A new appraisal of the Bancroft property released Thursday values the 19.2-acre parcel at $15.1 million, nearly twice the $8 million value of a 2005 appraisal.
The Haddonfield Board of Education and the borough have agreed to buy the property for $12.2 million, part of a $16.8-million bond referendum on the ballot in January.
Board President Steve Weinstein said Friday the increase in value of the property was justified by the certified appraiser, Harry Renwick, because of a difference in zoning of the property now than in 2005, and a higher demand for institutional property acquisition and development. The 2005 appraisal limited the use to half-acre lots and a limited number of houses.
Still, critics of the process remain skeptical.
"I just sold my house here that's been on the market for two years at a 50-percent loss," said local rabble-rouser Brian Kelly, who co-founded the Haddonfield United Facebook page. "The fact that place was appraised at $8 million at the height of the market and now it's doubled, I wish I had their appraiser. It's amazing."
The BOE will hold a special meeting Tuesday, 6 p.m., in the middle school library to discuss the Bancroft agreement of sales. It is scheduled to be voted upon at the meeting.
The size of the lot had been listed in tax records as 18.7 acres. Weinstein said the new appraisal property measure is 19.22 acres.