Developer candidates to query Borough Council tonight

A chance to hear views of officials on proposed downtown garage.

By: Jennifer Potash
   The two parking garage developer candidates will get a chance to grill Princeton Borough Council members tonight.
   The council will meet with representatives of Nassau Capital Advisors of Vandeventer Avenue and Keating Development Corp. of Bala Cynwyd, Pa., in closed session to provide the developers the opportunity to ask questions about what the governing body wants in its downtown development plan.
   During a recent meeting in which the developers were not in attendance, the council added new parameters, such as maximum building height, and expressed a willingness to have more residential units and less open space in the project, Borough Administrator Robert Bruschi said.
   The one-hour sessions will give the developers a chance to understand the council’s policy decisions, he said.
   "It’s their hour to talk to us and ask us questions about the project, the financing alternatives and whatever they want to bring up," Mr. Bruschi said.
   Mayor Marvin Reed said the interviews may help the developers deliver more focused plans.
   The developers are expected to submit detail proposals April 19. The candidates will undergo another set of interviews with the Borough Council, which is expected to select a developer by mid-May, Mr. Bruschi said.
   Following considerable public discussion last year, the Borough Council approved a downtown development plan that called for a 483-space parking garage at the site of the Park & Shop lot at Spring and Witherspoon streets and on top of a new building on the Tulane Street lot. The estimated $16.5 million plan also proposed 18 residential units and 10,610 square feet of retail space at the Park & Shop site.
   Time permitting, the council also will discuss the 2002 budget at tonight’s meeting.
   Preliminary estimates project an $18.8 million operating budget with an estimated 4.5-cent tax increase to 68.5 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. Mr. Bruschi said more than $400,000 has been cut from the budget and all the proposed new borough staff positions were removed as well.