AvalonBay Plans to Sue Town of Princeton Over Developer’s Agreement

A rendering of the AvalonBay project slated for the hospital site in Princeton.
A rendering of the AvalonBay project slated for the hospital site in Princeton.

AvalonBay is planning to sue the town of Princeton over the developer’s agreement for the downtown hospital site that the governing body approved last month, officials confirmed today. The agreement called for extra environmental testing that AvalonBay representatives said was not required by law.

A lawyer for AvalonBay gave town attorney Trishka Cecil a courtesy call yesterday to let her know that AvalonBay would be filing a lawsuit against Princeton sometime in the next couple of days. The town has not received copies of any legal filings.

A representative for AvalonBay could not be reached for comment on the suit.

The governing body and AvalonBay reached an impasse regarding environmental testing at the hospital site after a consultant hired by the town to evaluate environmental concerns issued new recommendations for testing at a public meeting on April 7.

Consultant Ira Whitman, who was under fire after his initial report to the Princeton Council, said last month that he received new information from staff, elected officials and residents after he presented his initial report. Whitman then presented a revised report recommending that more samples be taken at the Witherspoon Street hospital site to test for volatile chemicals and metals.

But Robert Kasuba, a lawyer for AvalonBay, said at the time that AvalonBay would not do any testing beyond what was previously proposed.

The Princeton Council voted unanimously to approved the developer’s agreement, including all the environmental consultant’s revised recommendations.

A citizen group previously filed a suit regarding the project, but lost in Mercer County Superior Court and decided not to appeal the decision.