When Mountain Development Corp. and Gottesman Real Estate Partners embarked on new construction in West Windsor approximately two years ago, we did so after learning how exceptional this office market is within the New Jersey’s commercial real estate landscape. We have since completed a 62,500-square-foot office building on Roszel Road as a build-to-suit for the law firm Hill Wallack, which occupies 48,000-square feet. We are fully approved for a second building on-site, 38,000 square feet, also to be completed as a build-to-suit. We expect to break ground shortly.
Why the Princeton market? What makes this market so interesting and differentiated from most others in New Jersey is a striking confluence of factors. First, is the existing concentration of sophisticated companies involved in knowledge and research based fields — pharmaceuticals, life sciences, technology, and associated professional services. Many of these firm’s commitments are related to the nearby proximity of Princeton University, both in light of the exciting research and developments activities on campus, as well the vast achievements of the university graduates who live nearby. The result is a uniquely deep employee pool, enhancing the ability of companies in diverse fields to attract people with the wherewithal to be successful.
West Windsor is also a rare New Jersey community — an outstanding school system; terrific housing stock; proximity to picturesque downtown Princeton, coupled with all of the aforementioned corporate commitments — it is a true live-work community. And one of the most desirable attributes is access to public transportation to an extent unusual for a suburban setting.
The Princeton market has enjoyed particular success not only with domestic companies, but with international concerns as well. Much of this can be ascribed to the universal recognition of Princeton — a world-renowned university and location, which is synonymous with excellence in research. Some of the finest and most highly regarded global companies boast headquarters and development facilities within this community, specifically because it enjoys a reputation throughout the world. Similarly, many companies benefit from being surrounded by likeminded firms; collaborators, competitors, and fellow industry players who create synergy by working together in one location. This critical mass of companies is part of what makes this market so appealing
As a result of all of this rarified activity, Princeton and West Windsor offer some of the finest Class A, state-of-the-art office building stock in New Jersey and on the East Coast. Developers have repeatedly been challenged by their customers to build new projects commensurate with their employees needs and to create workplace environments which keep pace with the requirements of technology.
With this backdrop, our Roszel Square project is the newest, but not the only new development. Other leading real estate firms are also developing new projects and working with tenants to create specialized and highly contemporary workspaces. In fact, more so than any other market in New Jersey, exploring new construction has become a key consideration for any tenant when considering their real estate options.
What distinguishes our Roszel Square project is its size — the normal build-to-suit project is geared towards vastly larger developments. Our project presents a unique opportunity for a mid-sized company or a professional services firm with a more human-sized space requirement. Their new location will be designed to meet their very specific requirements and offers prominent building signage, just as if it were a half a million-square-foot building.
And not only does our project convey so many of the benefits historically reserved for half-million-square-foot and larger tenants, but it does so without burdening our customers with the kind of timing associated with vastly larger buildings. We are fully entitled and ready to build, so new tenants can be in within a year from lease execution. We think it’s an exceptionally exciting proposition.
Ultimately, the number of new buildings under consideration clearly demonstrates the depth of the Princeton/West Windsor market. And it illustrates that sophisticated companies gravitate towards sophisticated space — they appreciate what a great environment can mean for their employees, their culture, their workplace and productivity. The Princeton market is an exceptional corporate community and we look forward to working closely with another of its corporate residents to create something worthy of it.
Seeve is president of Mountain Development Corp., a Woodland Park, New Jersey-based commercial developer and a recent entrant into the West Windsor/Route 1 corridor market.