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This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the June 12, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Ewing’s Good News
Real estate activity at Ewing Township is perking up,
thanks to Merrill Lynch developing its 130-acre campus just over the
line in Hopewell.
in Ewing Township, bestows a fairytale moniker on the Merrill Lynch
site, with its plentiful amenities and huge population of office works. He calls it "Oz."
Hopewell, in the shadow of Oz, is trying to discourage further development.
Not so with Ewing. "We are benefiting from the fact that Hopewell
will not be developing much in the near future. It is quieting for
them and good for us," says Caiola.
Ewing will talk about its good news at its economic summit on Thursday,
June 20, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the College of New Jersey Music
Wilburn of American Properties and representatives from Sierra
Office Park. Refreshments will be served and the event is free by
Wilburn is an alumnus of the University of Colorado, Class of 1966,
and has an MBA from the University of Massachusetts and a master’s
in economics from Penn State. During his career he has been a consultant,
a developer, and the president of a subsidiary of W.R. Grace. Headed
by Randy Csik, American Properties and its affiliates own the Woodbridge
Sheraton and the Edison Clarion, and they plan to build a Hilton Garden
at Raritan Center.
American Properties has begun construction on a 130-room Courtyard
by Marriott hotel on Scotch Road and this month expects to start construction
of 120 condominium units on Scotch Road. "Both are to be completed
within the next 15 months — the township has done a good job working
with us," says Wilburn. "We are working all over the state
but it’s difficult to find property. Prices are going through the
roof. You go where the opportunities are."
In Ewing, as elsewhere, developers are not building "on spec"
but are waiting for a major tenant to come along. Preferred Properties
built 275 Phillips Boulevard, for instance, with Center for Claims
Resolution as the expected tenant, but CCR backed out of 40,000 feet
there. Preferred Properties managed to re-lease the whole building
to Horizon Mercy Healthcare.
Two projects — a Home Depot and a ShopRite — will bring 500
jobs to the township, says Caiola. The 130,000-foot Home Depot will
break ground this month with completion expected for November. S&S
Realty (headed by Jeffrey Sands of the family that owns Hilton Realty)
is developing the former Edwards supermarket site at North Olden and
Parkside and will build a "worldclass Shoprite," comparable
to the one at Montgomery Plaza on Route 206.
To make such a superstore work, S&S Realty needed more space. "We
acquired two adjacent properties," says Hilton’s
"including Briehler Ice Cream, 2 1/2 acres that was an eyesore.
It gave us greater visibility from Olden Avenue. Also the Carlisi
Auto Body store fronting on Parkside, which gives us another access
and more parking."
S&S Realty will have 150,000 square feet of office and flex space
on Sylvia Street, just off Sullivan Way, and is planning to build
80,000 more. It had purchased two 30,000-foot office flex buildings,
now housing ICI and dotPhoto, and renamed them Enterprise Park. Then
it reconfigured the approvals for the land to two other 30,000-foot
buildings, built them, and renamed that section Ewing Commerce Park.
It has preliminary approvals for an 80,000-square-foot office building
and is waiting for a major tenant to begin construction. Currently
S&S Realty is clearing ground for 272 apartments at that location,
formerly owned by the First Presbyterian Church.
Caiola appreciates the Sands family’s investments because, as he says,
"Everything they do turns to gold, and everything they buy, they
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