Corrections or additions?
This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the June 5, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Life in the Fast Lane
Palmer Square Management LLC has filed for building
permits for 97 townhouses to be built on Paul Robeson Place and Chamber
Street. This development is are part of an overall plan for 114 Hillier-designed
townhouses that was approved in 1990. The project would bring a significant
number of ratables to a tax-hungry borough.
"For once we are trying to do the right thing — build a project,
increase ratables, and complete something that should have been built
out 10 or 12 years ago," says David S. Newton, vice president
of Palmer Square. "It starts a clock ticking which says this is
going to get done." Whether the townhouses will be rented (as
the current ones are) or sold has not been decided, he says.
It will be hard for the borough not to grant these permits, but granting
them may be controversial. The grass-roots organization called Princeton
Future (U.S. 1, May 15) wants the borough and planning board to reconsider
the use of Paul Robeson Place. But when a landlord has an approval
in hand, it significantly enhances the value of the property, and
to rescind that approval could quickly trigger a lawsuit.
Palmer Square got the original approvals in 1990 during a period of
real estate recession. Newton says that a payment of $57,500 to the
affordable housing fund went along with the approvals. "Then the
borough said that was way too law," explains Newton.
He predicts that it is more likely for Palmer Square to agree to a
bigger monetary payment than to reconfigure the housing plan. "Since
1998 we have been trying to find another approach — putting the
library there, putting the arts council — and on none of those
could we do a deal with the borough."
"We will continue to try to persuade him that it is in his interests
to pursue a more inclusive development on the site," says Sheldon
Sturges, co-founder of Princeton Future. Sturges believes changing
the plan would not cause significant delay because a new set of approvals
could be expedited.
Newton is skeptical about revisiting the wisdom of revisiting the
approval process. "The big fear is that we will miss the incredibly
good housing market," says Newton. "It is not to do with the
ticking of time clocks but with creating a circumstance where we can
negotiate with the borough. What the borough is asking us for is way
over the top, but who wants to litigate? We don’t. We are the largest
property owner that pays ratables in town, and it is not good for
us to be litigating. It could cost the borough another $1 million
in legal fees. We want to work out something friendly."
As far as Newton is concerned, changing the plan is not negotiable.
"A huge amount of thought was given to appearance and access along
Chambers and Paul Robeson," he says. "Back in 1989-90, the
desires and thoughts of the Witherspoon neighborhood were very much
taken into account, whatever Princeton Future says about it. Knowing
how difficult it is to get everyone to agree on configuration, the
only practical option is to have the negotiation based on money."
— Barbara Fox
Just a week after PharmaPros announced a new Internet-based
way of keeping track of clinical trials (U. S. 1, May 20), it sent
notices that it had moved from Main Street in Lawrenceville to the
Boston area: 245 1st Street, Suite 1851, 18th Floor, Cambridge, MA
02142, 617-444-8705; fax, 617-247-1375. The Princeton phone numbers
are still operating.
"PharmaPros Corporation is and has been a virtual company with
respect to our business, our customers, and our employees since our
inception in 1996," says Peg Regan, founder and president. She
says she has employees in five states and the United Kingdom and customers
across the United States and Canada, as well as England and Germany.
"We provide project based consulting services to support the pharmaceutical
and biotech industry for clinical research technology. The varied
locations of our employees provide an advantage to the company in
accessing clients as well as supporting various time zones."
"One of our partner companies, Phase Forward — the leading
software vendor for clinical informatics, also has corporate headquarters
in the Boston area, as does one of our largest customers — Bristol-Myers
Squibb Medical Imaging."
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