Robbinsville, NJ: A diverse community ‘at the heart of it all’

The town of Robbinsville, NJ, has a long history, but it’s been known by its current name for less than two decades.

Until 2007, when residents voted three-to-one to change the name, the community of Mercer County was known as the Town of Washington – one of six self-governing cities in New Jersey named after George Washington, which This makes it hard to stand out.

The town, which is in the middle of the state, also wanted a larger commercial facility to go along with the new wave of residents it was seeing. So along with the new name, taken from a village called Robbinsville in the center of town, it adopted a new slogan: “Be the center of it all.” The dual meaning is clear: Robbinsville is not just in the heart of the state, but at the heart of the action.

Looks like mission accomplished. A few years after the opening of the mixed-use zone downtown developing stores, restaurants and homes, one of the first of its kind in the state, Amazon opened a fulfillment center in Robbinsville in 2014 and a corner of town became a warehouse hub row. So the town was able to build a high school, a municipal building, and a police training facility without raising property taxes. That has attracted more residents and, therefore, more businesses.

An exquisite Hindu temple or mandir, completed in 2014, enhances a diverse community. And Robbinsville has become a hotspot for pizza, or Trenton-style “tomato pie,” as the area’s old-timers called it. De Lorenzo’s and an old rival, Papa’s, moved in from nearby Trenton’s Chambersburg neighborhood, which was no longer the Italian enclave.

In 2020, the census counted 15,476 residents in the 20-square-mile town – an increase of 13% from 2010 and more than 50% from 2000. But as the population grows, very few residents live. would like to see more farmland of this area. more, so in 2016 voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum to preserve open space, limiting development. Robbinsville seems to have struck a balance.

“They do a great job of keeping the space open. Fahad Ullah, 30, a business development manager for a telecommunications company, who bought a two-bedroom loft in Robbinsville Town Center in November for $280,000.

As with other nearby suburbs, property values ​​in Robbinsville are rising. The median sale price for a single-family home has increased 16% from 2019 to 2021. Sharif Hatab, an agent for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach in Robbinsville, says sellers receive their items these days. dozens of offers higher than the asking price. , because housing supply is very limited.

Mohamed Yousef, 83, professor emeritus of engineering and mathematics at the City University of New York, paid $500,000 in December 2020 for a six-bedroom, four-bathroom home near the Town Center which he says is “a reduction in size from what I had before in Cranbury,” a town 10 miles to the north. But he and his wife, Horeya Abo-Elazm, a retired banker, still have plenty of space to entertain their older children. (Mr. Hatab, of Berkshire Hathaway, is the son of Ms. Abo-Elazm and Mr. Yousef’s stepchild.) There are new restaurants in the area to try, and they love to walk and watch planes at the nearby runway.

“The area I live in is very green,” Mr. Yousef said.

Dave Fried, the chief executive officer of a payroll company, has lived in this town for 30 years, and is mayor of 16 of them. He recalled the old days, when people weren’t sure where Washington Town was. “It was really exciting to see all these different groups working together,” said Mr. “It’s a really mixed community.”

Robbinsville is 60 miles southwest of New York City and about 40 miles northeast of Philadelphia. “If you take a pin and push it into the center of what you think is the heart of New Jersey, you’re probably pushing it into Robbinsville,” Mr. Fried said.

When it was still known as the Town of Washington, Robbinsville was much more rural. “It used to be farmland,” said Mr. Hatab, a real estate agent who grew up nearby.

The New Jersey Turnpike and US Route 130, home to many new and old businesses, cut parallel lines through town. Interstate 195 connects the two highways and is a direct route to the coastal towns 35 minutes east.

Robbinsville Town Center is located on 33rd Street NJ, near US 130, south of Robbinsville High School. Amazon’s fulfillment center and other warehouses are located east of the Turnpike, separate from the Town Center.

The 12,000-square-foot Hindu temple, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, sits on 162 lakeside acres just north of town, not far from Windsor Industrial. (The Islamic Center of Greater Princeton in West Windsor, five miles north.)

