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."
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.
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
(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?
Corrections or additions?
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