The Mercer County Association of Realtors is greatly concerned about the recent superior court ruling that questions the validity of West Windsor’s designation of the 350-acres surrounding the Princeton Junction Train Station as an “area in need of redevelopment.” MCAR, which represents over 2,250 real estate professionals in Mercer County, has long been a supporter of redevelopment of the train station and the stretch of Route 571 that runs through Princeton Junction.

While the association understands the complexity of moving forward with significant redevelopment projects, particularly in today’s economy, MCAR members have been frustrated with the wasted potential of this key geographical area. Our members are worried that the court’s ruling will drag out the process even longer, making an already bad situation in Princeton Junction even worse.

The deteriorating condition of Princeton Junction is hurting an already fragile real estate market in West Windsor. Countless Realtor members have told us that potential buyers have been turned off to West Windsor after seeing the state of the train station and so-called downtown area. For the first time, West Windsor’s award-winning school system, prime access to transport and excellent recreational facilities are being overshadowed by its unattractive downtown. This is something none of us can afford.

MCAR members would like to be able to tell potential buyers about West Windsor’s plans for improvements with tangible timelines and details. But these specifics seem to be slipping away once again with the township facing another potential lawsuit. Let’s not relive the Toll Brother’s lawsuit of 10 years ago, but instead move forward and finally achieve West Windsor’s full potential through meaningful redevelopment. Much of the groundwork has been laid, now it’s time for some real action. MCAR looks forward to supporting and working with the Mayor and Council in any way we can to make this happen.

Ellen Affel

President, Mercer County Association of Realtors

Editor’s note: The letter above was directed to West Windsor Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh and members of West Windsor Council. For background on the legal issues surrounding the proposed train station redevelopment visit the website of the West Windsor-Plainsboro News, www.wwpinfo.com, and look up the January 22, 2010, issue in the archives section. The background on Steve Goldin, the plaintiff in the recent lawsuit, and his plans for land located at 14 Washington Road near the train station, see the May 28, 2008, issue of U.S. 1.

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