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This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the June 16, 2004 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Life in the Fast Lane
Within one week, the last week of May, Berwind Property Group bought three properties in New Jersey, including the Carter Road campus that used to belong to Bell Labs and is now occupied by Lexicon Pharmaceuticals. The $43 million three-property purchase totals nearly 800,000 square feet. Berwind, a private Philadelphia-based real estate company, also bought 51 Commerce Drive at Exit 8A and an Exit 7 property in Bordentown.
Berwind has more than 35 million square feet of office, multi-family, retail, student housing, hotel, and industrial properties in the United States. It now owns 2.5 million square feet in New Jersey, including properties that were developed by the Aegis Group in Princeton Forrestal Campus on College Road and on Trenton’s State Street.
Berwind’s first foray into the Exit 8A market is 51 Commerce Drive. The 269,000-square-foot warehouse is 58 percent occupied by MarketResource Corporation. The seller was the estate of Martin Levine, the late CEO of Market Source at 2 Commerce Drive. The tenant does contract packaging, such as shrink wrapping and banding, specialty and multi-packs, vertical bagging, cartoning, and hand assembly. Gerard Fennelly of NAI Fennelly represented the buyer.
The Bordentown purchase is a 223,000-square-foot office and warehouse complex at the Bordentown Interchange Business Park, a half-mile off Exit 7 of the turnpike and Interstate 295. The 34-acre property is 48 percent leased to Prince Sports Inc., which moved its headquarters and warehouse operations from Princess Road to this location in 1993.
Prince makes top of the market performance racquet sports equipment, including the revolutionary Oversize and Longbody racquets, as well as the latest MORE Performance line. The line also includes shoes, apparel and accessories (www.princetennis.com).
Stephen Tolcash of GVA Williams Buschman represented the seller, Benetton, which used to own Prince, and GVA Williams Buschman is the leasing agent for the property. Berwind’s management group will manage the property. An additional 250,000 square feet can be built in two or more buildings.
As for the Carter Road property, it was bought at a discount price by Maryland-based Townsend Capital, which invested $8.8 million to fit-up the long-empty building into up-to-date laboratory space for ValiGen’s genomics research. But within two months of moving in ValiGen went bankrupt, partly as a result of 9/11.
Lexicon Pharmaceuticals moved from Princeton Hightstown Road into the 50,000 square feet of space that had been completed for ValiGen and has 86 employees. Lexicon has finished the first phase, 7,000 square feet, in the buildout of the remaining 25,000 square feet, says Jim Bingham, the facilities manager. AKF Engineers of 700 Alexander Street is doing the engineering, and Johnsrude Associates, of Trevose, Pennsylvania, are the architects. Cyma Builders of Bluebell, Pennsylvania, has the contract for the construction, which should be completed by 2005.
Berwind’s portfolio at this address also includes two existing buildings that need renovation, and NAI Fennelly is doing the leasing. More than 500,000 additional square feet is approved for the 355 acres. This property is a quarter of a mile away from the 10-acre Western Electric property owned by Main Street Bistro, which hopes to use it as a restaurant and banquet facility.
The healthcare asset management company, CareGain Inc., quadrupled its space with last month’s move from 3,800 square feet at Center Point Industrial Park to 16,000 square feet at Windsor Corporate Park. On Thursday, June 10, CareGain announced that it had closed a $6.8 million Series B round of financing.
Founded in 2001, CareGain provides consumer-directed health care infrastructure software for health plans and self-insured employers.
In April the firm received a Business Employment Incentive Program grant worth $850,000 over a 10 year period. “A month after we got the BEIP grant, we committed to a lease in New Jersey,” says CEO David Lenihan.
The grant requires CareGain to relocate in New Jersey and to hire a certain number of people. “It is a wonderful partnership between New Jersey and businesses, and we applaud the state for the good things they are doing,” says Bill Hackett, chief financial officer.
The new space, a sublet from Bala Engineering, came complete with furniture, and the move was done by the employees in a rented truck. “We have a thrifty approach to life, since we struggled so long,” says Lenihan. Tom Romano of GVA Williams Buschman represented the tenant and Joe Conwell of CB Richard Ellis represented the landlord.
