Out of Business
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This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the February 4, 2004 issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
After Progress, the Other Side of the Story
Last week’s Progress edition offered a micro-slice of Princeton’s business population, listing the businesses that started up, came to town, and expanded in 2003. This week – starting with an article on a steel company that is closing down after more than a century – we tell the other side of the story, a story that rarely gets told. Of the 700 companies that we wrote about last year, 119 were leaving the Princeton area, downsizing, or going out of business.
When U.S. 1 reporters talked to entrepreneurs who were moving to smaller spaces, we asked them to tell us the whys and wherefores. In many instances they gave upbeat accounts of why they were downsizing and why that was good for their business. We printed some of those accounts in the style of "My Problem and How I Solved It." In a down economy, it helps to know what others are doing to overcome adversity.
Among those who gave useful tips on how to tighten your company’s belt and stay healthy: Robert Zyontz of Princeton MarkeTech (June 11), Bob Lipsky of QLM Marketing (March 19), and Robert Millstein, the new head of NEC’s American laboratory. Millstein told how the Japanese firm dealt with the gloomy outlook for technology by regrouping (April 16).
But some stories were printed without a spin. New Horizons Computer Learning Center closed without warning at Canal Pointe, leaving students to commute long distances to take the rest of their classes (July 16). Just this week Computer Training Center of Princeton announced it, too, was closing (see page 57).
Ann Heckel and Company, a 15-year-old medical communications firm that was featured in U.S. 1 in 2002 for its web-based materials delivery system, closed suddenly at Research Park (August 6). Steve McGrath was being quoted in January 2003 on the executive recruiting situation but by that fall he had closed his office (November 19).
Some of the big operations shuttered their doors in Princeton because of buyouts. One of Princeton’s flashier successes, the electronic bill presenting service Paytrust, moved its 50-person office to Milwaukee, as expected, due to a successful sellout to Metavante (December 3). Physiome Sciences, the company that broke ground in using software to simulate biological processes in order to enhance drug discovery, was sold to Predixpharm and was moved to Woburn, Massachusetts. Founded by Jeremy Levin in 1994, it had occupied the entire third floor of 150 College Road West (www.predixpharm.com).
Very unexpected was the departure of an industrial manufacturing company, McLean Engineering. After 50 years of inventing and manufacturing fans and blowers on Washington Road, it was sold, expanded to new quarters in Robbinsville, and was spun out to a private company that kept the brand but closed the plant (September 24). A similar firm, Magnetic Specialties, made sensors and controls that manage electrical energy, and after a buyout it moved to Pennsylvania (March 26).
The pharmaceutical buyout record is not much better. The financial troubles of an Irish firm, Elan Pharmaceuticals, brought down two of Princeton’s proudest companies. Founded in 1981, Liposome had its first profitable year in 1999 but after being bought by Elan, its major product was sold to Enzon. Delsys, a Sarnoff drug delivery spinout, had 54 people and 14,000 square feet at Princeton Corporate Plaza in 2000. Both saw their last days in Princeton in 2003 (December 10).
Of course some of the move-outs are due to normal business cycles. Fire House Inc., a pharmaceutical graphic design and marketing firm, moved to Princeton when its major client, a division of Bristol-Myers Squibb, moved to Princeton from Indiana. Last year Fire House picked up its tent and went back to the Hoosier State (March 26).
Rhodia consolidated some of its back offices on Blackhorse Lane and moved them to its 13-building Cranbury campus. In 1990, when the company was known as Rhone Poulenc and the chemical industry was healthy, it had occupied two buildings on Blackhorse Lane and had additional space on College Road (July 9).
After 10 years in 15,000 square feet at 8A Corporate Center, Bridgestone USA moved its tire warranty and inspection center to Illinois (August 20). Gindre Copper moved its copper products plant to South Carolina (July 16), and Photon Kinetics closed its satellite office in Research Park and now does fiber optic instrumentation at its Oregon headquarters (March 26).
Other manufacturing plants slated to shut down include Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products’ 45-year-old surgical dressing plant on Route 1 North and Aaron Road, where the layoffs of nearly 500 people begin this month. Coca Cola is closing its Minute Maid plant in Hightstown. And Bristol-Myers Squibb has already shuttered its 125-worker distribution warehouse at Exit 8A (both reported on November 12).
The ebb and flow of Trenton’s real estate fortunes affected some of these moves. Five years ago Telequest threw a party at its new digs on South Clinton Avenue to support the revival at the Roebling Center. Last year, like some other companies that thought the Roebling revival was going to happen sooner, Telequest and its associates moved back to various offices in Princeton and Pennington (March 12). But Bruce Tung, who closed down a Mercer Mall store to move to South Broad Street (a tax-advantaged Urban Enterprise Zone) has kept his Advanced Online Services business intact and is getting ready to launch a new service. He will be reselling voice over IP services.
