The Princeton Planning Board will consider the application for the demolition of a 19th century building and the construction of a new three-storey building on Witherspoon Street

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A request that calls for the demolition of a 19th-century building housing the Terra Momo Bread Company and a cigar store is high on the Princeton Planning Board’s agenda for its September meeting.

CRX Associates LLC, owner of the building, is seeking preliminary and final site plan approval to demolish the building. It currently houses the A Little Taste of Cuba bakery and cigar shop on the first floor, as well as a pair of two-bedroom apartments on the second floor, according to documents filed with Princeton’s planning department.

CRX Associates LLC is proposing to construct a three-story building that would include the bakery and a 94-seat restaurant on the first floor. There are two one-bedroom apartments on the second floor and one two-bedroom apartment on the third floor on offer.

A derogation is requested for parking. Although 11 parking spaces are required, none are indicated on the plan. The claimant said there was parking on Witherspoon Street and in nearby public car parks, the documents show. Bicycle parking will be provided on site for employees, customers and tenants.

The building at 70-74 Witherspoon St. sits in “historic preservation no man’s land.” It sits between the Central Historic District, which encompasses the central business district, and the Witherspoon-Jackson Historic District, officials said.

The building was considered for inclusion in the Witherspoon-Jackson Historic District when the district was created in 2015. It was excluded from the district because it is across Paul Robeson Place, which is the southern boundary of the Witherspoon-Jackson. Historic District.

A courtesy review of the application was arranged by the Princeton Historic Preservation Commission at its July 18 meeting. The review was suggested by the Princeton Planning Board in April because of the building’s ties to Princeton’s black community. It was part of the historically Black Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood.

The driveway along 70-74 Witherspoon St. is all that remains of Jackson Street, which formed the southern border of the historically Black Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood. The blue stone border is still visible.

The building was the site of the Virginia Mills beauty salon, a black-owned business that operated from 1931 to 1976, according to the city’s website. The Terra Momo Bread Company store was the site of Toto’s market for many years. Flory and Lucy Toto purchased the building in 1924 and their heirs sold it to CRX Associates in 1997.

The Princeton Planning Board meeting is scheduled for September 8.


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