Photos via palmersquareresidences.com
With The Residences at Palmer Square, you have to start at the very beginning.
The 100-unit bespoke luxury development in downtown Princeton is the culmination of a vision that dawned in the late 1930s.
In the early 1900s, Edgar Palmer first conceived of the Square as a new municipal center with buildings for retail, office and residential use, a hotel, post office and a playhouse that would complement Princeton University, located directly across Nassau Street. The first buildings, running along Palmer Square West, were completed in 1937, and a new phase has been added every decade since.
Palmer Square Management developed the apartments, with extensive design input by the Princeton Regional Planning Board. “The Residences is what I’d call the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle,” said David Newton, Vice President of Palmer Square Management. “The vision was to create a commercial core of Princeton to complement the academic core, and in terms of ground-up development, the residences complete that vision.”
The Square currently consists of 150,000 square feet of office space, 110,000 square feet of upscale retail, the 188-room historic Nassau Inn hotel and more than 1,000 parking spaces in two garages. The Residences at Palmer Square is a carefully crafted array of multi-story townhomes, single-level and duplex condominium flats and rental flats. In designing the stately homes, Minno & Wasko Architects and Planners continued the Colonial Revival style of Thomas Stapleton, the original architect.
The townhomes serve up multiple levels of elegant, expansive space, ranging from 2,516 to 4,476 square feet. They’re priced from $1.64 million, and each townhome is equipped with a private, wood-paneled elevator. The single-level condominium flats come in two- and three-bedroom layouts, ranging from 1,663 to 2,619 square feet and priced from $1.23 million. The rental residences, with two- and three-bedroom floorplans, range from 1,527 to 2,619 square feet. Rentals start at $4,543 per month. Each building is elevator-served and enjoys direct access to parking.
“We found in many communities that having a diverse mix of home designs makes for a much stronger fabric of residency,” said Adrienne Albert, CEO of The Marketing Directors, which is handling sales and leasing at the property. “By having a wider range of offerings, you get a more diverse range of clientele and a stronger community.”
The developer aimed to “create a lifestyle that can complement what you have on the outside in Princeton,” Newton said. “If you look at the Residences purely on an isolated basis, it only tells part of the story. You have to have a holistic look at Palmer Square, and the rest of downtown and Princeton University.”
Walkability is a major element of the residences. “If you live at Palmer Square, you’ll want to ditch the car,” Albert said. “You walk to restaurants, you walk to pick up wine for dinner, you walk to pick up a new handbag… You have more access to things living at Palmer Square than you do living in the city.” More than 40 stores, including boutiques, restaurants, home decor shops, jewelry stores, cafes and bookstores, are within strolling distance. At the same time, The Residences at Palmer Square offers discreet, easily accessible parking, Albert added: “There’s wonderful parking, it’s very convenient. It doesn’t punish you [for owning a vehicle] because you will ultimately, one day, need to get in your car and go someplace else.”
While The Residences at Palmer Square enjoys a sophisticated urban location, the homes themselves are very private, with the feel of an oasis. “You don’t have to worry about noise or people jostling you on the sidewalk,” Albert said. “The scale of the development is very personal; you’re not talking about hundreds of homes.” The lushly landscaped, well-lit promenades within the development add to the idyllic experience.
Every residence has an entry clearly marked with elegant moldings, and the interior details hearken to traditional styles — crown moldings, high baseboards, pocket doors, vented gas fireplaces with marble hearths, extensive millwork, maple kitchen cabinets. Expansive windows flood rooms with natural light, for an airy look that’s thoroughly contemporary. The style “speaks to a heritage in Princeton of elegance, but there’s a modern feeling to it,” Albert said. “It doesn’t feel oppressive, dark or heavy-handed.”
Other features include 10-foot ceilings in townhomes, nine-foot ceilings in condominiums, wrought-iron banisters, 5” plank hardwood floors, centerpiece kitchens with granite countertops, 20” by 20” glazed porcelain floors and Viking stainless steel appliances. The master baths offer whirlpool tubs, double-sink vanities, marble countertops and separate glass-wrapped frameless showers with marble tile. The solid steel and concrete construction also allows for peace and quiet; noise doesn’t travel between rooms.
“There’s just nothing like it anywhere,” Albert said. “There’s nothing that replicates the spaces, the detailing, and certainly there’s nothing as well located in a town as charming as Princeton.”