Corrections or additions?
These articles by Barbara Fox were prepared for the August 18,
2004 issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Life in the Fast Lane
Among the more than 200 R&D companies in greater Princeton are more
than 120 firms with fewer than a dozen employees – just the kind of
firms that need small spaces. And small lab space, incubator-size or
slightly larger, is hard to find. Using land in East Windsor that his
family has owned for 35 years, Michael J. Simon hopes to attract these
labs and tap the potential of Princeton as a petri dish for biotech
Simon says he learned patience from the lifelong interest in the Asian
strategy game of Go. "My father taught me a key rule for business –
play dumb. And the game of Go taught me patience," says Simon. "When
you make a mistake, that stone looks at you for the whole game, so you
learn to go slowly and carefully."
The first of four buildings in his high-tech development will have 10
wet laboratories. Called SciPark (sciparknj.com), the proposed
270,000-foot park is situated on 35 acres, located just off Route 133
on Old Trenton Road (Edinburg Road), north of Route 571 and across
from Windsor Corporate Park.
The first building is scheduled to be completed in January, 2006, and
R&D companies will be able to lease a laboratory as small as 6,000
square feet. Each lab will have two drainage systems, an
effluent-cleaning machine area, dock-height loading bays, computer
network lines, and an employee lounge. Stephen Tolcash of GVA Buschman
is the exclusive leasing broker and the space is listing for $15.50
net, plus $5 per square foot common area charge.
"With current vacancy rates for single-story, flex-R&D facilities in
this marketplace well under 8 percent, there is a significant demand
for the unique space being offered at SciPark," says Simon. "Unlike
most of the big-box flex space in central New Jersey, SciPark will
meet the needs of smaller users and will feature the flexible
structural design to accommodate a wide variety of tenant needs. There
is simply no other comparable space being planned in central New
Jersey like SciPark."
Paul McArthur of Trillium Realty Advisors in Hopewell is the
development manager for SciPark. "I can say that if it weren’t for
Paul I wouldn’t be developing this," says Simon. The shell was
designed by site planner John Chester, and the design is by Keith Hone
of Hone & Associates.
Even though SciPark is expensive to build, it is reasonable in
comparison to retrofitting another space to be a laboratory, says
Simon. "The spaces are small but bigger than an incubator and much
smaller than the competitive private developers."
Labs are new for Simon, who for 25 years has been building small
warehouses on reasonably priced smaller plots of land where streets
have been cuts and city blocks formed. "If you are a small developer,
he points out, "it is hard to find three to five acres."
He found success in Twin Rivers, which has what he calls "reasonable"
setback requirements. He built two warehouses there, one on Lake Drive
occupied now by Windsor Tech, the electronics equipment recycling
firm, and one on Twin Rivers Drive occupied by NexMed. NexMed, the
impotence cream company that is headquartered in Robbinsville, wanted
to fit out the warehouse as laboratory. "Then I asked, why am I
building warehouses? Why don’t I just build laboratories," says Simon.
"That’s how I got the idea of SciPark."
"We are still in the permit process," he says, "and getting the first
or second tenant might be hard." But the state of New Jersey is
financially encouraging the growth of biotech companies "and venture
capital is sitting on a ton of money."
A 1975 graduate of Columbia, Simon completed most of the course work
for a PhD in English from Brown (focusing on the poetry of John
Ashbery). He learned Japanese so he could read Go books, and has
attained the impressive rank of 5 Don. He worked in real estate in
Tokyo, where he established a funky, for Tokyo, New York-style Jewish
deli, and he met his future wife. A multi-faceted personality,
self-labeled as "a bit of a nerd," he also speaks Spanish and French
and is an avid web page developer. SciPark is one of the few
developments with its own web page.
Since 1984, his company, Simon Developments LLC, has developed and
renovated commercial real estate projects totaling a million square
feet. Simon also has a business that makes smart cards for mass
transit fare collection.
Simon describes his family background: "I come from a family that
takes farmland and builds industrial buildings." He grew up in
Teaneck, where his father, David Simon, was one of the first postwar
industrial developers. "In Englewood he built five warehouses at a
time when it was hard to get steel," says Simon. "He almost went
broke, but he sold them all. In 1951 he developed Moonachie at the
time that it was all farms."
