Now that BlackRock, the financial services firm, has settled into its new space at 1 University Square, the question of what to do about parking for the nearly 1,000 employees it has brought to Alexander Road has turned to thoughts of valets and parking garages.
According to West Windsor Township officials, BlackRock is gutting the building at 115 Campus Drive, across the street from its offices, and converting it to a 118-space, valet-served parking structure. Blackrock declined to comment on its plans. Township Building Department manager Joseph Valeri, however, said that BlackRock has already contacted a valet parking service and is reviewing interior layout plans for the garage.
“When you arrive at the door the valet will take your vehicle. At the end of the day you would send an E-mail and the valet would come to pick you up,” Valeri says. He expects an application to be made to the township within the next two to four weeks before the plan review process begins.
Director of Community Development Pat Ward said the township had a preconstruction meeting with BlackRock about its plans.
The building at 115 Campus Drive is less than 100 yards from 1 University Square, home of Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, and Mercer Human Resources Consulting. The Campus Drive building has been vacant for about five years. Therics, a tissue engineering firm, was the last occupant, but moved to Pennsylvania in 2006. The site also was the home of Bayer Consumer Division in the 1990s.
Cheryl Kastrenakes, executive director of the Greater Mercer Transit Management Authority (GMTMA) at 15 Roszel Road, said that her agency has spoken with BlackRock about using van and car pooling to and from Princeton Junction Station, but nothing is set. Kastrenakes said that GMTMA used to work with BlackRock at 800 Scudders Mill Road (BlackRock’s Princeton-area home until this summer) and that the company always supported pooling and public transportation. BlackRock employees used to use TransitLink, a now-defunct GMTMA-sponsored shuttle service.
GMTMA is not involved in the parking garage or valet service plan, but Kastrenakes said the garage is necessary. “I think they underestimated the amount of parking they’d need,” she said of BlackRock. One University Square houses roughly 1,500 employees.