Princeton Theological Seminary’s Tennent Roberts campus to be sold to local developer
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 Potential plans for student apartments were withdrawn in the fall of 2019.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.
The seminary does not pay taxes and we have all these non-profits here, wealthy non-profits that do not pay taxes. Any way to change this by having these new folks pay taxes?
To Nancy Drew: I presume that in selling to a commercial development the property would re-enter the tax rolls and taxes would be paid. And while we’re at it, certain large nonprofits like Princeton University pay more in PILOT (payment in lieu of tax) than they would if they were actually taxable.
I recall a study done by the town seveal years ago that showed that Princeton University would be paying something like $40 million a year in local property taxes if all it’s land were taxable. They aren’t paying more than they would be if they were treated like a for profit. That is a myth. Planet Princeton please look into this.
@TigerJ The PILOT program pays a part of the town taxes, but the University doesn’t pay school or country taxes. This burden is then shifted to the taxpayers.
Princeton University is a for profit organization. They own businesses, commercial real estate and one of the world’s largest funds. Many executives make million dollar salaries.
Despite runny a for profit education organization, they use the town’s schools and pay nothing.
It is shameful.
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