The "right" time to develop the East Windsor land never came for
Simon’s father. "My father was waiting for the state to build Route
133, and he didn’t live to see it developed," says Simon. "They
finished Route 133 two years after he died. But as you drive around
the jughandle, you pass the back of our site. We can’t put signs up
there, but I think people will see the towers through the trees."
3C, Hopewell 08525. Paul McArthur, president. 609-466-0400; fax,
609-466-2940. Home page: www.trilliumrealty.com and www.sciparknj.com.
Heartland Payment Systems Inc. has filed plans to go public on Nasdaq
with an initial stock offering worth as much as $75 million.
Heartland, which provides credit-card processing systems, has its
corporate headquarters and accounting office on Hulfish Street, but of
the more than 700 employees, just a dozen work here. Other offices are
in Ohio, Texas, Arizona, and Indiana.
Founded in 1997 with a business investment of $1 million, Heartland is
now one of the largest privately owned payment processors. It offers
credit and debit card, payroll and related processing services to more
than 70,000 restaurant, hotel, and retail merchants throughout the
United States. It was named to the Inc. 500 list of the
fastest-growing private companies in America for two consecutive years
and was ranked last year as seventh in the Top 25 Companies By Size
Proceeds of the IPO would help pay down $2.9 million in debt and
redeem warrants to purchase 1 million shares of common stock. The
remainder would be used for general corporate purposes, including
working capital and potential acquisitions.
No price range for the shares was disclosed in the Securities and
Exchange Commission filing. Greenhill Capital Partners currently own
28.2 percent of the firm, and LLR Equity Partners owns nearly 17
Suite 400, Princeton 08542. Robert Baldwin, CFO. 888-798-3131; fax,
609-683-3815. Home page: www.heartlandpaymentsystems.com
Chiral Quest Inc. has a new president and CEO, Ronald Brandt,
replacing the founding CEO, Alan D. Roth. Brandt has created a new
parent company, VioQuest Pharmaceuticals Inc. Chiral Quest will
continue to work on its core technology – asymmetric products and
services including catalysis products and services – as a wholly owned
subsidiary of VioQuest. Another wholly owned subsidiary, VioQuest Drug
Development Inc. will acquire, develop, and commercialize human
The company was an academic spinoff at Penn State in 2000, was
restructured, and was launched as a listed company in February on the
OTC bulletin board. It moved in June, 2003, to Princeton Corporate
Plaza at 7 Deer Park Drive. The facility has a laboratory capable of
making multi-kilo quantities of large compounds; it has 50-liter
reactors and the latest in analytical instruments (U.S. 1, June 25,
2003). Now it is a public company with almost 20 employees.
"Chiral Quest is a leading supplier of chiral catalysts and
intermediates in one of the fastest growing sectors of the
pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries," says Brandt, who is also
interim president and CEO of VioQuest Pharmaceuticals Inc.
"Over the last several months, I have been delighted to work with Ron,
and believe he has the experience and personal qualities that a leader
of our company requires to maximize its value," said Xumu Zhang, the
chief technology officer, in a press release.
Zhang (pronounced Shang), went to Wuhan University in the People’s
Republic of China, has a master’s degree from the University of
California at San Diego, and did doctoral and post doctoral work at
Stanford. He has consulted for Pfizer and Catalytica, holds several
patents, and has received numerous awards. He spent a sabbatical with
a Nobel laureate from California, K. Barry Sharpless, who is now
chairman of the scientific advisory board.
Corporate Plaza, Suite E-2, Monmouth Junction 08852. 732-274-0399;
fax, 732-274-0402. Home page: www.chiralquest.com
Slide Design Interactive has changed its name to Creative Media Works,
representing the design world’s paradigm shift to digital.
"We do so much more than slides here – we are heading toward more
interactive design and printing work," says marketing director Carly
Van Fleet, daughter of Richard Van Fleet, who founded the company 15
The firm initially focused on quality slides for corporate
presentations, plus brochure design and layout. It weathered the
change to digital by expanding its capabilities to digital imaging
(large format posters, duplicating CDs and DVDs), and multimedia
(websites, interactive CDs/DVDs, and animation).
"Nevertheless, we still do powerpoint presentations for many
healthcare clients – they have thousands of slides that need to be
formatted," says Carly Van Fleet. She graduated from the University of
Central Florida in 2000, is assistant production manager, and is in
charge of marketing for the 20-person firm.
