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Hotel company paid $32 million for 20 Nassau Street property

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A company that plans to turn the 20 Nassau Street building into a hotel has paid $32 million for the property, according to public records obtained by Planet Princeton.

According to the deed, made on Oct. 29 and effective Oct. 31, a Delaware limited liability company called GPNJ Owner LLC, with an address in Chicago, purchased the property from Rajika Scott. Hotel developer Benjamin Weprin of Graduate Hotels is the president of GPNJ, according to the deed. His company develops hotels with collegiate themes. The company financed the purchase, according to public records.

The property is assessed at just over $7 million, according to property tax records.

On Nov. 8, tenants of 20 Nassau received a letter from a representative for the new owners informing them that rental rates will not change and that people will be able to stay in the building until their leases end. People who want out of their leases early won’t be penalized. About 140 professionals, startups, and small businesses lease space in the building, which has offered affordable rental rates in Princeton for decades.

“If your current lease is month to month, know that we feel confident we can accommodate you through at least April 2020,” reads the letter from Pablo David, vice president of government affairs and community relations for GPNJ.

The maintenance team and management under the previous owner will remain on staff, according to the letter. Tenants were directed to talk to the manager of the building for help finding another lease somewhere else.

Some tenants have already found space in other locations. Several tenants have reported that their new spaces are not centrally located, are much smaller spaces, and in some cases are more expensive than what they paid at 20 Nassau. Some tenants are contemplating moves to the outskirts of Princeton, the Route 1 area, or other towns.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

4 Comments

  1. @peter You’re right on the money. The town underassesses the most expensive properties in town and that pressures it to overassess less expensive properties in order to maintain the tax roles. It’s the problem that was found during the last town wide assessment and it hasn’t been fixed.

  2. Why the property was assessed at only $7M?
    Oh, I get it – to block single family house property owners to complain on their ‘market value’ assessments.

  3. Perhaps the town should look into adjusting the assessments of commercial properties to market value? It’s ridiculous that homeowners pay property taxes on an assessment value more than their property is worth because of the “land” value, and this building was only paying 20% of its value. If Trump were doing this, we’d be outraged. Come on Princeton government! Stop giving handouts to the 1%!

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