Longtime Princeton Resident Feeds her City Living Passion with a New Adventure at Palmer Square

PRINCETON, NJ – Peggy Hughes-Fulmer has lived in Princeton for the better part of 50 years.  With her daughters now grown and living with their children close by, Ms. Hughes-Fulmer’s expansive single-family home on two acres of property in a quiet, serene part of Princeton no longer seemed necessary — or all that appealing.

“I was ready for a new adventure,” said Ms. Hughes-Fulmer.  “My late husband loved the big house and the acres.  I’m a city girl at heart.”

An active member of the community, including serving on the Boards of the Princeton Symphony and McCarter Theatre, Ms. Hughes-Fulmer had no intention of leaving Princeton.  What she desired was a new lifestyle experience, which is where her professional and personal lives intertwined.  Working as a real estate broker at what is now Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty in Princeton for 40 years, Ms. Hughes-Fulmer was quite familiar with Palmer Square, the vibrant epicenter of downtown Princeton featuring boutique shops, restaurants and a new collection of townhomes, single-level flats and rental residences – all situated directly across from Princeton University.

Palmer Square Townhomes Exterior SMALL“Before The Residences at Palmer Square opened, there really wasn’t an opportunity to live in the heart of downtown,” Ms. Hughes-Fulmer points out.  “When the new homes were introduced, I brought many customers to see them, and always thought how much I’d like to live there.”

Deciding earlier this year that there was no time like the present, Ms. Hughes-Fulmer moved from the no-longer-needed single family home to an elegant-yet-manageable single-level residence in Palmer Square.

“Palmer Square offers what we never had before but so sorely needed; the ability to live within walking distance of all that downtown Princeton has to offer,” she said.   “And I am taking full advantage of it, attending McCarter Theartre, lectures at the library, visiting the Princeton Art Museum, enjoying the Princeton campus with the various activities offered, running errands, all of which I do walking.  What could be more appealing?”

Ms. Hughes-Fulmer also appreciates the energy associated with living downtown.

“On a recent Saturday evening, I realized I had nothing to eat in my refrigerator and decided to go out for a meal,” she recalls.  “I walked outside my door and there was a band playing, people were dining outside at the many eateries, kids were playing in the Square.  It was such a lively atmosphere, it felt a little bit like New York.”

While Ms. Hughes-Fulmer is embracing the downtown lifestyle she often dreamed about, she also appreciates the privacy and scenic beauty of Palmer Square’s residential enclave.

“The residences are surrounded by beautiful landscaping that is extremely well maintained, which creates a picturesque buffer from the shops and restaurants,” she said.  “It’s just a very desirable place to live and has added to the overall image of Princeton, becoming a destination in its own right.” Continue reading

Princeton: From college town to boomtown

New York Post

via  Adam Bonislawski/ The New York Post

 

Jim and Judy Betlyon with one their three sons, Casey, outside their Palmer Square townhouse in Princeton, NJ. Photo: Christian Johnston

Jim and Judy Betlyon with one their three sons, Casey, outside their Palmer Square townhouse in Princeton, NJ.
Photo: Christian Johnston

PRINCETON, NJ, might not seem the likeliest spot for those in search of an urban vibe, but new developments and a walkable core have buyers — including former New Yorkers — flocking to this college town for a taste of city living.

According to numbers from Maura Mills, an agent with Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty, this year Princeton has seen an average of 28 properties per month go into contract — up from 27 a month in 2013 and 22 per month in 2012. The average sales price, meanwhile, has climbed to $980,234 — up from $933,745 in 2013 and $867,708 in 2012.

And at the high end of the market, sales are accelerating even more quickly. In 2012 and 2013, Princeton saw, respectively, 66 and 92 sales close on properties over $1 million. In the first eight months of 2014, 82 such deals have closed — putting the city on pace for 123 $1-million-plus sales on the year. These properties have averaged 86 days on the market in 2014, compared to 101 days in 2013 and 127 in 2012.

Of course, Princeton is no stranger to well-heeled buyers. A little over an hour from Manhattan either by car or NJ Transit, this town of around 30,000 has long been a popular, and pricey, community — both for commuters and residents associated with the namesake university.

Area real estate agents have observed a change, however, in where many of these high-end buyers are choosing to settle. In recent years, growing demand for in-town properties, including several new apartment and townhouse projects, has shifted the city’s center of gravity.

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Palmer Square is an office, retail and residential development near Princeton University. Photo: Taylor Photo

Palmer Square is an office, retail and residential development near Princeton University.
Photo: Taylor Photo

Proximity to downtown amenities was a key factor in the decision by Jim Betlyon and his wife, Judy, to three years ago buy a three-bedroom townhouse in the city’sPalmer Squaredevelopment. This collection of office, retail and residential spaces is close to the university.

After raising their three sons on 20 acres in nearby Bucks County, Pa., the couple decided they wanted something more centrally located.

“A city-living environment was appealing to us,” Betlyon says. “We knew we wanted to be right in town where we could just jump out and get a quart of milk in the morning or go to dinner without having to get in the car.”

Not exactly a development in a hurry, Palmer Square has been under construction since the 1930s, with new parts added each decade. In 2010, the complex — which includes a 188-room hotel along with 150,000 square feet of office space and 110,000 square feet of retail — opened the Residences at Palmer Square. The newer project includes 60 two- and three-bedroom rentals (starting at $4,258 per month), 23 two- and three-bedroom condos ($1.23 to $2.56 million) and 17 two- and three-bedroom townhomes ($1.64 to $2.95 million).

Daniel Scheid and his wife, Mary Beth, both retirees, purchased a three-bedroom townhouse at Palmer Square in 2010 to be closer to their daughter, who is married to a Princeton University professor. The couple previously lived in an 1830s rowhouse in Philadelphia’s Center City.

“We liked that urban environment,” Daniel says of their former Philadelphia home. Palmer Square offers a similar experience, he says, albeit on a slightly smaller scale.

“The number of [amenities] are far greater in Philadelphia, of course.” But, he notes, his new home is within easy walking distance of offerings like restaurants, coffee shops, museums and theaters.

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