It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I am of mixed opinion. In one respect, certainly Princeton’s historically African-American neighborhood deserves official designation and protection from destruction. But regular zoning laws, already conservative in Princeton, take care of that in my opinion. Nobody’s putting up a high-rise apartment building on John Street, and we don’t need historical designation to assure that.
On the other hand, this is THE most affordable neighborhood in downtown Princeton, for both buyers and tenants. Historical designation usually makes properties less affordable (i.e. more expensive). We already have a severe affordability problem in Princeton…could this make that practically worse while upholding the ideological value of historic designation and preservation?
Here’s a little fixer-upper I sold in the neighborhood on John Street last year. We had a ton of showings and it went for $333,000.