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Application for mixed-use building on Griggs Corner lot is withdrawn

Palmer Square Management LLC has withdrawn its application to develop a mixed-use building on the Griggs Corner parking lot on the corner of Witherspoon Street and Hulfish Street.

The application for site plan approval, which was in front of the Princeton Planning Board, was withdrawn without comment, Princeton Planning Director Michael LaPlace said. It was scheduled for the board’s Sept. 17 meeting, which was canceled.

The Princeton Planning Board began hearing testimony on the application to construct a three-story building on the privately-owned parking lot at its July 23 meeting. The board ran out of time to complete the public hearing on the application, and subsequent meetings were scheduled to continue it – but never held.

The quarter-acre property is opposite the Princeton Public Library. It was the site of a restaurant operated by the Griggs family. After the restaurant was closed and the building was demolished, it became a gasoline service station.

Since 1992, it has been a 24-space metered parking lot. The land is privately owned and does not belong to the Municipality of Princeton.

The application called for constructing a three-story building on the corner lot. It would have consisted of 5,308 square feet of commercial space in the basement and 5,467 square feet of commercial space on the first floor.

The second and third floors of the building would have contained seven rental apartments – six duplexes (two-story apartments) and a one-story flat. It was anticipated that the flat would be set aside as an affordable housing unit.

While the plan called for seven rental apartments on the upper two floors, there would not be any on-site parking. Palmer Square Management had set aside parking spaces in the adjacent Hulfish Street parking garage for the residential tenants.

The plan also showed a patio at the rear of the building. Trees would have been planted along the patio, and planter boxes would have been placed on Witherspoon Street and Hulfish Street, according to testimony presented at the July 23 meeting.

Architect Joshua Zinder traced the history of the property for the Planning Board. It was the site of the Imperial Restaurant, owned by Burnett Griggs, in the 1950s. The building was demolished in 1961, and replaced by a gasoline service station in 1963. The gas station closed in 1987.


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