Across from 50 Wiggins Street, where architect Kirsten Thoft recently converted a 1905 Queen Anne into a four condominium units, builder Roman Barsky is building his own set of new homes. But whereas Thoft has taken the renovation approach, Barsky has taken the opposite tack — a teardown replaced by four new, large units.
Barsky and his company, R.B. Homes (formerly Barsky Homes) at 152 Witherspoon Street, last year got the approval of the Princeton Borough Planning Board to subdivide the lot at 46 Wiggins (at the corner of Jefferson Road) into two parcels of 7,425 square feet each, and have designed four units to go there. Barsky is about a third of the way through the construction, but already two units are spoken for.
According to Anna Shulkina, a real estate agent with Long & Foster at 33 Princeton-Hightstown Road in Princeton Junction and broker for the property, the homes each feature three bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths, a two-car garage, and an elevator. Elevators are becoming a common amenity in new, high-end homes built around the area — a nod to the desire of many to age in place.
Elevators, in fact, are also part of the Residences at Palmer Square, a 100-unit development in the heart of Princeton that is about to see the first of its 17 townhouses occupied next month.
The homes at 46 Wiggins range from 2,000 to 2,300 square feet and prices range from $965,000 to $995,000. The property itself was on the market for approximately $1.1 million when Barsky bought it last year.
Unlike Thoft, who prefers to find properties she can renovate, Barsky has stated his preference for finding properties out of which he can build larger projects. Occasionally, Barsky’s build-bigger mentality rubs officials the wrong way, which it did when he sought approval for the Wiggins Street project. Planning Board chairman Marvin Reed originally balked at the idea that Barsky’s project would replace a set of what could be considered affordable homes with new luxury homes.
Barsky, who began his career running his own insulation business, started building homes in and around South Brunswick and Point Pleasant until 1995, when he settled into Princeton. He builds here exclusively now. “People want to live in Princeton,” he told U.S. 1 three years ago (October 3, 2007) . “They want to be near the stores and restaurants. That’s the beauty of our town.”
R.B. Homes, 152 Witherspoon Street, Princeton 08540; 609-924-7111; fax, 609-924-7199. Roman Barsky, owner.