Some smaller companies stayed in New Jersey but moved to be convenient to the homes of key employees. GenuOne moved from the Offices at Mapleton Mills to pursue its anti-counterfeiting technology in Metuchen (November 12). Intercure, which makes interactive therapeutic devices, moved to Fort Lee (February 12) for the same reason. And when Lisa Hines, one of two partners in Acadia Marketing and Design, moved to Maryland, Dale Shierholt went to smaller quarters (August 20).
Some of Princeton’s most innovative technologies are in the throes of intense growing pains. Princeton Video Image, the company who puts ads on the walls of ice rinks and yellow lines on football fields, was forced to liquidate and is now being run as PVI Virtual Media Services LLC by one of its creditors.
Another beleaguered company undergoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Carnegie Center-based Exide Technologies, came to an agreement with its creditors on Thursday, January 22, but all last year the battery company made numerous headlines in the stock news (January 15, 2003).
Often the problems were caused by technology that outpaced funding. A Carnegie Center-based firm, Iphysiciannet, aimed to provide high quality interactive video detailing for physicians, but its business plan was based on free equipment for the doctors’ offices, and though it had enough funding at first, it lost a big client and went belly up (U.S. 1, September 3).
In the "phoenix rising" category, PCR Computer Rentals was salvaged by its principals and was reconstituted as Technology Resource Corporation (September 17), and OSI Collection Services emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December.
Perhaps the best come-back tale is of Ramon Garcia of Interlink Biotechnologies, who had a priceless collection of worldwide bacterial samples (September 10). Though he almost had to sell off these assets piecemeal, he found a last-minute buyer and was able to keep those crown jewels intact.
– Barbara Fox
Acadia Marketing and Design, 47 Random Road, Princeton 08540. Dale Shierholt, partner. 609-279-9772; fax, 609-279-9773. Home page: www.acadiamarketing.com. Full service marketing communications. Reported in U.S. 1, August 20.
Bloomberg Personal Finance, 100 Business Park Drive, Box 888, Princeton 08542. Staff size: 40. 609-279-4661; fax. Home page: www.bloomberg.com/personal. This magazine ceased publication. Reported in U.S. 1, March 5.
Packaging Corporation of America (PCA), 2540 Route 130, Suite 113, Cranbury 08512. Thomas Hart, project manager. Staff size dropped from 70 to 8. 609-409-5304; fax, 609-395-0272. Home page: www.packagingcorp.com. Design services for corrugated and display packaging. Reported in U.S. 1, March 12.
Telequest Inc., 66 Witherspoon Street, Suite 383, Princeton 08542. Richard S. Blofson, partner. 609-430-3004; fax, 609-497-9739. Home page: www.telequestinc.com. E-media for E-business, streaming video, audio and interactive media for E-commerce and training applications via the internet – CD-ROMs, videos, documentary films. Reported in U.S. 1, March 12.
Fire House Inc., 314 North St. Joseph’s Avenue, Evansville 47712. Ron Bonger, owner. 812-425-1099; fax, 812-425-1069. Graphic design and marketing communications. Reported in U.S. 1, March 26.
Pre-Diction Tech Inc.. Staff size: 4. Home page: www.pre-diction.com. Market research utilizing proprietary neuroscience technology moved from Nassau Street. Reported in U.S. 1, September 3.
Scepter Publishers Inc., 8 West 38th Street, Suite 802, Box 211, New York 10018. John G. Powers, publisher. Staff size: 3. 212-354-0670; fax, 212-354-0736. Www.scepterpub.org. Publishers of Catholic books and materials. Reported in U.S. 1, March 26.
Creative Publishing International/Two-Can Publishing LLC, 18705 Lake Drive East, Chanhassen MN 55317. Michael Eleftheriou, CEO. Staff size: 6. 609-921-6700; fax, 609-921-3349. Www.creativepub.com. Reported in U.S. 1, March 12.
Princeton MarkeTech, 196 Princeton Hightstown Road, Suite 15, Princeton Junction 08550. Robert Zyontz, president. Staff size: 7. 609-520-8575; fax, 609-520-0695. Home page: www.princetonmarketech.com. Full service marketing firm offering strategic marketing, creative and production services and specializing in direct, promotional, and interactive marketing. Reported in U.S. 1, June 11.
