Business Government Neighbors

Under Plan, Developer Could Build 200 Residences To Lambertville High School Property

The site could become a new residential development.

The abandoned Lambertville High School in 2008.
Credit: Tom Sofield/

The site of the former Lambertville High School is moving closer to possible redevelopment as a residential neighborhood.

At last week’s city council meeting, Mayor Andrew Nowick introduced an ordinance to amend the city’s redevelopment framework for the site. The updates follow the 2018 redevelopment plan and amendments made in 2020. The changes also comply with a 2020 court-agreed settlement that removed the city’s power of eminent domain.

File photo.

Recently, the city has been working with K. Hovnanian, a large home building firm based in New Jersey, as the conditional developer for the project. K. Hovnanian has been in business since 1959 and operates in several states across the U.S.

Nowick stated at last week’s city council meeting that the redevelopment plan has been in the works for the last two years.

The proposed framework for the site increases the maximum allowable number of dwellings from 139 to 200 and raises the mandatory affordable housing component from 28 to 40 units. Additionally, there are changes to the design, architecture, and spatial standards for the site.

The concept plan calls for 124 townhomes, 32 stack townhomes, and 40 affordable apartments.

The concept plan for the site.
Credit: City of Lambertville

The city released a draft plan and renderings showing what a development might look like if K. Hovnanian moves forward.

The city’s proposed framework for development aims to “promote a strong sense of community,” create affordable and market-rate homes, preserve the steep slopes and bluffs at the site, design for both pedestrians and vehicular drivers, integrate open space, ensure adequate utility capacity, manage stormwater runoff, and connect the redevelopment with the rest of the city.

A rendering of what some residences could look like at the site.
Credit: City of Lambertville

Several plots are part of the Lambertville High School Redevelopment Area, stretching from Route 179 in the city to the West Amwell Township border.

If K. Hovnanian or future developers agree to build on the property, they will be responsible for any remediation, including of the former municipal landfill on the property near the West Amwell Township border.

The proposed redevelopment framework calls for no more than two phases of work.

On May 30, the city will host a special meeting on the proposed redevelopment at 7 p.m. For more information, click here.

Credit: David Hunt/

The council had the first reading of the ordinance amendments last Thursday. The amendments will go before the City of Lambertville Planning Board on June 5, with a public hearing and second reading before the city council on June 20.

If the ordinance amendments are accepted by the city council next month, K. Hovnanian will still have to go through the land development process for the site.

The old high school was demolished in autumn 2012 after damage from a 1992 arson and 20 years of exposure to the elements and vandalism. The school gained a reputation as a “haunted” destination, drawing teens from around the region and causing headaches for police and neighbors.

The dedication stone outside the former Lambertville High School in 2008.
Credit: Tom Sofield/

Built as a regional school in 1854, Lambertville High School became a high school in the late 1800s and added a large addition in 1926 after a fire forced renovations. The school closed in 1959 ahead of the opening of South Hunterdon Regional High School. For many years, Taurus Corp. operated an electronics manufacturing facility on the property.

Publisher Tom Sofield contributed to this article.

About the author

David Hunt

David J. Hunt is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. A proud alumnus of Temple University, he started out at his college's newspaper and never looked back. When he isn't writing, he enjoys reading, traveling and working out. You can find more of his work in Yardbarker, FanSided and the Chestnut Hill Local. You can follow him on Twitter at @dave_hunt44.

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