To the Editor:
It’s now abundantly clear that the University Medical Center of Princeton has officially thumbed its nose at our community.
With the recent transaction that turns over their last piece of Princeton land to another real estate company, Barry Rabner has sealed our fate. The same man who bragged about attending 75+ meetings between town officials and the community to determine the “right development” for our neighborhood has now finished slithering out of town.
Mr. Rabner hasn’t attended a public meeting about the former hospital site in ages. He’s been busy with tours of his new hospital and ribbon-cutting ceremonies for his new 32-acre park in his new favorite town---Plainsboro—at the same time he was inking a deal to rid himself of the last possible piece of land (the corner of Witherspoon St at Henry Ave.) that could have allowed him to honor the very last shred of his public commitment to Princeton---a 35,000 SF park (plus a playground for the families and children of the neighborhood).
Barry Rabner used to claim our neighborhood had been so important to the hospital for the last century. How sad!--- when a respected leader of a large health care system finds it acceptable to sell the entire hospital site to the highest bidder, AvalonBay--- without getting any commitment from the developer to comply with the Master Plan that he himself took credit for just a few short years ago!
Mr. Barry Rabner: You have left the two Princetons in the lurch to fight it out with a callous national developer. That’s not an acceptable way to leave a legacy, sir. It is offensive! You have cast disgrace on yourself and the hospital. The community you are now dumping this mess on was responsible for making your hospital what it is today. We donated over $100,000,000 toward your relocation. The money we’ve spent on services from your institution since 1919 is incalculable. In exchange for a ridiculously high density (280 units), you were supposed to ensure that we got a genuine public park— not some tiny “community courtyard” consisting of checker boards and benches, surrounded by driveways on three sides and a busy street on the other. We were also supposed to get two playgrounds, a total of 50,000 square feet of green space, and public walkways “crossing the site” that was to help renew the entire existing neighborhood. Did you forget your contribution to the Master Plan?
Dear Mr. Rabner, I want to ask you this question too: what happened? To my fellow Princetonians I give the most obvious answer: GREED! Greed happened! Greed for an unaffordable new home in Plainsboro. As one of the betrayed, I say to Mr. Rabner: Honor Your Commitments!
If you read this letter, I urge you to PLEASE come to the next Regional Planning Board meetings regarding plans for site--- November 15th, November 29th and beyond. We need your help more now then ever! Fix the mess you made.
Henry Ave, Princeton