Princeton Council applies for state grant to improve section of Terhune Road ahead of housing developments


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Princeton officials hope to receive a state grant to offset the costs of improvements to a section of Terhune Road, between N. Harrison Street and Grover Avenue, in advance of the construction of more than 600 apartments in the area.

The Princeton Council approved the $636,000 grant application to the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s (NJDOT) “Safe Streets to Transit” grant program at its July 25 meeting. The estimated price tag for new sidewalks, a bicycle lane and related improvements is $1 million.

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The goal is to provide safe access to the Princeton Shopping Center, which is a public transportation hub. New Jersey Transit (NJT)bus routes 605 and 606 have bus stops at the shopping center, as well as the town’s free municipal bus service formerly known as the Free-B.

NJT is considering a route change to accommodate the new rental apartment developments, according to the resolution authorizing the NJDOT grant application.

“The improvement project will include traffic calming in the form of a raised intersection, which spans the new offset intersection of Thanet Circle and a new road (into the Princeton Shopping Center) off Terhune Road,” according to a memorandum to the Princeton Council from Assistant Municipal Engineer James Purcell.

A new sidewalk will be built on the south side of Terhune Road, from the new road to Grover Avenue. An asphalt sidewalk on the north side of Terhune Road will be replaced with a concrete sidewalk between N. Harrison Street and Grover Avenue, according to the memorandum.

Bike lanes, pavement resurfacing and reconstruction, and enhanced storm water management are included in the proposed improvements, according to the memorandum.

Housing developments

Since late 2020, the Princeton Planning Board has approved several rental apartment developments beginning with AvalonBay Communities’ 221-unit development off Thanet Circle in November 2020. Construction is under way on the development, which includes 193 apartments and 28 townhouses.

Of the 193 apartments, 11 are set aside for affordable housing. Five of the 11 units are earmarked for residents with special needs.

The Planning Board also approved developer PIRHL’s 80-unit age-restricted development, adjacent to the AvalonBay Communities development in December 2020. All of the apartments are set aside for affordable housing.

In November 2021, the Planning Board approved a 200-unit rental apartment building – including 40 apartments set aside for affordable housing – at the Princeton Shopping Center. It will be built in the parking lot opposite the Walgreens pharmacy.

The Planning Board also approved a 125-unit rental apartment building on the corner of N. Harrison Street and Terhune Road in May 2022. There will be 25 apartments set aside for affordable housing.

The housing developments are intended to help Princeton meet its obligation to provide affordable housing. The town was sued by the nonprofit Fair Share Housing Center – along with other towns in New Jersey – for allegedly failing to provide its fair share of affordable housing.

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