March 5, 2014

New Residential Construction Nearing Completion Around Town

COPPERWOOD MOVING FAST: Copperwood architect and developer J. Robert Hillier’s housing community for those over 55, nears completion on Bunn Drive among 100 foot tall trees of the Princeton Ridge Preservation. With sustainable features such as sedum roofs, low energy appliances, and recycled rainwater irrigation, interest is strong for the 153 units that will be ready for residents this June.

COPPERWOOD MOVING FAST: Copperwood architect and developer J. Robert Hillier’s housing community for those over 55, nears completion on Bunn Drive among 100 foot tall trees of the Princeton Ridge Preservation. With sustainable features such as sedum roofs, low energy appliances, and recycled rainwater irrigation, interest is strong for the 153 units that will be ready for residents this June.

Anyone walking or driving around Princeton recently couldn’t fail to notice changes afoot. While The Residences at Palmer Square are now complete, several other residential communities are approaching their finish lines. 

The view from Paul Robeson Place and John Street shows new homes for the families of Princeton University faculty and staff rising where Merwick Care Center once stood.

On the other side of town, alongside Lake Carnegie, the University’s newly built apartments and townhomes for graduate students are scheduled to be ready this summer.

And on Bunn Drive, surrounded by a preserved forest that is part of the 200-acre Princeton Ridge Preservation, Copperwood, Princeton’s first market-rate senior housing development, is almost ready to be occupied.

Palmer Square Residences

With the sale of its first fully-furnished town home model, Palmer Square Management has unveiled a second to introduce the public to The Residences at Palmer Square’s varied living alternatives, luxury, and design.

The model has seen quite a bit of foot traffic from the public as well as realtors and two new condominium buildings and two new rental buildings are now available.

“The completion of most of the construction has now brought the community to the point where buyers can immediately experience the living spaces, quality of construction, upscale finishes and appointments, and the homes’ integration into the overall Palmer Square and downtown Princeton communities,” said spokesperson George Cahn. “Because of that, we’re seeing prospective buyers who first visited Palmer Square three and four years ago now returning to see the finished product and it’s making a difference. Seven homes have sold, including six townhomes and one flat. Three new rental residences have been leased since the new buildings opened a couple of weeks ago.”

According to a press release from Palmer Square Management, the recent completion of significant construction has allowed for immediate occupancy and more than 50 percent of the first phase of the multi-story complex has been sold, with closings underway.

Two- and three-bedroom townhomes from 2,622 to 3,084 square feet are priced from $1,775,000 to $2,195,000. Two- and three-bedroom flats ranging from 1,623 to 4,130 square feet are priced from $1.245 million to $3.4 million.

“Once we completed construction of the first phase of multi-story townhomes and single-level flats, we experienced an increase in sales activity,” said David Newton of Palmer Square Management, adding that interest in new rental
opportunities has always been high.

In response to the demand for rentals, Palmer Square Management released newly-completed condominiums and rental residences with monthly rents from $4,800 to $8,600.

For more information or to make a private appointment to view the fully-furnished townhome and single-level models, call (609) 924-3884, or visit The sales center at 112 Victoria Mews is open Monday through Friday, 10 to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Merwick, Stanworth, Lakeside

The homes visible from Bayard Lane and John Street are a mix of apartments and townhouses, including affordable units available to local residents with low-to-moderate incomes. Eight townhouse buildings and three mid-rise buildings have a total of 128 units. According to a University update, the first phase of the project is due to be completed July 1, followed by phase two, the construction of 198 units at the Stanworth site.

This new construction is part of the University’s housing plan for faculty, staff, and graduate students. Accommodation for the latter is taking shape on the site formerly occupied by Hibben and Magie apartments and will provide homes for some 715 graduate students in 74 three and four bedroom townhomes and 255 apartments that have a variety of configurations: one-bedroom, one-bath; two-bedroom, one-bath units; and three-bedroom, three-bath units. Some of the units will be fully furnished.

Lakeside Graduate Housing is also due to open this summer.

The buildings have been designed and built according to Princeton’s sustainability standards and the University will seek LEED silver certification for them from the U.S. Green Building Council.


The list of qualified potential renters for the 153 Copperwood units on Bunn Drive has grown to 320, arguing the need for even more apartments of this kind in the Princeton area.

“This is the only active adult rental project within 10 miles of Princeton and interest is very strong with 24 units already spoken for,” said Copperwood architect and developer J. Robert Hillier (a Town Topics shareholder).

The sustainable development sits on four acres in the middle of 21 acres of woodlands, of which 17 acres is dedicated to conservation in perpetuity, and is surrounded by the Princeton Ridge Preservation.

“Copperwood looks in great shape for its expected end-date of June 1,” said Mr. Hillier. “The project is just about two thirds done. We are about to start putting up the sheet rock walls so you can really see the interiors taking shape and we expect to have models to show by the beginning of next month.”

The community is arranged in five buildings around a piazza with landscaped gardens on top of a sunken garage. Elevators from the underground garage serve each floor of each building. Amenities include full time concierge services, a fitness center, a cafe/lounge/library, a party/meeting room and a bicycle storage room. Parking will also accommodate electric cars.

Walkways, gardens and
piazzas separate the buildings, whose exteriors are designed to blend with the wooded surroundings. Ground-floor units have private patios. Other units look out onto woods or gardens.

The project was originally scheduled to open in the fall of 2012 but the discovery of more boulders than originally expected and severe weather caused delays. Many of those boulders, incidentally, ended up restoring the New Jersey shore after Sandy.

The 55+ Active-Lifestyle Community has 153 luxury rental apartments offered in multiple designs and ranging in size from 718 to 1426 square feet.

Depending upon finishes, size and location within the complex, the units will rent from $2,230 to $4,100 a month. Twelve of the units will be affordable housing and all include assigned parking in the private, underground garage.


“It’s a real example of sustainable design unlike any within 100 miles of Princeton,” said Mr. Hillier, who describes the project as “enabling people who have spent their lives in Princeton to downsize and continue to live here. They have never been able to do that before in this quality of environment.”

Sustainable features include sedum roofs to harvest rainwater for irrigation and toilets, semi-pervious driveways and walkways, energy efficient lighting, and environmentally-friendly food waste disposers.

Mr. Hillier, who grew up in Princeton, likens the 300,000 square feet construction to a modern European hilltop village. “Copperwood will satisfy an unmet need for senior rental housing in Princeton and will provide luxury living and convenience to the active adults here,” he said.

“It is a pleasure to finally be able to deliver housing that enables Princeton residents to downsize and yet continue to enjoy this amazing community of Princeton,” said Mr. Hillier.

For more information, call (609) 688-9999, or visit: