Princeton Community Housing, a local nonprofit that develops and manages affordable housing, is planning to build a new apartment complex with 25 units at Princeton Community Village, its affordable housing development on Bunn Drive in the northeast portion of the town.
The nonprofit went before the town’s site plan review advisory board last week to present plans for the new housing complex. The project is part of the town’s affordable housing plan related to the legal settlement with Fair Share Housing.
Princeton Community Housing is seeking site plan approvals from the local planning board to build a three-story apartment building.
Construction could begin as early as this summer and is expected to take about a year to complete.
Princeton Community Village, which opened in 1975, has a total of 239 residential units. The new building would bring the total to 264 units with 453 parking spaces, a net increase of 38 parking spaces. The nonprofit is asking for 35 additional parking spaces to be banked if more parking is needed in the future.
The new complex will be located adjacent to Holly House, a six-story apartment building with 71 one-bedroom units, and the Princeton Community Village Clubhouse, which is used for meetings and other community activities.
Ed Truscelli, executive director of Princeton Community Housing, told the board during the public Zoom meeting last week that the floor area ratio for the apartments meets or exceeds the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHFMA) and Council on Affordable Housing standard regarding the size of units and bedrooms. The complex will be 100 percent affordable housing units, and will be a mix of low and very low-income units.
Five apartments will be one-bedroom units, 14 apartments will be two-bedroom units, and six will be three-bedroom units.
Truscelli said a resident advisory panel at the village was consulted when the plan was developed, and the group provided feedback on the overall plan and neighborhood enhancements. “It’s a tight-knit community, and a great place to live,” he said, adding that Princeton Community Village offers after-school programs, and is exploring offering a daycare program next fall in partnership with other community organizations.
One SPRAB member asked whether the site needs so much parking. Truscelli said many residents need to drive to their jobs and can’t rely on mass transit, and that parking is very important to them.
Two electric vehicle charging stations are required as part of the plan. Some SPRAB members suggested that more than two be added to the site.
“It’s one of most appropriate places for electric vehicle parking,” Councilman David Cohen said. “You can buy cheap used electric vehicles. There may be some real demand.” Cohen said officials thought the demand was 10 years down the road but is now more likely to be two or three years.
A review of used electric vehicle prices from used car websites like Carvana shows that prices for a pre-owned electric vehicle range from $7,990 to about $50,000. The median price for a used electric vehicle was $35,990 on Carvana last week. A Nissan Leaf with close to 70,000 miles sells for about $8,000 to $9,000. Replacing the battery at about 100,000 miles costs $5,499, in addition to about three hours of labor costs.
Truscelli said there has been no demand for charging stations, and no one has an electric vehicle at the development. A SPRAB member suggested that residents would get electric vehicles if there are charging stations on site.
The application for the project will now move to the planning board.