Hartz disputes school population numbers

CRANFORD, NJ — The representative for a developer seeking to build a 905-unit apartment complex at 750 Walnut Ave. disputes previously published reports that the project would increase the township’s student population by 39 percent.

James Rhatican, vice president of land use and development for Hartz Mountain Industries, said in a phone interview Monday, Aug. 20, that the study commissioned by the borough’s school district and conducted by Ross Haber and Associates shows there will be a 39-percent yield — not increase — of students in the proposed complex.

This means that for every 100 apartments there would be about 39 students. Using this formula, the apartment complex could add as many as 353 students to Cranford schools, an increase of 9 percent. However, Rhatican previously told the LocalSource in 2017 that, “The population increase will be about 1,846 people and 136 of them are estimated to be students.”

Those numbers represent a 15-percent yield of students.
Hartz Mountain is applying to the Cranford Planning Board to have the site rezoned to eliminate the office and warehouse uses in favor of multifamily residential use. It proposes to build three, five-story buildings and two, four-story ones on the 30.5-acre tract on the boundary with Clark on the corner of Walnut Avenue and Raritan Road, bordered by a freight rail line to the northwest and Hyatt Hills Golf Complex to the southwest.

Of the proposed 905 units, 776 of them will be market rate and 139 will be Mount Laurel housing.

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