HiTOPS sells Wiggins Street property in Princeton to commercial real estate company

HiTops on Wiggins Street
The entrance to HiTOPS on Wiggins Street. File photo by Krystal Knapp.

HiTOPS, the Princeton non-profit that provides sex education and LGBTQ support to young people, has sold its Wiggins Street headquarters in Princeton to Mercer Oaks Realty, a commercial real estate company based in Ewing run by Aubrey Haines.

According to public records, the property located at the corner of Wiggins Street and Tulane Street sold for $1.82 million on Nov. 5.

Lisa Shelby, the executive director of HiTOPS, said profits from the sale will be used for programming.

“We’ll be in the building until the end of the year, though for the foreseeable future we’re all working remotely, and continuing to offer all of our programs and services virtually,” Shelby said. “We’re going to be making a decision about our next address over the next several months, taking the time to think strategically and creatively about our space needs.”

The Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice is a tenant at HiTOPS and will be negotiating future lease arrangements with the new owner, Shelby told Planet Princeton.

HiTOPS has been located at 21 Wiggins Street for 33 years. In 2014, HiTOPS closed down its health center for teens and young adults, citing a drop in client numbers, along with changes in health insurance and the health care landscape.

In an email to supporters on Monday, Shelby said that after many months of reflection and deliberation, the leadership at HiTOPS decided that it was best to sell the building and use the money for programming. “The proceeds realized from the sale will enable us to expand the breadth and depth of our services for many years to come,” she said.

The former health center space at HiTOPS now houses the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice. File photo by Krystal Knapp.


  1. Will it be taxed at market rate as a ratable now? One of the issues in Princeton is that the commercial properties are not properly valued an thus not properly taxed, and there are too many non-profits not paying taxes so the burden of the taxation is unduly on those who own lower-value single family or single person units… What is the value of the property for tax purposes? Will it now pay taxes at its new valuation? What is its value and why is it not taxed accordingly?

  2. Mercer Oaks is a for-profit so does this mean this will now be a taxable commercial property vs. before was hi-tops paying property taxes ? What are the property taxes on the unit and are they in line with the $1.8 mln sale price…. folks are tired of the commercial stuff being undertaxed relative to the rates the residential tax payer is paying… which are much higher as a percent of assessed value no?

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