QLM Marketing, 470 Wall Street, Princeton 08540. W. Robert Lipsky, chairman, CEO. Staff size: 12. 609-683-1177; fax, 609-924-8007. Www.qlm.com. Marketing services, emphasis on promotion marketing. Reported in U.S. 1, March 19.
Buckman Architecture Group, 725 Federal Avenue, Kenilworth 07033. David W. Buckman. 908-241-3457; fax, 908-241-3459. Commercial architecture. Reported in U.S. 1, May 7.
Signature Construction Group of NJ, 40 Walker Street, New York 10013. Timothy R. Tomai, vice president. 212-274-9494; fax, 212-431-3469. Reported in U.S. 1, April 16.
URS, moved from Scotch Road to Vineland. Global construction management. Reported in U.S. 1, September 10.
Aptech Worldwide Inc., 5 Independence Way office closed, consolidated with other offices, based in Mumbai, India. Staff size: 11. Home page: www.aptech-usa.com. Training, education, consulting, and software solutions. Reported in U.S. 1, February 26.
B&R Industrial Automation Corp., 1325 North Meadow Drive, Suite 130, Roswell GA 30076. Staff size: 4. Home page: www.br-automation.com. Sales of operator panels, PLCs, and industrial computers. Reported in U.S. 1, May 7.
Pro Commerce Technologies Inc., 8874 Commerce Loop Drive, Columbus OH 43240. Staff size: 5. 614-841-7501; fax, 614-573-7613. Home page: www.procti.com. Development of web tools. Reported in U.S. 1, February 26.
Storage Networks, 225 Wyman Street, Waltham MA 02451. Staff size: 18. 781-622-6700; fax, 781-622-6799. Home page: www.storagenetworks.com. Technology center for storage network operating system with STORos software, based in Waltham, Massachusetts. Reported in U.S. 1, February 26.
Distribution One Inc., 3 Terri Lane, Unit 6, Burlington NJ 08016. Thomas F. Ward, president. Staff size: 12. 609-387-4500; fax, 609-387-5600. Home page: www.distone.com. Computer software for the wholesale distribution business (Vision software, a 4GL system), also applications and hardware sales. Reported in U.S. 1, August 20.
Intellispace, 111 South Independence Mall East, Philadelphia 19106. Staff size: 7. 215-922-5830; fax, 215-922-1910. Home page: www.intellispace.net. Broadband, high-speed fiber optic Internet provider for multi-tenant business properties. Reported in U.S. 1, March 5.
O’Brien Consulting Services, 474 Blue Bell Avenue, Langhorne 19047. Scott O’Brien, president. Staff size: 6. 215-757-9747; fax, 215-757-9748. Www.ocsconsulting.com. Hard-wired or wireless networks, industry certified. Reported in U.S. 1, July 23.
Paytrust Inc./Metavante, 4900 West Brown Deer Road, Milwaukee 53223. Ed McLaughlin. Staff size: 50. 609-720-1818; fax, 609-720-1819. Home page: www.paytrust.com. Paytrust – Internet service enabling consumers to receive, review, approve, and pay all bills electronically. Reported in U.S. 1, December 3.
STR Corp., 301 Oxford Valley Road, Suite 101 A, Yardley PA 19067. Staff size: 3. 215-369-0444; fax, 215-369-0888. Home page: www.str-corp.com. Contract placement of IT professionals, more than 20 people working off site. Reported in U.S. 1, August 20.
Web Sci Technologies, 4214 Route 1 North, Monmouth Junction 08852. R.S. Tare, president. Staff size: 25. The founder of this telecommunications consulting firm, formerly known as DB Tech, is in litigation with Fleet Bank over the bank’s financing policies. Reported in U.S. 1, November 5.
Highland Computer Center, 4044 Quakerbridge Road, Lawrenceville, IBM compatibles. Reported in U.S. 1, March 5.
Princeton Video Image Inc. (PVI), 15 Princess Road, Lawrenceville 08648. Staff size: 50. 609-912-9400; fax, 609-912-0044. Home page: www.pvi-inc.com. Development, manufacturing, and sales of computer hardware and software for video processing for television advertising production. Reported in U.S. 1, January 15.
Advanced Online Services Inc., 700 South Broad Street, Trenton 08611. Bruce Tung, president. Staff size: 5. 609-393-9300. Home page: www.aosi.net. ISDN, Web hosting, Web designing, dedicated lines, corporate dialups, InterNetwork designing and integration. Reported in U.S. 1, February 26.
Princetec Inc., 196 Route 571, Windsor Office Park, Princeton 08540. Mohan Reddy, president. Staff size: 6. 609-720-9800; fax, 609-720-9899. Home page: www.princetec.com. Software development and consulting firm. Reported in U.S. 1, February 26.
