March 29, 2023

Sharing Thoughts on Current Issue of Proposed 4-Story Building in Jugtown

To the Editor:
Several letters have addressed the continuing saga of affordable housing in Princeton. I too agree that affordable housing is an important issue as Princeton expands its boundaries. After living in the Butler Tract as a graduate student, I returned to the Jugtown area to buy a home on Cedar Lane. For years now, I continue to walk on Route 27 into town, past the Post Office, and then into the heart of Princeton and the University. I often shop at Whole Earth and have even walked to the medical services past Princeton Shopping Center. I’m happy to take the New York bus at the stop following the busy intersection of Harrison Street and Route 27, where the proposal to construct a four-story building has now caused major consternation.

Whenever crossing the busy intersection on my way home, I watch the cars rushing toward Route 1, at times almost edging the sidewalk. This and related problems with the proposed location of the apartment building near Whole Earth have now been fully discussed. One writer made an important point that only 20 percent of all units constructed around town would become affordable. The rest is the builder’s profit, for units in a prime location close to downtown. It is up to the town’s planning board and related agencies to propose a new plan to first favor our town and then reward investors’ pockets.

One only has to look at the denuded land behind Princeton Shopping Center’s parking lot after it has recently been cleared of all shrubbery and trees. It looks like a war zone. A sad site to behold where apartment buildings will contain only 20 percent of affordable units. No wonder more than 950 residents have by now signed the Save Jugtown petition, clearly opposing the construction of an oversized four-story apartment house at the junction of Harrison Street and Route 27 that would damage Jugtown’s historic setting.

Eva Siroka
Cedar Lane