A mixed-used development adjacent to the Rite Aid on Route 571 was recently approved by the West Windsor Planning Board. (Photo: Google Maps.)

In a positive sign for the Princeton Junction redevelopment area, a mixed-used development adjacent to the Rite Aid on Route 571 received approval from the West Windsor Planning Board on Jan. 18.

The applicant for the 1.69-acre site, Michael Jin’s Princeton Ascend LLC, will demolish the existing structure and construct a building that includes 12,248 square feet of retail space on the first floor, and 17 rental apartments on the second story.

Five of the units will be affordable. Of the market rate apartments, eight are one-bedroom units and four are two-bedroom units, all under 900 square feet.

The applicant’s attorney, Gary Forshner, said they are envisioning five to six stores in the first floor retail space. Forshner said it is too early to tell when the site will be open for business.

The eastern part of the property fronting Carlton Place will feature six “live-work” units.

These 2.5-story units will total more than 2,800 square feet. The first floor is intended to serve as a commercial space that connects to the upper floors, which feature a two-bedroom, three-bath living space.

Each unit will have a driveway and garage. It has not yet been determined whether the “live-work” units will be rentals or for-sale units.

The applicant originally proposed seven “live-work” units, but one unit was removed to provide more driveway space and improve traffic circulation. The commercial retail square footage also was revised downward, and there will be 60 parking spaces.

During public comment, resident Scott Borsack asked about screening for residents on the opposite side of Carlton Place. He lives on Berkshire Drive and his backyard fronts onto Carlton.

“Some evergreen plantings would go a long way to addressing the concerns of the residents there,” Borsack said.

He also voiced concerns about the viability of the retail space, since the main commercial building is not completely visible from Route 571, because its footprint is situated perpendicular to the road.

Planning Board Chair Marvin Gardner said Borsack’s points are well taken and he hoped the town had impressed on the applicant the project’s importance in relation to the area’s future vitality.