OLD BRIDGE — The historic Cottrell Farm, an apple orchard in Old Bridge Township that dates to 1831, and the nearby Whitney Estates property will be preserved forever now that the two properties have entered the Middlesex County Open Space Preservation Program.
The 21.5-acre Cottrell Farm is located on Route 516 directly across from the Old Bridge Township Municipal Complex and includes apple orchards, a farmhouse and outbuildings that date back to 1831. It was scheduled for commercial development, which could have included more than 85,000 square feet of office and retail space, 148 apartments and five single-family residential building lots.
The adjoining 36.5-acre Whitney Estates property was slated for residential development.
Both properties were owned by Carriage House Crossing, LLC.
“I am thrilled to announce that these two properties will be preserved forever,” said Freeholder Carol Barrett Bellante, liaison to the Open Space Trust Fund. “Not only are we safeguarding a piece of Middlesex County agricultural history, we are stopping the development on this land, which would have had a negative impact on traffic and infrastructure in the area.”
“The acquisition of the Cottrell Farm will go down in history as one of the wisest purchases of Open Space ever made by the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders,” said Old Bridge Township Mayor James T. Phillips.
The total sales price agreed to for the two properties is $10.6 million. The County is allocating $6.36 million in funds from the Middlesex County Open Space Trust Fund to enter into a Conservation Restriction Agreement with the Township of Old Bridge. The township has agreed to contribute $2.39 million from the Old Bridge Open Space Trust Fund, and $1.6 million in State Green Acres will go toward the purchase. In addition, the NY/NJ Baykeeper has agreed to provide up to $250,000 toward this preservation initiative.
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