With construction nearing completion, the first tenant has signed on to Carnegie 902, a five-story Class A structure with 136,000 square feet of office space at the corner of Route 1 and Carnegie Center Boulevard. With rental costs of about $35 per square foot, the building will soon be home to brokerage house Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, which has signed a 10-year lease on 4,612 square feet, and has thereby become the first company to commit to moving into one of the trio of new speculative buildings in the Route 1 Corridor.

The other two buildings are a Patrinely project, at 1100 Campus Road, and University Square, a Reckson project at the northeast intersection of Route 1 and Alexander Road. The first building contains 130,000 square feet, while the second contains 250,000 square feet. (U.S. 1 reported on the building boom in its May 10 commercial real estate issue.)

“Location and quality is the pitch on this,” Matt Malatich of Hilton Realty said at that time. Hilton is the owner and the leasing agent of the new building. “Our mechanicals are state of the art, and we have access to Route 1 from Meadow Road, Alexander Road, and Carnegie Center Boulevard.”

An unusual aspect of 902 Carnegie is that it has basement storage space, which will rent for just $10 a square foot. Stifel, Nicholaus employees will not be underground, however. The company, a subsidiary of 126-year-old Stifel Financial Corporation, is planting its flag on the first floor.

Stifel, Nicolaus opened an office in Princeton in April, but the principals have been in the area for much longer (U.S. 1, June 14.) The branch manager, Stephen Jusick, had been on Nassau Street for 38 years (just next door to Hilton Realty’s offices) with an investment firm that changed its name, in 2002, from Tucker Anthony to RBC Dain Rauscher.

Four months ago Jusick got a call from a former Tucker Anthony colleague, who told him that the 115-year-old firm, Stifel, Nicolaus, had begun to expand in the eastern United States and wanted to open an office in Princeton.

As part of this expansion Stifel, Nicolaus had acquired the capital markets division of Legg Mason from Citigroup, which meant an addition of about 450 people to its payroll.

Stifel, Nicolaus is occupying temporary, shared office space at 100 Overlook Center while its space at 902 Carnegie is being completed. Construction is expected to wind up in December, and Stifel plans to move in four months after that.

Stifel, Nicolaus (SF), 100 Overlook, Second Floor, Princeton 08540; 609-375-2271; fax, 609-375-2656. Stephen Jusick. Home page: www.stifel.com.

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