Princeton business leaders have invited the internationally-recognized planner, Jeff Speck, to give two talks in Princeton this week. Having worked on over 75 town master plans, and authored one of the best-selling popular planning books of the last decade, Speck has the credentials to provide insight into ways that Princeton could redefine itself for the 21st century. This moment is particularly important, because last week the Princeton Planning Board made a recommendation on consultants to oversee a re-write of the Princeton community master plan (the Clark Caton Hintz firm of Trenton, NJ, who previously helped implement the town’s affordable housing settlement). But can any outsider, no matter how expert, understand what makes Princeton tick?
Rendering of proposed new ‘Health Services Building’ on Princeton University campus.
Princeton University has submitted plans to construct a new ‘Health Services Building’ to provide larger and improved space for University Health Services. When completed, the new building would replace the McCosh Health Center, which has been the principal site for University Health Services since 1920. Continue reading →
Impression of the proposed new street layout for Witherspoon St between Nassau St and Chambers St, via Princeton Engineering Department.
On Monday night, Princeton Council unanimously voted to advance a new design concept for the downtown blocks of Witherspoon Street, between Nassau St and Green Street (Map) (Council Meeting Agenda Packet). The Princeton Engineering Department has been consulting on a new street layout for Witherspoon Street since February 2020. As noted in a report to Council from chief municipal engineer, Deanna Stockton, the most popular option in a public poll conducted in 2020 was for a fully-pedestrianized area. In response to intense lobbying from downtown businesses, the town instead voted in December of last year to maintain one-way traffic in a northbound direction. A second lane would be dedicated to loading and/or parking, to serve local businesses. Continue reading →
Rendering of concept for multifamily housing on Terhune Road, approved by Princeton Council on 6.14.21
A concept plan for a 124-unit multifamily residential building was approved by Princeton Council at their regular meeting on Monday night (link to meeting agenda and packet). The site, at the corner of Terhune Road and North Harrison Street (map), was already designated as a location for an inclusionary affordable housing development as part of the town’s 2020 Fair Share Housing Plan. The new plan shows significant new details, however, including the required architectural standards, and the proposed road network that will connect the development to the surrounding neighborhood. Continue reading →
23-25 Humbert Street, the possible site for three townhouses proposed as part of an application under consideration by the Princeton Planning Board.
An applicant seeking to build three townhouses on Humbert Street in Princeton advised the Princeton Planning Board tonight that the application is to be revised and reconsidered at a later date. The Planning Board had been expected to vote on the proposal tonight, after a lengthy hearing and extensive public comment last month. Continue reading →
The current Princeton ‘Dinky’ train, at Princeton Station.
NJ Transit has launched a public consultation (link) to get input into what the best options are for upgrading the Princeton ‘Dinky’ train service. The ‘Dinky’ is the two-car train that runs back and forward between Princeton rail station on Alexander Street and the main northeast corridor rail line at Princeton Junction station (map). The 2.7 mile-long, single-track route is said to be the shortest commuter rail service in the USA. The trip takes about 6 minutes in each direction and there are currently no intermediate stops between Princeton station and Princeton Junction station. According to NJ Transit, continuing the service with the existing equipment is not viable, because the Arrow III trainsets are 43 years old and are being decommissioned from the network. Continue reading →
Consultant Carlos Rodrigues, at an online meeting of the Princeton Planning Board, discusses criteria for designating the area around Princeton Shopping Center as a redevelopment area.
Should the Princeton Shopping Center on North Harrison St (map) be designated as a ‘Redevelopment Area’? That was the question considered by the Princeton Planning Board at their meeting last night. Princeton Council had referred the question to the Planning Board, to judge whether New Jersey state law on Redevelopment Areas might apply to the Princeton Shopping Center, and several adjoining properties, including Gover Park and the old PFARS Building. After a lively discussion, the Board ultimately agreed that the proposal met the requirements of New Jersey law, and could be designated as an ‘Area In Need of Redevelopment”.
Back in the USSR? One Humbert Street neighbor called this 2.5 story townhome proposal “a Soviet-era type of structure”
A proposal to construct three townhouses at 25 Humbert Street (map) was considered at a meeting of the Princeton Planning Board last Thursday. As discussed in ‘Walkable Princeton’ last week (“Three-unit Townhouse Development Proposed for Humbert Street in Princeton“), a developer recently purchased the dilapidated duplex on this site, and hopes to redevelop it with three 2.5 story townhouses. The total number of residences would therefore increase by one, from the previously-existing duplex, to three townhomes, which would be a 5-min walk from downtown Princeton. In public comment, however, nearby residents did not seem impressed with the plan. Continue reading →
Rendering of proposed townhouse development on Humbert Street in Princeton (click to expand)
Princeton Planning Board will consider an application on Thursday night for a three-home townhouse development on Humbert Street (map) in central Princeton. The plan would bring three compact homes to a site just off Wiggins Street that is within 2 minutes walk of downtown, but municipal staff have raised concerns about the density of the proposal. Continue reading →