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From Mayfair to Palmer Square: Self-Described “Corporate Vagabonds” at Home in Princeton

PRINCETON PERSPECTIVES: Over the next few weeks, Town Topics will run a series of articles focused on Princeton residents, some newcomers, others with deep connections to the town. According to the U.S. Census, Princeton has about 30,000 residents, but this bald statistic conveys nothing about the town’s diverse population that is comprised of town and gown, from the Residences (with a capital R) at Palmer Square to the seniors of Elm Court. This first story introduces Dan and Mary Beth Scheid, who moved from London to a row home in center city, Philadelphia, before settling into a three-story townhouse on Chambers Street.(Photo Courtesy of Cahn Communications.)

PRINCETON PERSPECTIVES: Over the next few weeks, Town Topics will run a series of articles focused on Princeton residents, some newcomers, others with deep connections to the town. According to the U.S. Census, Princeton has about 30,000 residents, but this bald statistic conveys nothing about the town’s diverse population that is comprised of town and gown, from the Residences (with a capital R) at Palmer Square to the seniors of Elm Court. This first story introduces Dan and Mary Beth Scheid, who moved from London to a row home in center city, Philadelphia, before settling into a three-story townhouse on Chambers Street. (Photo Courtesy of Cahn Communications.)

As President of ME Global, a global chemical company headquartered in London, England, Dan Scheid and his wife Mary Beth Scheid enjoyed a lifestyle at the center of a bustling city. They lived in Mayfair, in Shepherd’s Market to be precise, and Dan could walk to work. “It was wonderful, my office was right opposite St. James’s Palace,” recalled Dan in a telephone interview from the West Coast where the couple were hiking two hours outside of Seattle before traveling on to Ashville, North Carolina, to visit the John C. Campbell Folk School.

Easy access to everything their environment had to offer was what they were looking for when Dan retired in 2006 and the couple moved back to the United States.

They found it in Philadelphia, in a row house in Center City where, said Mary Beth, they fully expected to stay. But after their daughter Clancy married Princeton professor, David August, the Scheids found themselves spending more and more time in Princeton. The draw had much to do with their three grandchildren Betty, 4, Josie, 2, and Danny, 7 months. The Scheids plans for the future changed.

The Scheids moved into the Residences at Palmer Square in September 2010.

Besides family, one other consideration prompted their choice. Mobility. “We loved our four-story row house in center city, but we realized that mobility and stairs would one day become an issue for us,” said Dan. Even so, they had thought to move to a more convenient home in Philadelphia — until they saw the new steel and concrete construction of luxury multi-story townhomes and expansive single-level condominiums taking shape in the center of Princeton.

“As soon as the new residences became available, we were the first ones knocking on the door,” said Dan. “The promise of living in the center of downtown Princeton and being able to walk to everything was very enticing. It was similar to everything we liked about center city.”

Impressed by what they saw, the Scheids walked though numerous homes in various stages of construction and got a good look at the bone structure of each residence.

Their three-story townhome on Chambers Street, which also has a basement, is “everything we had hoped for,” said Dan. “Downtown Princeton offers a best-of-both-worlds living environment that few places can match. There’s the ease of a comfortable, small-town existence, but it is coupled with an urban vibrancy and international presence that you usually can’t find outside a big city. Princeton also has the advantage of being convenient to both Philadelphia and New York City. And The Residences at Palmer Square enjoy the best location in Princeton without question. We regularly attend the McCarter Theatre and Princeton University Art Museum, and love being able to walk to all of the restaurants and shops within Palmer Square and around town.”

The Scheids embraced the idea of living in a new-construction home. “The floor plan of the Palmer Square townhome was strikingly similar to our row house, including compatible design details and a classical layout, but with clear advantages,” Dan pointed out. “A brand new home compared to an 1830s building means more efficient space, improved energy efficiency, and fewer maintenance issues.”

And an elevator that takes them right into their apartment will give them the mobility they were concerned about when the time comes. Dan, 66, and Mary Beth, 65, are fit and physically active. They enjoy ballroom dancing at the Suzanne Patterson Center, traveling, music.

Both hail from Jackson, Michigan, where they went to the same high school. “Mary Beth and I met as freshmen; Mary Beth’s older brother was my best friend,” recalled Dan. Their son, Charles, lives in San Francisco and their daughter, Anna, in Amherst, Massachussetts.

The Scheids have made an effort to become part of the community, Dan serves as a trustee of the Historical Society of Princeton. “Being a part of the community was important to us and gave us a reason to make the move now when we are still young and active rather than later,” he said.

One of the best things Mary Beth has found in Princeton is the Newcomers and Friends Club run by the Princeton YWCA, which has about 200 members and serves as an excellent conduit for those new to the town. “I do one activity with the group at least once a week and we have met a lot of couples this way,” she said.

Princeton Living

Besides access to their growing family, living in Princeton offers other benefits. They find the cost of living in Princeton to be much less than they experienced in London. “It’s comparable to center city Philadelphia,” said Dan. “The big difference in living here is substantially higher taxes of all sorts, property taxes, income and sales taxes combined compared to Philadelphia and elsewhere in Pennsylvania. But when it comes to normal living expenses and food, costs are much the same.”

Located on Paul Robeson Place between Chambers and Witherspoon Streets, The Residences at Palmer Square complete a development project begun by Edgar Palmer in 1937. The new homes were designed along the lines of a European-style town square that would include shops, restaurants and residences. The brick Federal style exteriors are designed to complement existing buildings.

According to a press release, the residential community offers custom interior features and appointments including private elevators, 9- and 10-foot high ceilings and tray ceilings, extensive millwork, fireplaces with marble hearths, pocket doors and elegant crown moldings. Gourmet kitchens have maple cabinets, granite countertops, and Viking stainless steel appliances; spa-like master baths feature whirlpool tubs, double sinks, glass showers, and marble countertops. Many of the homes have their own terraces and there are landscaped promenades, courtyards, and common outdoor areas. There is also indoor parking for residents.

There are 32 different floor plans from two- and three-bedroom, single-level flats, to two- and three-bedroom, multi-level townhouses.

The single level flats have between 1,623 and 4,130 square feet of living space; the townhomes have between 2,622 and 3,084 square feet. The flats range in price from $1.245 to $3.4 million; the townhomes from $1.775 to $2.195 million.

A limited number of rental residences are also available, with two- and three-bedroom floor plans ranging from 1,623 to 3,195 square feet of living space monthly rents starting at $4,800.

For more information on The Residences at Palmer Square, call (609) 924-3884, or visit www.palmersquareresidences.com.

 

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