The name change has been in progress for about a year. "Internally we
came up with the name, but we worked with a marketing company –
MarketEntry – to force us to keep to a schedule in making the
decisions," she says. "We are hoping to attract new business and keep
all our old clients. We have gotten a very positive response."
08534. Richard Van Fleet, president. 609-737-1123; fax, 609-737-6345.
Home page: www.creativemediaworks.com
08540. Paul Taylor, president. 609-951-0005; fax, 609-951-0080.
Paul Taylor, who founded Taylor Technology in 1991, has sold his
company to SFBC International for $20.9 million, including $16.9
million in cash and about $4 million in restricted common stock.
Taylor announced this deal at the end of July. He has signed a
long-term employment agreement with the acquiring firm and all 65
current employees are expected to continue with SFBC Analytical.
SFBC International, Inc. provides specialized drug development
services to global and specialty pharmaceutical, biotechnology and
generic drug companies.
Taylor Technology Inc. provides bioanalytical laboratory services,
especially mass spectrometry services for new drug programs for major
pharmaceutical companies. Using high-pressure liquid
chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and gas chromatography-tandem
mass spectrometry, it can develop, validate, and perform methods for
quantitative analysis of drugs and/or metabolites in biological
fluids, such as blood, serum, plasma, or urine.
Because Taylor and SFBC share only one significant client, the sale
represents a significant boost to SFBC’s client list.
SFBC has a wholly-owned subsidiary that operates a bioanalytical
laboratory in Philadelphia, and it will spend $4 million for a
state-of-the-art laboratory in Toronto, due to open next January.
Other bioanalytical laboratories are in Quebec City and Barcelona.
Princeton 08540. Lawrence J. Rubenstein, branch manager/senior vice
president. 609-734-0400; fax, 609-734-0939. Home page: www.opco.com
When Fahnestock bought Oppenheimer last year, it took Oppenheimer’s
name. Now this New York-based wealth management firm has 1,600
financial advisors, 11 at this location, and nearly 100 branches. Its
clients are high net worth individuals, particularly those who need
corporate and executive services. It has $45 billion in client assets,
says Lawrence J. Rubenstein, senior vice president.
Princeton Junction 08550. Flint Lane, president. 609-580-0050; fax,
IDEXX Laboratories, a 2,500-person animal health technology company
based in Maine, signed a contrast for an automated billing system
provided by Billtrust on Everett Drive.
Billtrust reengineered invoices for IDEXX so that they incorporate
variable marketing messages and different payment options. Billtrust
created a custom website that empowers customers to select or modify
their preferred means for receiving bills, choosing from mail, E-mail,
In June 84 Lumber Company signed a similar contract. Billtrust offers
automated invoicing and statement systems for small and medium-sized
North, Princeton 08543. Paul J. Kelly MD, CEO. 609-750-2200; fax,
609-750-6400. Home page: www.orchid.com
Orchid Cellmark has a contract from the National Institute of Justice
to create genetic profiles from DNA samples collected from Illinois
felons. Mark Stolorow is executive director of Orchid Cellmark, the
forensic DNA testing subsidiary of Orchid BioSciences Inc., which has
laboratories in Maryland, Tennessee, and Texas.
On completion, the profiles will be added to the national Combined DNA
Index System, or CODIS, operated by the Federal Bureau of
The parent company, Orchid BioSciences, announced a smaller
second-quarter loss, thanks in part to more attention to high growth
areas such as Orchid Cellmark. For the quarter, the loss was 10 cents
per share compared to 90 cents last year.
Cranbury 08512. Yves Dzialowski, CEO. 609-495-2600; fax, 609-395-9114.
Home page: www.princetonlightwave.com
In July Princeton Lightwave landed an Air Force contract worth more
than $1 million to develop a next-generation laser technology for use
in sensors and communications systems. The two-year contract is
supposed to produce a powerful laser that is not damaging to human
Founded in 2000, Princeton Lightwave markets and develops high
performance optoelectronic components and subsystems.
Lawrenceville 08648. Tom Drury, CEO. 609-514-4100; fax, 609-514-4101.
Home page: www.voxware.com
TJX, the parent company of T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s stores, has bought
the VoiceLogistics system of Voxware to use with its multilingual
workforce in Woburn, Massachusetts. Voxware’s pilot program proved
that workers who speak different languages can simultaneously interact
with the same application.
"They really put our VoiceLogistics software through its paces,
conducting an extensive pilot program that focused on logistics
challenges unique to the retail and garment industry sectors," says
Tom Drury, Voxware’s CEO.
