just unacceptable,” said Board of Education member Elizabeth Conway.
“The zoning board considers each application very specifically,” said Zoning Board attorney Bhavini Tara Shah, who is also running for council this year. However, Ms. Shah declined to comment on the merits of the Board of Education lawsuit. “I can’t necessarily comment on it, I'm a sitting zoning board attorney at present, so if they do file a lawsuit obviously it’ll be addressed in due course,” she said.
The new constructions are quickly attracting buyers and renters.
According to Mr. Mazzuca, several of the 220 units under construction in Clara Barton are already under contract, although he could not specify how many. “I can’t give the information away of how much has been rented so far,” he said.
In North Edison, the starting price of the 13 units in development by American Dream Properties and Markim Developers, LLC is $950,000. Several of the units are already occupied. Markim recently also received approval for an eight-unit housing project on 144 Harding Avenue. Currently, the property is a single family home. The project approved by the Zoning Board will have eight three bedroom townhouses.
Ms. Conway also questions the data that the Township is utilizing as the basis for the approvals it is granting. With respect to the Markim development on Harding Avenue, Ms. Conway questions the validity of demographic studies from the developer. "Now they’re changing it to two 4-unit buildings, so that’s 8 families are going onto the property of where a one family house used to be. So, the builders turn around and say only 2 children will come out of that development. How do you know that when there are 3-bedroom apartments? Why do you buy a three bedroom apartment if you are not going to have children, which makes absolutely no sense."
The 4,000 sq. ft. homes on Tamagnini Ct. are also listed for $950,000. The eight luxurious colonials, which will include 5 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms, to be built on a private cul-de-sac off Harding Avenue are currently listed for $1,150,000.