To the Editor:
Did you know there are plans underway to add approximately 1,000 new residential units in Princeton? While a few of these units will replace existing residential units, the vast majority will not. In a town with just 31,000 residents, this planned development will have a broad and lasting impact that will be felt across all of Princeton. If each new residential unit houses, on average, three people, Princeton’s population will increase by about 10%. In addition, Princeton University is building two new residential colleges to house 1,000 undergraduate students and a new Lake Campus development to house 600 postdoc and grad students, along with a 600-car garage. The current non-university residential construction plans require somewhere between 1 and 2 new parking spaces per unit.
Recently, the Princeton Coalition for Responsible Development (PCRD) conducted numerous conversations with residents throughout Princeton, and we realized that many aren’t aware of the developments being planned for our town. We are not opposed to new development per se and we certainly welcome new neighbors from near and far to our community. However, with projects being planned and approved piecemeal, it is difficult to get the full picture of what is happening. With the new construction season about to commence and with a number of projects about to break ground, we think this is a good time to bring attention to the real estate development projects currently underway or in active planning.
While many of us have been in various states of quarantine or isolation during the two-year pandemic, developers and town officials have been actively at work. There are at least 19 significant development projects underway or planned in Princeton. These include Thanet Road projects adding 300 units and Princeton Shopping Center projects adding 330 units. In addition to new residential construction, in the central business district, Triumph Brewing Co. is converting the old Post Office building on Palmer Square to a 300-seat restaurant with no additional parking spaces, and the Graduate Hotel at the corner of Nassau and Chambers Streets will have 180 rooms but only 76 parking spaces for overnight guests. The implications of these two projects on congestion in the center of Princeton are enormous. These are just some of the projects you should know about.
What impact will all of these projects have on our streets, on our neighborhoods, on the environment, and in our schools? For details about these and other projects, and an interactive map showing the locations of the projects, we encourage all Princeton residents to go to the PCRD website www.pcrd.info.
of the Princeton Coalition for Responsible Development