Corrections or additions?
This article by Barbara Fox was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on July 28,
1999. All rights reserved.
Corporate Office Properties Trust Buys Building
Another long-languishing building is now full. The
property directly across from Dow Jones, at 4301 Route 1 South, had
never been at capacity since it was built 12 years ago. The 61,330
square-foot Princeton Executive Campus has just been bought for $6
million by Corporate Office Properties Trust and will have three new
tenants come September — Bowne, AcuTech Consulting, and eComserver
Inc. Bowne is a financial publisher new to Princeton, while AcuTech
and eComServer are expanding from Forrestal Village. The building
is now the corporate headquarters for a publicly-held firm, Guest
Supply (GSY), which designs, markets, and manufactures hotel amenities
and cleaning supplies. The nation’s second largest copy machine company,
Ikon Office Services, is among the other three current tenants.
Prospects for Princeton Executive Campus had sagged during the early
1990s, perhaps because it did not have a Princeton address. It was
70 percent vacant in 1996 when the developer, the Punia Company, sold
it to Fox River Real Estate Holdings.
COPT, a Philadelphia-based REIT (http://www.copt.com), formerly
operated as the Shidler Group. It now owns 13 properties (including
the old IBM complex in Dayton) in the Princeton market, a total of
725,000 square feet. "We acquired Princeton Executive Campus for
$98 per square foot, which is 30 percent below replacement cost,"
says Rand Griffin, president and COO of COPT, "and the property
offers significant future upside due to its below market leases."
John Buschman and Tom Romano of Buschman Partners represented both
buyer and seller.
Current tenants (such as lawyer Alan B. Zublatt and the New Jersey
Foster Parents Association) are paying rent in the mid teens. Now
that the building is fully leased, new tenants are paying in the low
$20s, says a COPT spokesperson. Another plus is the announcement that
this building will be near to — but not in the path of — I-92.
Suite 200, Princeton 08540-5799. Larry Aleksandrich, group manager.
609-951-2211; fax, 609-951-2281. Home page: http://www.acutech-consulting.com.
The consulting company is moving to 3,800 square feet at Princeton
Executive Center. It provides consulting, training, and software services
for state and federal process safety and risk management regulation
compliance. It is a value-added reseller of five software product
lines for risk management and process safety. For instance, Release
Rate is a Windows tool that calculates discharge rates based on accidental
releases of stored toxic or flammable materials from process equipment
08648. 609-219-0550; fax, 609-951-2240. Home page: http://www.ecomserver.com.
This firm moved from Forrestal Village to temporary quarters on Franklin
Corner Road but plans to move to 10,000 square feet at Princeton Executive
Campus by early September and grow from 30 to 80 employees. The recruiting
page of its website features an offer of assistance with immigration
forms and obtaining green cards.
Raj K. Salgam, the CEO, played a key role in the growth of startup
DB-Tech Inc. (now known as WebSci Technologies) on Route 1 North.
Nixon Patel, president and CTO, had worked for IBM but also founded
Objectware Consulting Inc. and co-founded Global Consultants Inc.,
a corporate resource and solutions provider company.
For its middleware — enabling software that operates between the
operating system and the end-user — eComServer uses XML markup
languages, among others, and partners with major software firms. One
product under development is a powerful unconventional search engine,
called Wormhole, that is scheduled to undergo its beta test in September.
212-886-0614. Home page: http://www.bowne.com
This venerable financial publisher will send to Princeton a small
group of programmers, supporting litigation and mutual funds programs.
"We will see what we will do after that," says William Coote,
Executive Campus, Suite 125, Box 366, Monmouth Junction 08852. Jim
Bocchino, managing partner. 609-720-1622; fax, 609-720-1624.
Princeton Executive Campus Suite 125, Monmouth Junction 08852. 973-882-1989.
Home page: http://www.ikon.com.
Founded in 1965 by Tink (Tinkham) Veale as a specialty manufacturing
company called Alco Standard Corporation, this firm went public the
same year. It moved into various fields — chemicals, healthcare,
and wine and spirits, and by 1997 it had sold off or spun off all
companies but two. Its paper distribution firm, Unisource Worldwide,
was sold to Georgia Pacific. Meanwhile, Alco bought a couple hundred
office machine distribution companies and changed its name to Ikon
Office Solutions, trading on the New York Stock Exchange as IKN. Now
it offers office equipment and facilities management plus computer
networking. Its subsidiary, Ikon Document Services takes charge of
producing, moving, and filing documents.
James Forese is president and CEO of Ikon Office Solutions, which
employs 250 people in Malvern, Pennsylvania, and 40,000 employees
in 1,000 locations worldwide.
"The difference between an Ikon and a Xerox is that Ikon partners
with a lot of different vendors," says a spokesperson, who claims
Ikon is second only to Xerox in sales for office machines and is the
number one distributor of Canon products in the United States. It
is also an authorized vendor for Ricoh, Oce, and Muratec.
In Dayton COPT has a gilt-edged tenant, AT&T, which
is gobbling up space as fast as possible. The complex here is known
as Princeton Technology Center, but those who have been around for
awhile will remember when it was an IBM punch card factory. Earlier
this year COPT bought an adjoining property, Rhone Poulenc’s warehouse.
