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New Bancroft Appraisal Nearly Doubles Value from 2005

A Haddonfield BOE appraisal released Thursday values Bancroft property at $15.1 million.

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.

Jack S October 06, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Double the 2005 apprisal price? And thank you Mr. Weinstein for clarifying that the property is 3% bigger than previously thought. That definitely accounts for the property being 200% of its original appraised value. Nothing to see here. Move on.
Jim October 06, 2012 at 04:27 PM
The value is in for the current use just like the adjoining High school use. You need to minus the cost of envorimental cleanup and demo of several buildings and other improvements to be deducted from the valuation or the MAI apparisal is not valid. It is Just a MADE as Instructed valuation not a real Market value appraisal.There has to more added uses like a University campus to add value not just added parking and some more sports field. More Disclosure is needed ! Invesitgate now and Vote in January for better accountablity of the total cost and other uses other than parking and a few sports fields. Hopefully with other uses there will be added tax revenue to help pay for the total costs including added debt and overhead.
Brian Kelly October 06, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Nothing these people do surprise me. Same price, no concession in any way to the people of Haddonfield and the taxes they'll have to pay. They don't care about the burden to the residents, they just just care about pushing this bill through. That's all they've ever cared about. From day one they've done everything to stack the deck in their favor. We requested a town hall meeting by the Civic Association in early September and are getting stonewalled. They set October 18 as a date but won't get back to us on a venue. Why? Why? You know what the sad thing is? Here we had an opportunity to get Bancroft and give the people of Haddonfield a voice to make a choice together, an opportunity to discuss and explore what's best for our great town. Instead, thanks to a select few with a vision centered squarely on their personal aesthetics, we get turf fields, massive tax burdens and an insult to the intelligence of the residents of Haddonfield. 15 million dollars for a property never estimated above 8 million in the most prosperous of times. Why? It's Institutional! What our illustrious elected officials fail to tell you is that model applies to Institutions you can actually move into and use, not knock down because they're run down, dilapidated, outdated clap traps with environmental issues. 15 million...you can bet they're going to find a way to tack on another 2 million, the asking price they always wanted and intend to get. Institutional? You better believe it.
Taxpayer October 06, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Be aware of a special BOE meeting on the Bancroft initiative in October 9 at 6 PM in the Middle School Library. Go ask all of your questions and make citizens' comments!
Brian Kelly October 07, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Town hall meetings are supposed to be set with plenty of advance warning and at a reasonable time so a large number of residents can voice their concerns. As the meeting is hosted by the Civic Association they're supposed to be neutral moderators. The elected officials and the residents are on equal footing. Let's say Steve Weinstein states a reason for holding purchased Bancroft land is for future student growth when the school has far fewer students than in previous years, That point should be fairly debated to a logical conclusion, not in a setting where the Commissioners can move on because they hold court. You can always grab a handful of residents and let them go at it with the Commissioners but what has that accomplished? Almost any question asked can be addressed in that setting by convenient talking points anyway. The greatest benefit of town meetings is the elected officials hear the hopes and concerns of ALL residents. That's what shapes the direction of our future. The Bancroft agenda was formulated and driven by a tiny handful of people with absolutely no regard to how the cost affects the senior citizens and majority of working families. Their answer? Trust our vision and leadership. It's failed leadership. Since their agenda will be built on the back our residents they voices deserve to be heard. Thanks to Taxpayer for the meeting info, but at 6:00 pm there won't be much of a turn out. Big surprise.

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