Corrections or additions?
This article was prepared for the May 11, 2005
issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Between The Lines
U.S. 1 does not normally pay too much attention to anonymous letters,
but one typewritten missive recently raised some noteworthy questions
concerning our April 27 cover story, entitled "Filling in the Route 1
Blanks" and assessing potential developments in the commercial real
The reader – who declined to sign his or her name because of a
potential conflict of interest – suggested the reporter, Barbara Fox,
was "20 years behind in thinking" and claimed that the optimistic
outlook for development should have been tempered by the "scary"
homeowner debt situation and corporate debt-to-equity ratios.
At this point, if the letter had any identification on it at all, we
would have tried to convince the writer to let us publish the letter
by identifying the writer as "a Princeton developer," "a municipal
planner," or a resident of a particular town.
What stopped us from tossing the letter is that the writer had some
compelling views that resonate with both commercial and residential
real estate owners. This issue’s cover story (and Richard K. Rein’s
column on page 62), in fact, tells how housing prices are, well, going
through the roof. If they continue to rise, will they eventually fall?
So, though we can’t put a name to our correspondent, we decided to
print the four reasons for his pessimistic stance:
Debt, he/she believes, will result in a major degrading of property
values, both commercial and residential. "Nobody talks about it
publicly, but I constantly hear a lot of privately expressed
The growing trend for telecommuting: "We may shortly have excess
office space that sits empty for years."
Infrastructure. "God forbid someone needs to get to the emergency room
at the new medical center during rush hour," he/she writes, pointing
to roadways, utilities, and other "soft" infrastructure issues.
Rising energy costs. "In my opinion there’s going to be a lot of major
trickle-down issues in the near future. Many of the local towns
already planned and zoned themselves into problems in this area."
Is there somebody out there who is willing to go on the record as a
naysayer? Is this newspaper guilty of boosterism? We welcome your
We also welcome signed contributions of original short fiction, humor,
or poetry for our U.S. 1 Summer Fiction issue to be published on
Wednesday, July 27. To participate, submit previously unpublished
work, one entry per category per writer. Submissions must be received
by Wednesday, June 22, by mail to U.S. 1 Newspaper, 12 Roszel Road,
Suite C-205, Princeton 08540; by fax to 609-452-0033, or as an E-mail
message to firstname.lastname@example.org
Preference will be given to central New Jersey writers whose work
addresses a theme or place relevant to the Princeton business
community. Be sure to include a brief biographical summary (including
where you work) along with your name, address, and daytime phone
number. Questions? E-mail us or call 609-452-7000.
Corrections or additions?
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— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.