Led by Mid-Atlantic Venture Funds the funding round includes Milestone Ventures, NewLight Associates, Select Capital Ventures, Inflection Point Ventures and the NJTC Venture Fund. Maximum Ventures represented CareGain in raising this money.
CareGain’s Defined-Care platform can customize consumer-directed health plans. Employers can incent employees to make certain decisions that may increase the value of their health care benefits, either through an HRA (a health care reimbursement arrangement provided by the employer that allows monies unused in one year to be rolled over into the employee’s account for the next year) or an HSA (the health care saving account provided for by December’s Medicare legislation). Unlike the HRA, employees in an HSA can contribute to the account along with the employer and their monies are tax deferred.
The company is hiring Java programmers and customer service people with a technical background.
CareGain Inc., Windsor Corporate Park, Building 300, Suite 100, 50 Millstone Road, East Windsor 08520, David J. Lenihan, CEO. 609-426-1500; fax, 609-426-1595. Www.caregain.com.
NeoStrata Company Inc. is the company that everyone hoped would go public, because it seemed to have a sure-fire technology — the ingredient for Fountain of Youth face creams. Neostrata is leaving its headquarters at 4 Research Way, making room for SES Americom to take up the whole building, and is moving to the same building that houses its laboratory facilities, 307 College Road East, where it now has 30,000 square feet.
Neostrata focuses on therapeutic skin care, particularly formulations using alpha-hydroxy acid, found in such naturally occurring substances as grapes and sugar cane. It has 75 employees, including 42 in the office and 12 doing development work in the laboratory, plus two dozen salespeople who work outside of Princeton.
The international firm opened in 1991 and thanks to a strong patent position has been profitable from the start. It has more than 125 patents relating to alpha-hydroxyacids and other skin care technology. It is still a privately held company, mostly owned by the founding scientists, Eugene Van Scott and Ruey Yu.
Van Scott, now 70, had been director of the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. Ruey Yu is a Taiwan native and doctor of oriental medicine who had been associate professor of chemistry at Temple Skin and Cancer Institute.
The holding company, Delaware-based TriStrata Technology Inc., sued Valeant Pharmaceuticals for infringement of two patents involving the use of alpha-hydroxyacids to enhance the therapeutic effect of other substances. A jury had decided the case in favor of TriStata in November, 2003, and in April the United States District Court in Delaware rejected a motion from Valeant for a new trial. Now Valeant is prohibited from the manufacture, sale, and marketing of products covered by these patents. Tristrata represented by attorneys from Greenwich, Connecticut; Chicago, Illinois; and Wilmington, Delaware.
“We went to court and it was a victory for us and our patents,” says Richard Wildnauer, president. “Only one case went to trial. After a week-long trial, the jury determined that a fair royalty was six percent of net sales.”
Wildnauer graduated in 1962 from St. Vincent’s College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, 1962, and he has a PhD from West Virginia University and an MBA from Rider. After working at Johnson & Johnson for 26 years, a chance call to VanScott landed him the top job in 1995 (U.S. 1, February 10, 1993).
The company is in the midst of major lawsuit with Mary Kay that is scheduled for trial in September. “At least 15 suits were filed, and most of the companies, including L’Oreal and Chanel have settled. We have about 40 licenses now,” says Wildnauer. Other suits are pending against BeautiControl cosmetics and the companies responsible for the manufacture and sale of the infomercial product called Natural Advantage.
Alpha-hydroxy patents are just the beginning, says Wildnauer. “We have a host of new ingredients, including a bionic acid series that is being launched in the NeoStrata and Exuviance brands.”
The laboratory does contract work for companies that want to use the company’s ingredients in their products. One recent product, Vanamide, is a prescription therapy for severely dry skin. Another is a consumer product, a new version of Clearasil, launched several months ago. “A British company, Boots, bought Clearasil from Proctor & Gamble, and we helped them reformulate it to add alpha-hydroxy,” says Wildnauer.
The NeoStrata brand is sold through dispensing physicians, and NeoStrata’s consumer products, Exuviance and CoverBlend, are sold through retail. All the products are manufactured by outside contractors.
