Imagine "a harmonic community for people who appreciate nature … where natural beauty would not be destroyed by real estate developments, and where people of congenial tastes could stay together."
A stable, safe, thriving, upscale community.
Actually, you do not have to imagine it. The vision that Short Hills founder Stewart Hartshorn saw more than 130 years ago is very much alive and doing very well in Essex County, NJ. The planned community Mr. Hartshorn created in the 1870s is just a short commute, but a world away from Midtown Manhattan.
This unincorporated community within Millburn Township is home to the most highly regarded schools in the state of New Jersey, including Millburn High School, rated the top high school in the state by New Jersey Monthly Magazine, which noted the high percentage of graduations going to college , number of students in accelerated courses and average SAT scores.
Short Hills is also the place many senior executives and controlling shareholders of some of the nation's largest corporations and their families call home. The median family income is over $ 200,000.
Home values in Short Hills continue to recover dramatically from the nationwide slump of 2008-09; an encouraging trend for savvy buyers looking to create an appreciating asset that really feels like home.
The Mall at Short Hills is widely considered to be the preeminent shopping destination for the region. Its 160 specialty shops include some of the world's top retail establishments, along with more than 40 exclusive boutiques.
When Stewart Hartshorn created his "ideal town" he made sure residents would have easy access to New York City (building a railroad station with his own money); and he made sure that convenient travel would not intrude on quiet living space. More than a hundred years before anyone heard of "green belts" Mr. Hartshorn preserved strips of land along the railroad right-of-way. He even established Short Hills Park, right across the street from his railroad station and open to the public to this day, along with a number of other well-kept public parks.
"Visionaries" are people whose ideas stand the test of time. Stewart Hartshorn envisioned the "ideal town" and he named it Short Hills. That vision has never looked better.