The History of Princeton Shopping Center


Princeton Center has been a true community gathering place for 60 years. It is deeply entrenched in the incredible Princeton community, which has a rich history as a social and intellectual center, as well as a charming residential town. The center was built in the early 1950’s as a regional shopping destination to service a central Jersey population of nearly 300,000 consumers within a 30 minute drive. Originally anchored by a 60,000 square foot Bamberger department store (owned by RH Macy) and 2 supermarkets (ACME and A&P), the center was developed with the customer experience top of mind.

Over 3 years of in depth research was conducted by Theodore Potts of Clearview Associates before he selected this 28 acre plot as the location. It was strategically positioned half-way between New York and Philadelphia and touted as the first “one-stop” shop in New Jersey. The unique design features to enhance the shopping experience included: large entrances and exits, 15’-wide covered pedestrian walkways, a 2-acre beautifully landscaped inner courtyard, thoughtful placement of anchor stores, air conditioned spaces, bus service and a dedicated 8 acre recreational park. Princeton Center contains over 1 mile of storefronts and more than 40 stores. While this is the equivalent of walking along 5th Avenue from 42nd street to 60th street, the concentric layout reduces walking distances for patrons.

Event programs consisting of festivals, outdoor concerts, the circus, car shows, Halloween parades and pictures with Santa have fostered community interaction since its inception.

The history and character of both the center and the community are very important to the EDENS team as we develop ideas to further improve upon a special place.