In the Central Jersey area, there are a remarkable number of residential communities that have ‘Princeton’ in their name, even though they technically aren’t in Princeton. We mapped twelve such developments (note: several are in the Princeton 08540 zip code area, but not municipal Princeton). The full list is below, with the municipality in parentheses, and you can locate the developments on a clickable/zoomable map above:
- Princeton Oaks (Princeton Junction)
- Princeton Terrace (West Windsor)
- Princeton Meadows (Plainsboro)
- Princeton Landing (Plainsboro)
- Princeton Place (Franklin Twp)
- Princeton Ridings (Franklin Twp)
- Princeton Walk (South Brunswick)
- Princeton Hill Apartments (Montgomery Township)
- Princeton Manor (Kendall Park)
- Princeton Horizon Apartments (South Brunswick)
- Princeton Highlands (Franklin Township)
- Princeton Gardens (Piscataway)
These other Princetons are all fine places to live. There are people who live in these place who could afford to live in Princeton, but choose not to. However, we can’t help but wonder if the presence of so many local developments that are marketing themselves as ‘Princeton’ indicates that maybe we aren’t building enough homes right here in town.
Despite a growing Central Jersey population, many Princeton residents continue to oppose adding homes in Princeton. This effort to prevent development is misguided. People need places to live, and if homes cannot be built in Princeton, they will be built in surrounding municipalities instead. We know that Princeton homes cost up to double the average price of homes in surrounding municipalities, indicating a distorted market where demand far exceeds supply. Those of us who are concerned about affordability and social justice find the current situation totally unacceptable.
The false assumption that ‘traffic will increase as s consequence of downtown walkable development’ is one of the most common criticisms aimed at new home construction in Princeton. By blocking development in walkable central Princeton, we do not reduce the number of cars. The opposite is true: developers just go and build somewhere else that requires even more car use. The real solution to traffic in Central Jersey is to offer people more flexibility about where they live, enabling people to walk or take shorter car rides for their daily commutes. Many jobs are in Princeton, so that is where homes need to be added to tackle our growing traffic problem.