May 15, 2013

AvalonBay Will Show “Fully Engineered” Plans

The public will get a chance to examine developer AvalonBay’s revised plans for the former Princeton Hospital site at an open house on Wednesday, May 22 in the cafeteria of Community Park School on Witherspoon Street. The presentation will be based on “fully engineered plans which are likely to be submitted to Princeton for site plan review prior to the event,” according to Jon Vogel, AvalonBay vice president. “Computer model and architectural rendering are still in process but will be available at the Planning Board hearing,” Mr. Vogel wrote in an email.

Members of the public, especially those who live in the neighborhood of the 285-unit rental complex that AvalonBay has proposed to build, have been particularly vocal in their insistence that the company provide plans that are still in the conceptual stage. The upcoming open house was a topic of public comment at a meeting of Princeton Council Monday night. Janice Hall of Park Place and Daniel Harris, a member of Princeton Citizens for Sustainable Neighborhoods (PCSN), were among those who said the public needs to see concept plans and three-dimensional models, allowing for community input and feedback, rather than plans that are already fully engineered.

AvalonBay’s initial plan for the hospital site was rejected last February by the Planning Board based on design standards. The company filed suit against the Board and the town of Princeton but later entered into a consent agreement with the town to try and find a compromise outside of court. PCSN has expressed concerns that Planning Board hearings on the revised proposal are being rushed.

The May 22 open house will include presentations by AvalonBay at 7, 8, and 9 p.m. about the status of the development, next steps, and timing while summarizing the changes made to the prior plans.КEach presentation will be followed by an informal question and answer session with company representatives.

In a press release announcing the open house, AvalonBay wrote, “We are very pleased to be submitting these new plans for Avalon Princeton. In the last several weeks, we have received constructive feedback on our revised design from municipal officials, professionals, and citizen representatives from both SPRAB and the PEC,” the release reads. “We have listened carefully to the issues that have been raised, and made changes from our initial design to accommodate community concerns within the constraints of the economic and construction realities surrounding the project. We are very excited about the prospect of sharing with the community our new plans, and we are optimistic that they will be well received.