Apartment building at Princeton Shopping Center approved by Planning Board

Princeton Shopping Center pic

The Princeton Planning Board has given approval to Princeton (Edens) LLC’s application to build a 200-unit rental apartment building at the Princeton Shopping Center on North Harrison Street.

The Planning Board signed off on it at a special meeting Oct. 26, wrapping up the public hearing on Princeton (Edens) LLC’s application for preliminary and final site plan and subdivision approval.

Princeton (Edens) LLC will subdivide part of the Princeton Shopping Center property to develop a four-story rental apartment building in the parking lot opposite the Walgreens pharmacy. AvalonBay Communities Inc. will construct and own the apartment building.

The apartment building is one of several inclusionary affordable housing development sites in Princeton’s fair share housing plan. Princeton is one of many New Jersey towns sued by the Fair Share Housing Center for its alleged failure to provide its fair share of affordable housing.

An inclusionary development includes a mix of market-rate and affordable housing units. Of the 200 apartments in the new development, 160 will be market-rate units and 40 will be earmarked for low- and moderate-income households.

The apartment building will include studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Of the 15 studio apartments, 12 will be market rate units and three will be affordable housing units. The 68 one-bedroom apartments will include 64 market-rate apartments and eight affordable housing units.

The 99 two-bedroom apartments will include 74 market-rate units and 25 affordable units. Of the 18 three-bedroom apartments, 10 units will be market-rate and eight will be earmarked for low- and moderate-income households.

A one-person household can earn up to $61,175 to qualify for moderate-income housing, and up to $38,235 for low-income housing.

For a two-person household, the maximum income is $69,915 for moderate-income housing, and $43,697 for low-income housing.

A four-person household can earn up to $87,393 to qualify for moderate-income housing, and a maximum of $54,621 for low-income housing.

There will be 300 parking spaces in a parking garage that is integrated into the apartment building. It will include 20 electric vehicle charging stations. There will be a parking area for 100 bicycles, plus a maintenance area for them.

The applicant was asked to provide 45 electric vehicle charging stations, but declined to do so. Attorney Rick Hoff, who represents Princeton (Edens) LLC, said his client is required to provide eight electric vehicle charging stations, but has agreed to provide 20 of them.

The Princeton Shopping Center building that houses Walgreens pharmacy, the Verizon store and other businesses will be partially demolished. Walgreens will move into a new, 10,189-square-foot building next to the first entrance to the shopping center on North Harrison Street.

A handful of outstanding issues were resolved at the Oct. 26 meeting, including an agreement to widen the shared bicycle/pedestrian path from five feet to eight feet on the south side of the property. It begins at the North Harrison Street entrance to the shopping center, near the former Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad building, and ends at Grover Park.

Princeton (Edens) LLC will provide a raised crosswalk across the ring road, at the entrance to Grover Park, and a raised handrail along the walkway adjacent to the access drive to the apartment building’s parking garage.

The applicant will plant up to 150 shrubs along the southern boundary of the development, which backs up to the homes on Clearview Avenue, to screen the apartment building from the homes.