Fiction and Poetry

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

estate pipeline.

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


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Fiction and Poetry

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

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.

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