Velocient Technologies Inc., Box 3407, Princeton 08543. Upinder Zutshi, president & COO. Staff size: 14. Home page: www.velocient.com. Moved out of Princeton, based in Mumbai, India. Reported in U.S. 1, July 2.
Terra Vac/CES, 241 Norsam Drive, Langhorne PA 19047. Staff size: 10. 215-741-6123; fax, 215-741-6124. Home page: www.terravac.com. Reported in U.S. 1, March 5.
AON Corp., 5 Independence Way, Princeton 08540. Staff size: 13. 609-720-9770; fax, 609-720-1135. Home page: www.aon.com. Consulting services, reinsurance and insurance, based in Chicago. Reported in U.S. 1, March 5.
Empire Equity Group (Royal Mortgage), 3490 Route 1 North, Building 15, Box 2555, Princeton 08543. Michael Ziccardi, branch manager. Staff size: 25. 609-452-1160; fax, 609-987-8849. Home page: www.empireequity.com. Mortgage broker bought out Royal Mortgage. Reported in U.S. 1, November 26.
OSI Collection Services Inc., 50 Millstone Road, Windsor Corporate Park, Building 100, East Windsor 08520. Frank Boni, director of operations. Staff size: 100. 609-426-4165; fax, 609-308-7110. Home page: www.osioutsourcing.com. Collection company, based in St. Louis, Missouri. Reported in U.S. 1, July 16.
AccounTec Inc., 38 Windsor Road, Southampton PA. 08088. Staff size: 2. Accounting and bookkeeping service. Reported in U.S. 1, March 12.
First Union Insurance Services, 499 Thornall Street, Box 2189, Edison 08818. Staff size: 50. 732-632-6100; fax, 732-632-9575. Employee benefits, pension administration, cafeteria plans, executive compensation, group insurance, formerly Tribus Financial Group. Reported in U.S. 1, March 26.
Fiserv-FIS (Field Information Services), 4 Princess Road, Lawrenceville. Staff size: 8. 609-895-8900; fax, 609-895-8910. Data processing customer support center owned by Brookfield, Wisconsin-based firm. Reported in U.S. 1, February 12.
The Delta Concept, 1307 Walton Creek Drive, Midlothian VA 23114. C. Merle Hirschman, owner. Staff size: 2. 804-897-0878; fax, 804-897-0879. Home page: www.deltaconcept.com. General management consulting, outsource purchasing and contingency-based expense reduction. Reported in U.S. 1, March 12.
Distribution Management Associates, Box 6843, Bridgewater 08807. Shyam S. Sethi CMC, executive director. Consulting in logistics distribution, manufacturing, and retail. Reported in U.S. 1, March 12.
Blaine Greenfield Associates, 52 Sentinel Road, Washington Crossing PA 18977. Blaine S. Greenfield, president. Staff size: 3. 215-369-3453. Marketing and management assistance to small and mid-sized businesses. Reported in U.S. 1, April 16.
Walsh Automation, 3300 Boulevard Cavendish, Suite 670, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H4B2M8. Home page: www.walshautomation.com. Process, IT, and automation projects for pharmaceutical and oil and gas industries, an Invensys company. Reported in U.S. 1, March 26.
Besam Automated Entrances Systems Inc., 84 Twin Rivers Drive, Hightstown 08520. Staff size: 150. 609-443-5800; fax, 609-443-9162. Manufacturing of automatic swing, slide, folding and revolving doors. Reported in U.S. 1, December 3.
Rhodia Inc., 231 Blackhorse Lane, CN 7500, Cranbury 08512. Staff size: 65. 609-860-4000. Payroll, benefits, and travel departments for French manufacturer moved to Cranbury campus. Reported in U.S. 1, July 9.
Photon Kinetics/GN Nettest/Nettest, 9305 Southwest Gemini Drive, Beaverton OR 97008. Francis Sladen, vice president. Staff size: 8. 503-644-1960; fax, 503-526-4700. Home page: www.pkinetics.com. Fiber optic instrumentation for analysis of fiber by telecommunications industry. Reported in U.S. 1, March 26.
Gindre Copper LLC, 220 Mill Avenue, Greenwood SC 19646. Home page: www.gindre.com. Copper products for the electrical industry, including copper bars, flat strip in coil, flat and rod wire, and copper components. Reported in U.S. 1, July 16.
Magnetic Specialties Inc., 164 Keystone Drive, Telford PA 18969. Bruce Ruhf, president. Staff size: 10. 215-258-5730; fax, 215-258-3353. Home page: www.magspecinc.com. Design and fabrication of industrial product components that sense, control, and manage electrical energy. Reported in U.S. 1, March 26.
