Real estate broker accepting bids for Jasna Polana golf course sale

Princeton officials say high density housing not on table

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PHOTO BY LEA KAHN/STAFF

The commercial real estate broker that is marketing the Jasna Polana golf course property will be accepting bids for the property Oct. 25, according to published reports.

Cushman & Wakefield has already received interest in the Tournament Players Club Jasna Polana from investors that include golf course owners, residential developers, hospitality groups and high net worth individuals, according to www.roi-nj.com.

More than 100 confidentiality agreements have been signed, and the real estate brokerage firm is excited to begin accepting bids for the property, Matt Davis of Cushman & Wakefield said in the published report on www.roi-nj.com.

The 222-acre property at 4519 Province Line Road, which also has frontage on Route 206/Lawrenceville Road, is informally known as Jasna Polana. It borders Lawrence Township.

The three parcels that make up Jasna Polana have a combined assessed value of $31.5 million, according to the Tax Assessor’s Office.

Jasna Polana was built in 1975 by Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company heir J. Seward Johnson Sr. and his third wife, Barbara Piasecka Johnson. It was converted into an exclusive golf course in 1998, with the 46,000-square-foot mansion as the clubhouse.

Meanwhile, Princeton officials quashed any suggestions that it would be developed for any other use than what is permitted under current zoning. It is zoned R-1, which permits single-family housing.

Of the 222 acres, only 107 acres would be developable. There are environmental constraints, including wetlands and stream buffer areas, that limit where development may occur, according to officials.

The offering document prepared by Cushman & Wakefield stated that 75 single-family homes could be built on the property. If a cluster option is exercised, as many as 81 homes could be built.

The offering document stated that as many as 2,675 units could be built if the property is rezoned. Of those units, 20% would be set aside for affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households.

Despite the broker’s offering document, Princeton officials have rejected any suggestions or inferences that Jasna Polana would undergo intense redevelopment and that expansion of uses beyond what is currently permitted would be allowed.

Mayor Mark Freda and Princeton Council President Mia Sacks said in September that despite advertisements that hint of potential redevelopment of the site for high density housing, that option is not on the table.

“Any implication in the marketing materials for Jasna Polana that a more dense project, or expansion of uses beyond what is allowed under the current zoning ordinance will be permitted, is unwarranted,” Freda and Sacks said.

Princeton officials are putting the finishing touches to the latest Princeton Community Master Plan, which states that “higher residential density (will be focused) within and around the downtown and in mixed-used centers, and maintaining lower densities outside of the downtown.”