In 1995 Clay Hamlin bought the 342,000-foot Princeton Technology Center
as corporate surplus for the Shidler Group (now part of COPT). The
complex has three buildings on 65 square miles at 429 Ridge Road.
Staten Island-based Teleport Communications took an initial 40,000
square feet here and grew rapidly. AT&T bought Teleport and that entire
complex now houses AT&T Local Services.
COPT paid $2.1 million for Rhone Poulenc’s property, a former chemical
manufacturing plant and regional sales office for its surfactants
and specialties business group. COPT will put another $7 million into
renovations there. Buschman Partners and CB Richard Ellis represented
the buyer and seller, respectively. KSS Architecture of Witherspoon
Street is rehabbing the building inside and out, with GSA Construction
as the builder and Schoor DePalma for engineering design.
— Barbara Fox
Kids don’t learn by subject area but by experience,
says Tony Gaule. They don’t come home and say "we studied opposing
forces." Instead, it’s "I built a bridge today."
Gaule, an Irishman who spent the first part of his career working
at Lenox, aims to add the fun of model-making and the excitement of
discovery to science classrooms. He moved the American headquarters
of Technology Teaching Systems from a home office to Everett Drive
in May. Based in the United Kingdom, it creates and distributes educational
materials covering hands-on science and design technology for elementary
and middle schools.
"The approach has taken off around the country," says Gaule.
To learn by doing is an integrated approach to problem solving: First
the students design a solution to the problem, then they make the
A typical problem: Take a card, dowel rods, spools, paper towel tubes,
tape, glue, and scissors. Build a wheeled vehicle with carrying capacity
and tipping function.
Another series of problems features carnival rides such as ferris
wheels, swings, and whirligigs. To make a merry-go-round from a yogurt
cup and a paper plate, fix a plate to rotate on a toilet paper tube
and fashion milk cartons into the shape of passenger seats.
Based in the United Kingdom, the firm has three staff members in Princeton,
several sales representatives around the country, and a sister company
in Canada. Kits range in cost from under $5 to several hundred dollars;
materials are manufactured around the world and assembled in several
locations in Canada and the United States. Kits are being sold directly
to school districts, at conventions, and most recently through direct
Gaule insists that though many publishing companies offer hands-on
science curricula, no one occupies his technology niche. "The
concept of technology is real-world problem solving," says Gaule.
"We are selling products that will give the kids the skills they
need when they get into high school. We are seeing great positive
reaction from high school science teachers for using it as a feeder
Gaule is working with the International Technical Education Association
(ITEA) on NASA’s program called Technology for All Americans, trying
to define standards. He is also working with such early adapting states
as New York, which is in the second year of a five-year project to
enhance its math, science, and technology curriculum. "We expect
that when national standards are adopted next March, more and more
states will come forward."
It’s no accident that this company is based in the United Kingdom,
known for its early work in integrating learning with hands-on activities,
and that it has a branch in Canada. The Canadian market is more mature
than the American market, more cross-curricular, says Gaule. "We
don’t expect to get rich quick."
The company also provides materials and trainers for teacher workshops.
"What we have that others don’t is the ability to go in and develop
not just tools and materials, but programs for teachers to roll out
and implement design technology. We run workshops. We teach districts
to run workshops. They in turn roll it out to teachers," says
At age six Gaule had his own first experience with technology education.
He grew up in Dublin, where his Madrid-born mother and his Irish father
had an industrial parts distribution business. His father, who was
trained as an engineer, brought home an electric train set. "I’d
be putting in a round track, and he’d be saying, let’s put an obstacle
there, and find a way to put the track around it or under it or over
it." After graduating from the University of Dublin in 1983 he
came to the U.S., earning an MBA from Rider while working for Lenox
for 10 years as an inventory manager. He is married to an accountant
at Schering Plough.
The company’s kits may resemble home-spun versions of an Erector set,
but they are not something you will want to buy to keep your child
busy during the summer — unless you are willing to sit at the
kitchen table and be your child’s teaching partner. "We would
like to explore the after-school program market or the home schooling
market, but it would need a very conscientious and a very forward
thinking parent to sit down and do it," says Gaule, "It’s
not a `here’s the pieces’ project."
Teachers can buy the $7 to $9 kits with all the materials needed,
including special hack saws that don’t cut little hands, or they can
buy the workbooks and assemble the materials themselves. "Sometimes
teachers don’t have the funds and need to improvise," says Gaule.
One $13 kit in the "wheels" series has enough wood, wheels,
and paper supplies for an entire class to build a land yacht. He will
work with a particular school district to adapt kits for specific
needs. "On the tip of Long Island they implement the curriculum
with a lot of work on lighthouses," says Gaule. One kit on lighthouses,
Building D, Princeton Junction 08550-5307. Tony Gaule, general manager.
609-716-1500; fax, 800-679-0802. Home page: http://www.tts-group.com.
Economic Institute at 214 Carnegie Center.
Realty and had been a police officer with Princeton Borough and Washington
Inc. in East Brunswick.
researcher in Princeton he founded Ogilvy & Mather in 1948.
manager of Princeton Nassau Conover Motor Co.
and had worked at Firestone Library.
the Mercer County Democratic Party and state assembly speaker, and
he wrote "New Jersey’s Municipal Madness" (U.S. 1, February
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