Valcopy Inc., 1580 Reed Road, Suite B2, Pennington 08534. Mark D. Snyder, CEO. Staff size: 8. 609-737-0100; fax, 609-737-0090. Home page: www.valcopy.com. Sales and services of name brand Hewlett Packard, Minolta, and Lexmark printers, copiers, and faxes. Reported in U.S. 1, March 12.
Bergen Briller Group, 1787 Wrightstown Road, Newtown PA 18940. Michael Bergen, owner. 215-369-4190; fax, 215-269-4185. Www.bbgsearch.com. Reported in U.S. 1, March 12.
Guarneri Associates, 1905 Fern Lane, Wausau WI 54401. Susan Guarneri, senior partner. Staff size: 1. 866-881-9055; fax, 715-355-1936. Home page: www.resume-magic.com. Career counseling, job search strategies, electronic resumes, Internet job search. Reported in U.S. 1, July 23.
Lathian Systems, 2 Walnut Grove Drive, Suite 200, Horsham PA 19044. Bruce Jones, CEO. 215-323-9696; fax, 215-323-9694. Www.lathian.com. Reported in U.S. 1, March 5.
Morpace Pharma Group Ltd., 200 Baker Avenue, Suite 204, Concord MA 01742. Robert G. Schumaker, managing director, North America sales & marketing. Staff size: 5. 978-759-1000; fax, 978-759-1099. Home page: www.morpacepharma.com. Proprietary disease models linking patient subpopulations, medical decision making, and clinical/commercial opportunities. Reported in U.S. 1, March 5.
Phase Forward Inc., 1440 Main Street, Waltham MA 02451. 888-703-1122; fax, 781-890-4848. Home page: www.phaseforward.com. Internet-based clinical research services. Reported in U.S. 1, March 5.
Delsys Pharmaceutical, Princeton Corporate Plaza, Monmouth Junction. Staff size: 24. Home page: www.delsyspharma.com. Privately-held developer of automated drug manufacturing and drug delivery systems through electrostatic dry powder, sold to Elan and closed. Reported in U.S. 1, August 20.
General Dynamics, 128 Lakeside Avenue, Burlington VT 05401. Staff size: 10. 802-657-6000; fax, 802-657-6292. Home page: www.gdatp.com. Combustion research lab moved from Princeton Corporate Plaza to Vermont. Reported in U.S. 1, May 7.
GenuOne, 328 Amboy Avenue, Metuchen 08840. Geoff Towell. Staff size: 12. 732-635-0900; fax, 732-635-0902. Home page: www.genuone.com. Technologies to secure against counterfeiting, diversion and intellectual property theft, formerly Certus. Reported in U.S. 1, November 12.
InterCure Inc., 400 Kelvey Street, 12th Floor, Fort Lee. Home page: www.intercure.com. Interactive therapeutic devices. Reported in U.S. 1, February 12.
Novazyme/Glycobiology Research Institute, 800 Research Parkway, Suite 200, Oklahoma City 73104. John Crowley, CEO. Staff size: 12. 405-271-8144; fax, 405-271-1030. Home page: www.novazyme.com. Reported in U.S. 1, March 5.
Physiome Sciences, 10 Gill Street, Woburn MA 01801. Michael Kaufmann, president and CEO. 781-376-0821; fax, 781-376-0822. Founded in 1994 by Jeremy Levin, it was sold and moved from the third floor of 100 College Road West.
Wellspring International, 204 East Park Drive, Mt. Laurel 08054. Wade Smith, CEO. Staff size: 5. 856-802-1800; fax, 856-866-2407. Home page: www.wellspringwireless.com. Wireless, point-of-use, water submetering system. Reported in U.S. 1, August 20.
NEC Laboratories America, 4 Independence Way, Princeton 08540. Robert Millstein, president. Staff size: 110. 609-520-1555; fax, 609-951-2481. Www.nec-labs.com. US basic research unit of NEC – Internet software, robust and secure systems, broadband and mobile networking, system LSI, bioinformatics, quantum IT. Reported in U.S. 1, April 16.
Velio Communications, 214 Carnegie Center, Suite 304, Princeton 08540. G. Ramamurty, chief design architect. Staff size: 8. 609-419-9300; fax, 609-419-9777. Home page: www.velio.com. Design for optical telecommunications switches and routers. Reported in U.S. 1, January 15.
Lanier Worldwide Inc., Iselin. Staff size: 28. 732-636-9136. The distributor of office products including copiers and fax machines moved from Interchange Plaza in Cranbury. Reported in U.S. 1, June 4.
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