To the Editor: ‘New & Wonderful’

For the Hospital: An Even Better Site?

Corrections or additions?

This article was prepared for the May 18, 2005

issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Between The Lines

That both the companies on this week’s cover are located at Deer Park

Drive is, in part, a tribute to the U.S. 1 delivery system. X-Cell

Medical focuses on attaching drugs to cardiovascular stents, and TyRx

Pharma concentrates on the polymers that go with those stents, and

neither company is trying to attract attention. Like most labs on Deer

Park (officially known as Princeton Corporate Plaza), they are

hunkered down trying to do their work.

But we find them anyway. That’s in large part because U.S. 1’s

deliverer, Bob Hiel, goes to the door of each lab every Wednesday.

Nearly every week he reports on a new arrival, with the result that we

print articles on more than 20 denizens of Deer Park every year.

Our clusters of stories about Deer Park Drive are also due to the

park’s landlord, Harold Kent, who is also an architect. Kent has

dedicated his park to high tech businesses and they flock to him.

"Of all the people I have dealt with, and I have worked at four

different startups, he is by far the most accommodating as a

landlord," says Michael Pappas of MGP Biotech, which is using

technology to detect mutations in DNA. Pappas is the author of "The

Biotech Entrepreneur’s Glossary" (second edition 2002, $39). In this

well-reviewed book he explains business terms to the scientist and

science terms to the business person, and he is well acquainted with

the vagaries of novice entrepreneurs. "A lot of startups don’t know

their butt from their elbow in business," says Pappas, "and Harold

helps them out and takes care of them."

Top Of Page
To the Editor: ‘New & Wonderful’

Something new and wonderful has come to Princeton under the banner of

New Jersey Opera Theater. The performance of "Il Trovatore" in concert

at Richardson on Friday, May 6, was more than spectacular, with stars

from the Metropolitan Opera, a 55-piece orchestra, and a chorus under

the leadership of Maestro Michael Recchiuti.

When one cannot only follow the story line in Italian with no prompts

but is kept on the edge of his seat for the whole performance, it can

only mean that one is in the presence of overwhelming talent. And

overwhelming it was, with the likes of Elizabeth Blancke-Biggs, Allan

Glassman, Peter Castald, and Eugenie Grunewald.

The company has scheduled "Figaro," "Barber of Seville," and

"Cherubin" with costumes, staging, and a full orchestra for this

coming August. If the quality of these productions is anywhere near

what we saw May 6, Princeton is in for opera rivaling that seen in New

York and Philadelphia.

This new company was founded just three years ago by Scott and Lisa

Altman, both seasoned performers but neither of whom had run an

organization like the New Jersey Opera Theater. Yes, they had

assistance from a board and some helpers but it was the Altmans who

provided the drive and inspiration for the project.

Bob Levine

Guild member and supporter.

Top Of Page
For the Hospital: An Even Better Site?

I am seeking comments and support in advocating a land swap between

the University Medical Center at Princeton’s Witherspoon Street Campus

(developed 6 acres) and Princeton University’s (54 raw acres) along

Alexander Road in West Windsor Township. I am certainly not the

originator of this idea. However, I did share it with a responsible

area planner:

(1). The Princeton University portion of the "swap" would be land

adjacent to the Alexander Road overpass at head of Canal Pointe

Boulevard, bounded by Alexander Road, Route 1, the Dinky tracks, and

the D&R Canal. Exact siting and land requirements could be negotiated.

Specifically, it is Princeton University-owned Block 4, Lot 3 in West

Windsor which is 54.13 acres. This property has a current Farmland

Assessment value of $32,500 with West Windsor Township, which received

$1,342 in taxes for that parcel in 2004.

(2). This proposed location is closest to Princeton University for

students, Princeton Borough and Princeton Township residents, as well

regional access via Route 1. West Windsor residents benefit by having

multiple arteries to access the Medical Center. With pending highway

improvements to relieve Route 1 congestion when the Washington

Road/Route 1 "cut & cover" is constructed, accommodations could be

made for a direct link from Route 1.

(3). The hospital’s sewer access to the Stony Brook Regional Sewerage,

which crosses the property near the D&R Canal, would be particularly

cost-effective. Construction could be environmentally compatible and

visually appropriate as the complex looks toward the University

campus, D&R Canal, Washington Road Elms, and the Dinky for access.

Hospitals should focus on life and become a center of vitality and


(4). Compare this proposed Alexander Road site with the announced

"preferred West Windsor" site of 71.06 acres at Route 1 and Carnegie

Center Boulevard, owned by Princeton Land Partners (PLP). With an

assessed Farmland Assessment value of $42,600, PLP paid West Windsor

Township $1,759 in property taxes in 2004. Land must be taken from

this site to provide for ingress and egress, berming, and a variety of

other site-reducing improvements. This site also requires the

necessary zoning changes which will be delivered by Township officials

over residents’ objections.

(5). Minimal additional land on the suggested Alexander Road site need

be taken for roadways because it is bounded by Alexander Road and the

massive Alexander Road overpass.

(6). The Dinky could provide a "stop" at the University Medical Center

site to provide invaluable worker/commuter access that competing

medical institutions cannot. One cannot underestimate the value to

hospital operations of having the Dinky connection. Too, the Dinky

receives additional passenger revenues. Win-win.

(7). Keeping the university athletic fields open along Washington Road

and free from construction should be part of the university’s 100-200

year plan. The area surrounding the hospital would and could be a

visual oasis. Fewer residences would be adversely affected with the

Alexander Road location.

I would ask the local media to provide pictures and maps of the sites

to educate all interested parties in making informed decisions. What

do you think?

Pete Weale

144 Fisher Place, Princeton

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