A new development of storefronts, a restaurant, an agricultural supply store, and an extended stay hotel is proposed for a site along the northbound side of Route 1 between the Square at West Windsor shopping center and the Princeton Service Center office complex. The developer, HSC West Windsor, pitched the concept to the West Windsor Planning Board on May 22, hoping to get the property re-zoned from research and limited manufacturing to a commercial designation.
The 12-acre plot has been mostly vacant for 13 years and is covered in woods.
The planned restaurant — potentially BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse — will be near the front of the property and closer to Route 1. Farther from the highway will be a Tractor Supply Company in a 19,097-square-foot building. The Tractor Supply Company has more than 1,700 outlets around the country and supplies equipment such as tractor and trailer parts, fencing, and power tools.
Planned for the rear of the lot is Woodsprings Suites, an extended stay hotel, which would have 128 rooms in a four-story, 13,355-square-foot building. The concept plan was presented by Joshua Sewald, principal of Newtown, Pennsylvania-based Dynamic Engineering Consultants.
Sewald told the zoning board that due to the decreased demand for office space in the West Windsor area, the B-1 rezoning would be appropriate.
Though the development is not predicted to increase traffic during peak hours due to the tenants’ times of operation, the board voiced concerns about road configuration.
Currently those looking to enter the Square at West Windsor have to take an access lane, which then merges back into Route 1. However, drivers exiting this new property may attempt to go to Route 1 directly instead of using the access lane, and this weaving could cause traffic concerns. Since Route 1 is a state highway, any decision regarding road reconfiguration would be made by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Another concern is how this development will affect nearby stores. Aaron Brotman, representing the Square at West Windsor Tenants’ Association, noted that the currently proposed road linking the two properties may cause restaurant parking to overflow into their property.
Brotman also said that Lowe’s and the Tractor Supply Company have a 60 percent overlap in product offerings, though West Windsor Mayor Hemant Marathe stated that having a marketplace of goods may actually be beneficial to both stores.
Another issue that arose was that of hotel saturation. Extended Stay America is just a few minutes away from the proposed location, with Homewood Suites also in the area and other hotels already in planning.
If approved, the rezoning would take place as part of West Windsor’s master plan review next year, after which the developer would take an official site plan application to the zoning board.