What Is 9,000 Square Feet Worth?

A year after ground broke for a quintet of affordable housing units on Leigh Avenue, Princeton Borough mayor Mildred Trotman cut the ribbon on November 10.

The site of the new rental units is a 9,000-square-foot parcel owned by the borough. Construction was funded through Princeton University to satisfy its COAH obligations. The five units feature tall front porches, but also a five-space rear parking area that is flush to the back doors. This, says Sandra Persichetti, executive director of Princeton Community Housing, was done to make all the units handicapped-accessible.

The two-story units feature a pair of spacious bathrooms and wide-open kitchens.

To live here, of course, you need to meet strict low-income guidelines set by the state Council On Affordable Housing. The site is comprised of a one-bedroom house (rent: $365 a month for two people making up to $21,180), a three-bedroom (rent: $895 a month for a family of six making up to $51,184), and three two-bedroom houses (rent: $781 a month for a family of four making up to $44,125).

Applicants are still being accepted. For more information call the Somerset County Council On Affordable Housing (because Mercer County has no COAH body) at 908-203-4560. The agency hopes to have the spaces occupied by year’s end.

At the other end of the real estate continuum is a house U.S. 1 featured on its October 28 cover. “The Garden House,” 20 Greenhouse Drive, one of six outbuildings on the former Drumthwacket estate, has been put up for sale through Henderson Sotheby’s for $4,350,000. The house was built around 1905 by financier Moses Taylor Pyne and architect Raleigh Gildersleeve. Like the affordable housing project on Leigh Avenue, the Garden House measures 9,000 square feet. The house was completely rebuilt in 2003 by owner Chris Mario.

The property features six bedrooms, five full and three half-baths, two laundries, two kitchens, and two libraries.

More New Housing, but Different Pricing

Also on November 10, just a few blocks away from Princeton’s new affordable housing, and a world apart in terms of price, the developers of the new Residences at Palmer Square opened the sales office for their townhouses and condominiums, the first of which are nearing completion in the block bordered by Paul Robeson Place and Hulfish Street.

The first units are expected to be available within a month or so, at prices in the range of $1.5 million for a 1,600-square-foot unit up to $3 million for a townhome of 4,000 feet. When fully built out the project will include more than 100 units, with urban-style courtyards, patios, terraces and balconies, elevators, and garage parking.

The Residences at Palmer Square, 53 Hulfish Street, Princeton 08542; 609-924-3884. Sharon Bloodgood, sales manager. Home page: www.palmersquare.com.

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