The Princeton Nurseries site in Plainsboro and South Brunswick — Courtesy: Cushman & Wakefield
By Joshua Burd
Princeton University is seeking a buyer for more than 270 acres along Route 1, where local officials have approved a broad mix of commercial, research, hospitality and residential uses.
According to Cushman & Wakefield, which is marketing the so-called Princeton Nurseries site on the university’s behalf, the property includes 109 acres in Plainsboro that has received general development plan approvals for 605,000 square feet of nonresidential construction, including up to 310,000 square feet of retail space, up to 220,000 square feet of office and research space and a 125-key hotel. The approvals also allow for up to 950 residential units with a mix including townhomes, condo apartments, rental apartments, manor homes and single-family dwellings.
The remaining 162 acres are located in South Brunswick, where local officials would allow for up to 1.8 million square feet of nonresidential development, including but not limited to a 300-key full-service hotel, executive and corporate offices, laboratories, high-tech and science assembly and production and health maintenance space.
“We are excited to be working with Princeton University to find a development partner for this once-in-a-generation opportunity,” Cushman & Wakefield’s Brian Whitmer said. “The 271-acre Princeton Nurseries site has been primed to integrate a mix of best-in-class residential, retail, office and hospitality uses into an area that is highly regarded as one of the region’s major economic hubs.”
Whitmer is leading the assignment alongside C&W’s Andrew Merin, David Bernhaut, Gary Gabriel, Mark Weiss and Ryan Dowd, working with Debra Tantleff of Tantum Real Estate in an entitlement advisory role. They noted that the parcel is part of the well-known Princeton Forrestal Center, representing the last large development opportunity at the 2,300-acre mixed-use campus.
“We look forward to finding a first-class developer to help sustain Princeton Forrestal Center as one of the nation’s leading university-affiliated research centers,” said KyuJung Whang, vice president for facilities with Princeton University. “The development of the Princeton Nurseries will strengthen our longstanding partnership with the Plainsboro and South Brunswick communities.”
In a news release, C&W said Plainsboro approved a general development plan for the site last September, allowing for a high degree of development variability and optionality. For its part, the South Brunswick plan was put in place in July 2004.
The site is likely to attract broad interest, given its location in one of the state’s most affluent and sought-after locations for corporate, health care and higher education users. C&W pointed to the region’s connectivity to New York City and Philadelphia, highway access and proximity to a highly educated labor pool.
“It has been a pleasure working with Princeton University to create a vision for the Nurseries site that will enhance the property and benefit the residents of Plainsboro,” said Peter Cantu, the township’s mayor. “We are looking forward to seeing this project come to fruition.”