Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 49
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
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Borough Sees Delays in Work on Building C, Acquiring Jitney

Dilshanie Perera

Despite some recent setbacks, work on Building C is expected to resume next week, according to Borough Administrator Robert Bruschi. Construction was slowed in October after potential petroleum-related ground contaminants were detected across the street.

Building C is the five-story, mixed-use structure that will contain 56 apartments, a grocery story, and three live/work retail spaces once complete. It comprises Phase II of the downtown redevelopment plan and will occupy the site of the Tulane Street parking lot.

Negotiations between the Borough and developer Nassau HKT (NHKT) are ongoing. Mr. Bruschi remarked in a phone interview that the Borough and NHKT have agreed to a mediator, and that “the next step is for the Borough staff to outline for Council what we believe” would be in the Borough’s best interest regarding mediation. He expects the mediation to commence “sometime early next year.”

In the meantime, construction on Building C may continue, since “all the issues we’re mediating pertain to the first phase” of the downtown development and because a previous agreement lets the Borough and NHKT “agree to disagree” about the unresolved issues, Mr. Bruschi noted.

On June 10, Borough Council approved of the estoppel agreements that allowed for Phase II to begin. Thirteen items were slated to be resolved through mediation, including costs for repairing the Spring Street Municipal Parking Garage, and the start date for ground rent for Phase I.

The next steps regarding Building C’s progress include burying the utility wires and cables that run along Spring Street up to the intersection of Tulane and Spring. Mr. Bruschi said that the Borough had been informed that NHKT was in the process of contacting public service authorities regarding moving the wires underground.

Though the Borough’s jitney, or Free B shuttle program, is currently in operation, Mr. Bruschi reported that the municipality is waiting for New Jersey Transit to get back to them regarding obtaining the new vehicle. Under the agreement, New Jersey Transit will be lending the Borough a new shuttle for three years in addition to matching up to $30,000 for the shuttle’s operation for the first year, $20,000 for the second year, and $10,000 for the last.

Princeton University has also agreed to contribute to the funding of the shuttle, according to Mr. Bruschi, though the exact amount has yet to be determined. “We will continue to have discussions with regard to the University’s role,” he said.

The Free B shuttle runs from 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. around a route encompassing the downtown, Borough Hall, and the Dinky Station. The route and hours may be expanded pending Borough Council and New Jersey Transit approval. “We are hoping that it will prove to be successful on a long-term basis,” Mr. Bruschi remarked.

For a jitney schedule, visit


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