Princeton’s “Site Plan Review Advisory Board” examined a preliminary plan this week for a proposed apartment development on Thanet Road (map). The site was designated for housing as part of a plan adopted by the town earlier this year to meet state affordable housing requirements. Existing office buildings at Thanet Circle, which are mostly vacant, would be demolished to allow construction of two apartment developments. One of these would be built by Avalon Bay, and would include 221 homes. These new residential units would be in a range of townhouses and apartment buildings, rising to a maximum of four stories.
The Avalon Bay preliminary plan as shown above features townhouse-style buildings in the parts of the site that are closest to existing residential areas on Terhune Road and Governor’s Lane. The taller apartment buildings are set back into the center of the site. A clubhouse is also available for residents. Eleven affordable housing units would be created as part of the Avalon Bay development. Five of the affordable units will be specifically reserved for people with special needs. The development would include 334 parking spaces, exceeding zoning requirements, and including a number of ADA-compliant and van-accessible spaces.
The redevelopment of the Thanet Road site will additionally include an 80-unit senior housing complex, which will be a 100%-affordable development. The senior housing will go on the area shaded white in the image above. Princeton’s “Site Plan Review Advisory Board” also considered a preliminary plan for this housing development this week. It would be operated by PIRHL, a Cleveland OH-based manager of affordable housing. Together with the Avalon Bay development, the PIRHL senior development would add a total of 91 affordable homes, making a substantial contribution to Princeton’s efforts to meet state-mandated fair housing requirements.
The Thanet Road site is about a 10-15 minute walk from Princeton Shopping Center, where there is a full-service supermarket (McCaffrey’s), many other stores and restaurants, and a large park. Princeton Shopping Center is also a hub for bus services, including both of the NJ Transit bus lines that serve Princeton and the municipal FreeB jitney. In public hearings, residents have nonetheless expressed concerns that the Thanet site is too far away from amenities. On August 10, Princeton Council passed an agreement (Resolution 20-257) requiring the developer to contribute $500K for transportation improvements, which might include a new shuttle bus service.
The proposed apartment complexes will be subject to a full review by the Planning Board at some time later this year or in early 2021.
Full planning documents for Avalon Bay development: link
Full planning documents for PIRHL senior housing development: link