Cranford's History

eastman plaza evening

In 1985 Cranford became the first community in New Jersey to create a Special Improvement District (SID). The Office of Downtown Business & Economic Development is responsible for fostering economic revitalization and investments, business development and marketing for the Special Improvement District (SID), an area comprised of 224 properties and more than 300 businesses. These include stores, restaurants, personal services, professional offices and almost 1,000 apartments/ condo units in the SID and immediate surrounding area.

The Office was responsible for advancing major investments in the SID, including Cranford Crossing, Riverfront at Cranford Station, Walgreen’s, Spencer Savings and Chase Bank as well as several smaller scale retail and residential projects. Other accomplishments include streamlining the permit approval process, zoning revisions; beautification and public space improvements; and, a successful communications and marketing program that has attracted businesses, investors and visitors resulting in over 95% occupancy rate of commercial spaces.

The downtown property owners pay an annual special assessment, in addition to their general property taxes, for things like streetscape improvements and maintenance to supplement what the Township provides, marketing and communications, landscaping and strategic planning.

Mission Statement

“The purpose of the District Management Corporation is to make it possible for business and property owners to achieve their financial goals and to enhance the community financially and aesthetically.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Special Improvement District (SID)?

A Special Improvement District (SID) is a defined area where a public/private partnership between property owners and a municipality is established to promote economic revitalization, investment, and improvements for those who use or do business in the SID. The stakeholders are the property and business owners, as well as residents within the SID. A SID provides stakeholders a voice in the economic revitalization of the business district and services above and beyond the regular municipal services. Cranford’s SID is generally referred to as the downtown.

  • General area (approx. 83 acres)
  • There are 220 properties
  • More than 300 retail, personal service and professional businesses
  • 95 professional offices

This Township office promotes investment, economic growth, improvements and business development as well as advocates for existing and prospective business owners. This is a Municipal department, not a membership organization.

The Office of Downtown Business & Economic Development is part of the Township government and represents all properties, businesses and residents within the SID regardless of size, location or use and is the official advocate for property and business owners.

You can reach them at 908-272-6114 or

The downtown property owners pay an annual special assessment, in addition to their general property taxes, for things like streetscape improvements and maintenance to supplement what the Township provides, marketing and communications, landscaping and strategic planning.

The Department of Public Works is responsible for general maintenance like street cleaning, snow removal, tree trimming, leaf pick up, minor sidewalk and lighting repairs; the Building Dept. is responsible for property maintenance; and the Health Dept. oversees restaurant health inspections and trash collection. The SID maintenance funds are used for beautification projects and maintenance that supplement  municipal services.

The Traffic Division of the Police Department manages parking downtown and the Centennial Avenue business area. Parking and permit information is available on the Police Department page.

The buildings downtown are all privately owned and managed. The Office keeps a list of available space and offers assistance to both property owners and potential tenants seeking to open a business often matching a tenant and landlord. Available space is always listed on the Downtown Cranford website and included in the business packets.

There is an 11 member Advisory Board all appointed by the Township Committee: 3 downtown property owners, 3 downtown business owners, 4 Cranford residents and 1 Township Commissioner. They each serve 3 year terms and have equal voting power.

Kathleen Miller Prunty – Township Committee Liaison
Joe Colangelo – Business Owner
Tammie Crispino – Business Owner
Anthony Durante – Resident
Max Fusaro – Business Owner
Paul LaCorte – Property Owner
Kristen Mider (Chair) – Resident
Kendall O’Brien – Resident
Steve Oliveira – Property Owner
Doreen Sayegh – Property Owner
Samantha Ulan – Resident

Pursuant to the requirements of the NJSA 10:4-6 otherwise known at Chapter 231 Public Law of 1975, Open Public Law of 1975, Open Public Meetings Act, notice is hereby given of 2024 meeting schedule of the Cranford District Management Corporation.  The Board of the Downtown District Management Corporation will hold its monthly meeting on the 3rd Friday of the month at 8:30am in the Cranford Municipal Building unless otherwise noted.

January 26
February 16 
March 15
April 19
May 17
June 14
July 19
August 16
September 20
October 18
November 15
December 20

Minutes and agendas can be found by clicking here.