InterCap’s plans to see 1,440 residential units built in West Windsor got a boost from state Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg, who ruled on January 23 that the township has 30 days to show that its redevelopment plan is sound.
Steve Goldin, CEO of InterCap, has long been pushing for extensive residential development on a 24-acre plot near the Princeton Junction train station, but the township’s redevelopment plan calls for no more than 500 units across 350 acres in the entire township.
Goldin sued the township, claiming its redevelopment plan is faulty because the township failed to tell property owners that West Windsor could resort to eminent domain in it plans. The township has denied that it will resort to eminent domain, but Goldin’s challenge centers on the fact that the township was required to mention the possibility, regardless of its plans.
Feinberg stated that the township’s redevelopment study “is ripe with constitutional infirmities.” Goldin, a West Windsor resident himself, said in reaction that InterCap is open to a settlement with the township, “provided those discussions are based on economic reality for the future of the area surrounding the Princeton Junction Train Station.” Goldin declined to elaborate on what he is looking for in a potential settlement.
West Windsor officials say Feinberg’s ruling is not irreversible and that the ruling is not a victory for InterCap. The township had argued that InterCap had missed the deadline for challenging the redevelopment designation, which was made in 2005, and that it could not wait to make a challenge while also participating fully in the developing the redevelopment plan, which was adopted in 2009. InterCap filed when it was unhappy with the plan, the township argued.
West Windsor officials are evaluating their next move.
Either way, the ruling has serious implications for West Windsor and can jeopardize its redevelopment project if InterCap argues its case successfully. Allowing InterCap to challenge the designation “creates the possibility that the designation will be invalidated, which would in turn nullify the redevelopment plan,” Feinberg said.
Precedent could favor InterCap. West Windsor lost a legal fight with Toll Bothers in 2002 over 1,165 affordable units after the developer claimed discriminatory zoning.
InterCap Holdings, 100 Overlook Center, Second Floor, Princeton 08540; 609-375-2802; fax, 609-375-2640. Steve Goldin, chairman and CEO. Home page: www.InterCapHoldings.com.