Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 34
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors

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Iris Interiors

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Weather Forecast

Borough Merchants for Princeton Discuss Construction and Parking

Dilshanie Perera

“We’re meeting each other and building trust, and that’s the point of this organization” said Borough Merchants for Princeton’s Travis Linderman, who is also a director on its board. Over 30 local merchants were present at yesterday’s meeting, during which NHKT developer and local business owner Jack Morrison presented an update on the construction of Building C. Parking was another key issue at the meeting.

Building C is the five-story structure that is to house 56 apartments, a grocery store, and three live/work retail spaces. It is being built on the site of the former Tulane Street Parking lot. A walkway running from Hinds Plaza to Building C and connecting to the downtown shopping areas is also planned.

Mr. Morrison mentioned that an archaeological dig of Building C’s footprint had just been completed, and that through the fall they would be doing site work and environmental work.

At present, construction efforts are focused on burying the utility wires that run along Spring Street up to the corner of Spring and Tulane, Mr. Morrison said, adding that the businesses and institutions along Nassau Street “will benefit from a much larger power grid.” Excavation work will be done in January, “and our goal is that by the fall of 2009 the building will be enclosed,” he estimated.

Transportation in Princeton was the next topic of conversation as the Whole Earth Center’s Director of Marketing Fran McManus noted that 11 new bicycle racks have been installed in Princeton and that the store is giving discounts of a dollar to customers who bike. Borough Engineer Christopher Budzinski added that four more bike racks will be installed in town.

Kim Jackson, the director of Transportation and Parking Services at Princeton University, reported that the university is in the process of creating a bike map that will be distributed to students, faculty, and staff, and will also be available online. It is to be continually updated. Mr. Budzinski inquired whether the map could also indicate places to rack bikes.

The discussion then turned to parking in Princeton, with Mr. Morrison suggesting that “it is important that we utilize the parking garage, which is probably only used up to 50 percent at peak moments.” He mentioned that Teri McIntire of Maya Marketing is working on “creating some exciting signage” that will direct visitors to the parking garage from Witherspoon and Tulane Streets.

Bill Moran from the Whole Earth Center noted that a marketing campaign regarding parking could tie in sustainability efforts, since directly parking in the garage saves gas and decreases traffic congestion. He joked that a happy consequence of parking in the garage is ensuring against fines from parking tickets. Borough Clerk Andrea Quinty noted that smart card usage and purchase has increased as well.

Mr. Budzinski said that the Borough does not want to have “sign clutter” and that the signage will probably be between 18 and 24 inches square. Mr. Morrison noted that the design will feature a blue P.

Mr. Morrison said that it is “up to us as merchants to explain to customers how to use the parking garage and its different options for paying.” Borough Merchants for Princeton President and owner of Cranbury Station Gallery Kathie Morolda seconded the sentiment saying, “We should consider ourselves, and every store, as hosts to this town.”

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