NeoStrata Company Inc., 307 College Road East, Princeton 08540. Richard H. Wildnauer, president. 609-520-0715; fax, 609-520-0849. Home page: www.NeoStrata.com
SES Americom is expanding within its building at 4 Research Way, going from 103,000 feet to 130,000 feet, and it will occupy the whole building. Formerly a part of RCA and General Electric, it operates 16 spacecraft in orbital positions predominantly providing service throughout the Americas, and it provides end-to-end telecommunications solutions to any region in the world.
“In 2004 we are launching launch five new or replacement satellites, an industry breaking record for a single satellite operator, and we will have a fleet of 20 spacecraft by years end,” says Monica Morgan, vice president of communications. Launches took place in February and May from Cape Canaveral, and in August and October the launches will be from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhastan. Another Florida launch is planned for December.
Last year SES Americom formed a subsidiary, WorldSat, to market capacity on satellites covering Asia, and the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean regions, and connecting premier regional satellite fleets.
In 2001 SES had set up Americom Government Services to provide satellite communications solutions to civilian and defense agencies of the U.S. Government. Because the parent company is based in Luxembourg, the subsidiary needed a separate space and moved next door to 2 Research Way. “Part of our longer term strategy for occupying the entire building is to provide AGS with a distinct and separate space at 4 Research Way,” says Morgan.
SES clients are broadcasters, cable programmers, aeronautical and maritime communications integrators, Internet service providers, mobile communications networks, government agencies, educational institutions, carriers and secure global data networks. They include ABC Radio Networks, Fox, Gannett, TV Guide/Gemstar, HBO, NBC, the New York Times, PBS, TimeWarner, and Viacom.
SES Americom Inc. (An SES Global Co.), 4 Research Way, Princeton 08540. Dean Olmstead, chief executive officer. 609-987-4000; fax, 609-987-4517. Home page: www.ses-americom.com
Linguagen, 2005 Eastpark Boulevard, Eastpark at Exit 8, Cranbury 08512. 609-860-1500; fax, 609-860-5900. Home page: www.linguagen.com
F. Raymond Salemme is the new CEO of Linguagen, taking over for COO Shawn Marcell who was serving as acting CEO. Salemme came to Linguagen from a company he founded in 11 years ago, 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals, on 8 Clarke Drive in Cedarbrook Corporate Park.
A molecular biophysics major at Yale University, Salemme has a PhD in chemistry from the University of California at San Diego. He set up drug-discovery groups specializing in structure-based drug design, biophysics, and computational chemistry at Sterling Winthrop Pharmaceuticals and DuPont Merck Pharmaceuticals. His name is on 21 U.S. patents held by 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals.
Linguagen develops ingredients used to improve the taste of food, beverages and pharmaceutical products.
Quality New Jersey, 20 West State Street, Box 827, Trenton 08625-0827. Richard Serfass, executive director. 609-777-0940; fax, 609-777-2798. Home page: www.qnj.org
On May 24 Richard Serfass replaced Lisa Albitz as executive director of Quality New Jersey (QNJ), a not-for-profit educational organization.
This is the second QNJ stint for Serfass. An alumnus of La Salle, Class of ‘63, with a doctoral degree from Temple, Serfass was assistant superintendent of schools in Cherry Hill when he got involved with the education focus group of QNJ. He became a national examiner and helped develop the national standards for education systems. As executive director of QNJ in 1997 and 1998, he was succeeded by Ken Biddle, who was replaced by Albitz in 2003.
“The officers believe Rich’s experience and industry knowledge are critical components for the successful transformation of QNJ to a more strategically aligned and market focused organization,” says Bruce Kenney, chair of QNJ.
When Ross Woolley, above, went to high school in upstate New York, his guidance counselor discouraged him from his desire to be an architect. “So I tried other things — working in a plating factory, for the telephone company, and at a hospital — and didn’t like them.” He enrolled at architecture school at Syracuse University, and on the first day he met the man who would be his future business partner in Woolley Morris Architects. “We were the same age and had both done other things before Syracuse,” says Woolley.
