Office of the Mayor – West Windsor Township
October 21, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Shing-Fu Hsueh, Mayor
West Windsor Township
West Windsor Settles InterCap Lawsuit
Smart Growth Redevelopment Project to Move Forward in Spring of 2012
Mayor Shing Fu Hsueh announced today that Monday evening members of the Township Council approved the terms of a settlement agreement with InterCap Holdings, ending the litigation challenging the Township's 350 acre redevelopment plan.
"Entering into a settlement with InterCap Holdings is in the best interest of our residents. At the Township's insistence, InterCap has agreed to $2.5 million of off -site traffic improvements and will also reimburse $700,000 that West Windsor has invested in its redevelopment efforts."
The settlement agreement calls for 760 condominiums averaging just two bedrooms, an additional 40 affordable units, 70,000 square feet of unique restaurants and shops and a large town green, expected to become the Township's central gathering place so many residents have called for in many public meetings. Like similar developments the market for the units is young professionals and empty nesters.
According to Council President Diane Ciccone, "West Windsor had already invested $700,000 in its redevelopment efforts. To defend further litigation would likely cost an additional $1 -$2 million, according to our attorneys, which would need to be funded through next year's municipal budget.”
Councilmen Charles Morgan cited risks that an adverse legal decision could present the Township with another Toll Brothers situation, resulting in far more units than called for in the settlement agreement. Morgan stated, "Based on the court decisions to date, our attorneys have expressed concern that West Windsor could ultimately lose the case. This would prompt the developer to sue West Windsor again, seeking nearly double the amount of housing on the 25-acre site."
Council Vice President Kamal Khanna stated that one of the original major concerns about the InterCap plan was the potential impact on the public schools. But Khanna said, "We are pleased to see that enrollment projections from the West Windsor- Plainsboro School District show ample, long-term space in the schools to accommodate this project. In 2008, the District’s demographer projected a reduction of 1,300 students in the school system by 2019 as the Township's population ages. Those projections have been on target each year."
Councilwoman Linda Geevers cited the transportation enhancements that will come from the InterCap settlement. Referring to a proposed expansion of commuter parking for Township residents, Geevers said, "West Windsor has been in regular contact with NJ Transit, which has closely monitored the redevelopment process. The resolution of this lawsuit will encourage NJ Transit to move forward with its plans while also permitting West Windsor to enter serious talks with the State DOT about funding the Vaughn Drive connector. And InterCap will fund $2.5 million of off-site improvements to ease traffic for residents."
Finally, Councilman George Borek called the settlement a victory for all of the families and senior citizens who have long called for the creation of a central gathering place. "Through this entire process", Borek said, “We've never lost sight of the original intent of the redevelopment plan — to create an amenity for residents, while finding solutions to traffic and parking concerns. The project design meshes with what residents have told us they want to see: restaurants at all price levels, entertainment, shops and a public green for Township-wide events."
"With the litigation behind us”, said Mayor Hsueh, "West Windsor can now move forward implementing its redevelopment plan and building an even brighter future for all of our residents."
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