Princeton Theological Seminary is under contract to sell the Tennent Roberts Campus on Stockton Street in Princeton to private real estate development company Herring Properties.
The decision comes after the seminary spent more than a year looking at the feasibility of developing new student apartments at the site. The municipality declared the Tennent Roberts campus an area in need of redevelopment in 2018 in preparation for the student housing project. Several public forums were held about the potential design of the new development and the reconfiguration of surrounding streets in 2019. Potential plans for student apartments were withdrawn in the fall of 2019. Area residents had expressed concerns about the density of the proposed project.
“When the seminary decided to no longer seek construction of new student apartments on its Tennent Roberts campus, we then reassessed our campus master plan and made adjustments in keeping with the priorities and vision for our community,” Princeton Seminary Executive President Shane Berg said in a written statement about the sale. “The seminary will continue to house students on its main campus in Princeton and at the Charlotte Rachel Wilson apartments in West Windsor for the foreseeable future, as well as lease and sell excess real estate.”
In 2017, the seminary’s board of trustees voted to endorse a proposal to study creating a comprehensive campus master plan that would consolidate the seminary on one campus in Princeton. The proposal included renovating dorms, building apartments for married and single students on the main campus, renovating or replacing the student campus center, and monetizing land the seminary owns behind MarketFair in West Windsor to finance other campus improvements and reduce the school’s draw on its endowment. The plan also called for a reduction of the size of the student body by 30 to 40 percent over a period of 8 to 10 years.
Stuart Hall and Brown Hall on the seminary’s main campus on Mercer Street have been restored over the past few years.
“The seminary’s focus is on continued efforts to restore and renew other buildings on our main campus to enhance our life together and foster spaces where a sense of community can flourish,” Berg said in his statement.
Berg confirmed Friday that the Tennent Roberts complex is under contract with Herring Properties, and said a potential project is in the “very early planning stages.” Herring Properties is owned by Princeton resident James Herring. The company, which was founded in 2000, builds, leases, and manages office space and warehouse space in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The company also manages residential properties in Princeton and Hopewell. Sources say the Tennent Roberts property will be converted to luxury apartments or condominiums. Those details have not been confirmed yet. Planet Princeton has reached out to the developer. We will update the story if we receive new information.