Working Dog Winery, a local vineyard, is open year-round on weekends. The Oasis Family Ranch, near the junction and I-195, offers activities for kids during the warmer months and family attractions like the gem mines, as well as official sport in suburbs: mini golf.

According to information provided by Bright MLS, there were nine active housing listings in Robbinsville as of January 20, ranging from a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment for $215,000 to a three-bedroom home , two and a half baths for $739,900, with an annual property tax of $14,469 in 2020.

MLS data shows 297 homes sold in Robbinsville in 2021, with an average price of $473,675, up both in price and volume from two years earlier: In 2020, 255 homes sold for median price $421,721; In 2019, 247 apartments were sold for an average price of $407,627. The average number of days a listing spends on the market in 2021 is 27, compared with 44 in 2020 and 59 in 2019.

“The market has calmed down in recent months,” said Mr. Hatab. But if the homes are priced right, he added, they can sell in less than a week.

Although Town Center offers Robbinsville a vibrant hub – and the mirror image of Town Center is right on 33rd Street – the main draw for newcomers is the town’s open spaces. “We have been very active with our open space program,” said Mr. Fried.

This is important for Murthy Gadicherla, 49, a software engineer who lives in nearby Plainsboro. He and his wife, Praveena Gadicherla, 42, who work in data entry, paid $700,000 in August for a 25-year-old, four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom home south of the Town Center.

The youngest of two is a sophomore in high school, and she’s worried about her transition to Robbinsville High School. But “she said, ‘Dad, there’s not much of a difference,’” Mr. Gadicherla said. “The district is good, and it’s going up in ratings.”

Sports are a big deal in town: There’s a large indoor soccer facility, along with a number of thriving youth programs. A team of 10- to 12-year-old girls from Robbinsville won the 2014 Little League World Softball Championship. There are many playgrounds and parks.

That might explain why Mr. Gadicherla wants to get back on his bike when it gets warmer. “I’m really looking forward to going out and exploring things,” he said.

Approximately 3,150 students attend three public schools in Robbinsville: Sharon Elementary School, for grades kindergarten through four; Pond Road Middle School, for grades five through eight; and Robbinsville High School, which opened in 2004. Theo New Jersey School Performance Reportcompiled by the Department of Education, the student population for 2019-20 was 59.3 percent Caucasian, 31.4 percent Asian, 5.5 percent Hispanic, and 2.6 percent Caucasian. black.

Robbinsville High School, Raven’s hometown, had 1,044 students in 2019-20, with a four-year graduation rate of 95.7%. SAT scores for the class of 2020 are 598 in reading and writing and 597 in math, compared with the statewide average of 536 for each.

Robbinsville has access to two New Jersey Transit train stations on the Northeast Corridor: Hamilton, about six miles west of Robbinsville Town Center, and Princeton Interchange, about nine miles north. There are 48 trains running to and from New York Penn Station on weekdays. The trip lasts from 60 to 80 minutes, depending on the number of stops.

The one-way fare to Penn Station from the Princeton Intersection is $16; 10-way tickets are $160 and monthly tickets are $451. Daily parking fees at Princeton Junction are $6. Visitors from Hamilton and Princeton Junction can easily connect to the Northeast Area service between Washington and Boston.

Driving on the Turnpike from Robbinsville Town Center to the Lincoln Tunnel takes 60 to 75 minutes on a clear day. Turn-in and tunnel fees are charged at $27.30 in cash and $20.21 for E-ZPass customers during off-peak hours.

Robbinsville is named after George Robbins Robbins – yes, he has the same middle name and last name – lived from 1808 to 1875 and was a doctor in nearby Hamilton Square. Then he became a politician, serve two termsfrom 1855 to 1859, in the United States House of Representatives, first with the Opposition, then with the New Republican Party.

The village in the center of town was founded near a pub that was originally called Newtown, but the name was changed in 1844 to honor Robbins. The town of Washington was founded in 1859, and is officially known as Robbinsville on January 1, 2008.

For weekly email updates on residential real estate news, Register here. Follow them on Twitter: @nytrealestate. Robbinsville, NJ: A diverse community ‘at the heart of it all’

Fry Electronics Team

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