Princeton University plans to redevelop two adjacent properties north of campus for faculty and staff housing. The Merwick-Stanworth site includes the current Stanworth Apartments and the location of the former Merwick Care Center rehabilitation facility that has been demolished.
Torti Gallas and Partners of Silver Spring, Md., were selected as the architect and planner for the project in spring 2011. The concept plan was presented to the Princeton Regional Planning Board in January 2012, the final site plan was presented in September 2012 and it was approved that fall.
The project is part of the University's Housing Master Plan, begun in 2005 to enhance housing programs for faculty, staff and graduate students, as well as the Campus Plan, begun in 2006 to guide campus development through 2016.
"We're making significant progress toward our goals of better meeting the needs of our graduate students, faculty and staff as well as improving the condition and sustainability of our buildings, while limiting our impact on the surrounding neighborhood. And we’re accomplishing this by leveraging the expertise of the residential development sector," said Michael McKay, vice president for facilities.
The development of projects in the Housing Master Plan and other off-campus ventures are being managed by the Office of Real Estate Development. The office reports to McKay and provides property development and project management services for properties located off campus.
The nine-acre Merwick site is adjacent to the Stanworth Apartments. The site was acquired from the Princeton HealthCare System when the building was vacated in late 2010. Due to Merwick's proximity to Stanworth, the two sites will be planned as an integrated community. The planning process has sought to relate these sites to an adjacent site occupied by the YMCA-YWCA and to the surrounding neighborhood.
Stanworth, located along Route 206 (Bayard Lane), is a 16-acre site that includes 23 buildings featuring 154 units with a mix of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments. The brick and shingled buildings were built in the 1940s and are situated in a grassy, park-like setting, giving the complex the feel of a neighborhood.
Focus groups with faculty and staff members were conducted to determine preferences for size and other features.
The University plans to begin work on the Merwick site in April 2013. Units there are expected to be ready for occupancy in fall 2014. The development timeline for the Stanworth site will follow, with construction slated to begin in 2014 with occupancy slated to begin in fall 2015. The existing Stanworth units are being used for short-term housing for graduate students during the redevelopment of the Lakeside site, formerly home to the Hibben and Magie apartments. Once redevelopment is completed, the Merwick-Stanworth site will provide rental housing for faculty and staff.
The University intends to take down the 70-year-old buildings at Butler Tract (bounded by Harrison Street, Hartley Avenue and Sycamore Road), after the Lakeside work is completed. However, Princeton has no immediate plans for construction at that site.