After seeing a “for rent” sign next to Small World coffee shop, Woolley and his associate, David Schaefer, renovated 700 square feet on Witherspoon Street and moved their office from 10 Nassau Street in early April. Woolley’s partner, Richard Morris, maintains an office in Syracuse and focuses on business development, and Woolley focuses on design. The office had previously been occupied by another architect, Pierre Coutin, who has moved his practice to Sergeantsville.
Woolley, 53, had formerly worked for Michael Graves, and his practice now focuses on college and university work, including some “nonprotypical” designs for Marriott hotels.
To traditional buildings Woolley can sometimes add some unusual touches. For his current project in New Jersey, the facade will reflect what is going on inside. It is a laboratory for animal-based stem cell research at Rutgers’ Cook Campus, the Cellular and Molecular Biology Research Facility. On the outside will be what Woolley describes as “an image of DNA fragments in the gel media, which is being produced in the polymerase chain reaction labs within the building.”
Another big project is a $14 million dorm in Plattsburgh, New York. More controversial is the “village center” that Montgomery Township’s new master plan has slated for the lot next to the Princeton Airport.
Woolley and his wife, who works at Dow Jones, have two children, one at Princeton High and one in college. They live in a “very modern” house on Carnegie Lake, the former Blumenthal residence, designed by Frank Schlesinger in 1965, located next to the Textile Research Institute. The house needed a good deal of rehabilitation, says Woolley in an apparent understatement.
Woolley and Morris had worked in Manhattan for some of the same firms. “Right out of school we did the drawings for a 40-story office for Fox & Fowl (a Manhattan architecture practice that was then just beginning.) Then we worked at Peter Eisenmann’s office.” Woolley moved to the Princeton area and worked for Michael Graves from 1984 to 1989, but in 1990 he opened his own shop, with Morris. “My partner was working in Manhattan and moved back to Syracuse. I was working 80 hours a week at Michael Graves’ office, and I was running a big job in California. I wanted to see my children grow up. It was a great experience. But I always wanted to work for myself.”
Says Woolley: “We are an odd little firm. Most of the people we compete against are much larger.”
Woolley Morris Architects, 14.5 Witherspoon Street, Princeton 08542. Ross N.A. Woolley. 609-688-1818; fax, 609-688-1881. Home page: www.woolleymorris.com.
JRS Architect PC, 707 State Road, Route 206 North, Suite 104, Princeton 08540-1434. James T. Lalli, architect. 609-688-9100; fax, 609-688-9060. Home page: www.jrsarchitect.com
JRS Architects is slated to expand into the space at 707 State Road when Re/Max Premiere Properties moved to Orchard Road. This office is a branch of the Philadelphia-based firm. Lalli is a graduate of the New York Institute of Technology Class, Class of ‘92.
Princeton Communications Group Inc., 112 Titus Mill Road, Pennington 08534. Lawrence H. Krampf, CEO. 609-818-9800; fax, 609-818-9213. Www.pcgads.com
Princeton Communications Group won a $1.2 million state contract to raise awareness of and appreciation for 18 federally qualified health centers. The theme of the campaign is that these health centers are “feel good” places.
Billtrust, 51 Everett Drive, Building B, Suite 50, Princeton Junction 08550. Flint Lane, president. 609-580-0050; fax, 609-580-0041. Www.billtrust.com
Pennsylvania-based 84 Lumber Company is a new client for Billtrust’s billing solution. The contract, executed in 45 days, called for a complete bill redesign.
William F. Wilson, 76, on June 1. He was the owner of Princeton Pool and Patio.
Clarence W. H. Wilcox, 80, on June 5. He had worked for the Princeton Microfilm Co. on Princeton-Hightstown Road.
John Fenton, 75, on June 8. A member of the Princeton University public relations staff in the 1970s, he later became chief of information services at U.N. University in Tokyo. A memorial service will be at the Princeton Club in New York on Saturday, July 17, at 4 p.m.
Patricia Higgins Glackin, 72, on June 11. She co-founded the Glackin/Saul Funeral Home in in Hightstown in 1957.
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