By interacting with workers, VoiceLogistics helps to coordinate a
conveyor system, eliminating paper pick lists and verifying each
activity as it occurs.
08540. Anand Natarajan. 609-514-5108.
Altech Star Inc. is partnering with Actuate Corporation, a leader in
enterprise reporting solutions. Altech focuses on web-enterprise,
business intelligence, and strategic outsourcing solutions. Though
based at 5 Independence Way, it has offshore services available in
For companies with revenues of more than $1 billion, Actuate has an
application platform to help develop intuitive, Web portal-like
reporting and analytic applications that organize information.
08512. Christian Scheiner, president. 609-409-5999; fax, 609-409-5995.
Stada Pharmaceuticals has a new website with information on its
Rheumatrex drug, which can treat patients with rheumatoid arthritis (
Patients can learn about diagnostic procedures, available treatments –
including drug therapy, diet and exercise – and get answers to common
questions about the disease.
Founded in 1895 as a pharmacists’ cooperative, Stada sells, markets,
and distributes more than 300 prescription generic products and over
the counter products, including products originally owned by Mova
Laboratory. When Mova was bought by the German firm (Stada
Arzneimittel AG) a Cleveland subsidiary moved to the current location
The headquarters is in Bad Vilbel, Germany, and there are 18
subsidiaries. The firm contracts manufacturing to leading FDA-approved
manufacturers in the U.S. and Europe,
Box B, Trenton 08690. Robert R. Rose, president. 609-586-4800; fax,
609-587-4666. Home page: www.mccc.edu
Mark McCormick, an attorney who coordinates the paralegal program at
Mercer County Community College, is the new dean of the college’s
Business and Technology Division. He succeeds Jacqueline B. Sanders,
who had been dean for 17 years. In addition to business programs, the
division also covers such areas as information technology, funeral
service, aviation, and hotel and restaurant management.
A French major at Davidson College in North Carolina, he earned a law
degree from New York University in 1984, and he has been at MCCC for a
year. At the Community College of Philadelphia, McCormick had built
the program from 40 students to more than 300. He practices law on a
part-time basis in Pennsylvania, focusing on probate and estate
planning. McCormick will launch Mercer’s first online paralegal course
Capstar LLC, the for-profit subsidiary of Educational Testing Service,
has been sold to the Thomson Corporation (TOC) for an undisclosed
price. Capstar’s CEO, Michael J. Fitton, right, will stay with the
firm, which is still expected to move in the near future to Alexander
Road near the Hyatt Regency. "I am going to be involved in putting
these companies together to make sure they are leveraged to achieve
their maximum potential," says Fitton.
ETS and Thomson have frequently partnered on bids, and since late last
year the two companies had been talking about some kind of formal
arrangement, either a joint venture or an acquisition.
Thomson currently does 90 percent of ETS’s computer-based test
delivery through its subsidiary, Thomson Prometric (which had bought
Sylvan Learning). Thomson’s purchase of Capstar will be good for ETS,
Fitton says: "Everybody sees this as positive, because ETS and Thomson
have complimentary services. They do test delivery and administration
but they don’t have a strong test development and psychometric
capability, which is what we bring to them."
No one need fear for their jobs, and in fact Fitton sees the company
expanding. "Thomson generated $1 billion in cash last year, and they
want to invest and grow this business," says Fitton.
Headed by Ken Thomson, who is reportedly the richest man in Canada,
Thomson is based in Stamford, Connecticut, and has annual revenues of
more than $7 billion and 38,000 employees. Thomson Prometric
(www.prometric.com) is based in Baltimore and has 3,000 employees
worldwide. Thomson owns several other Princeton-based firms, including
Peterson’s with 200 workers on Lenox Drive and eMed Guides, with a
handful of employees on Route 1 North.
ETS is the world’s largest private, nonprofit education and
measurement organization, and though it had a five percent staff
reduction in June, it still has about 2,600 employees in the Princeton
Capstar was founded in 1996 as an ETS subsidiary, the Chauncey Group,
but it can draw on ETS’s three decades of experience in putting
together competency assessment, learning, and measurement solutions to
corporations, national associations, and government agencies. Capstar
develops or delivers about 875,000 exams annually, has produced more
than 10,000 hours of E-learning content, and has written hundreds of
books with technical content. It currently has 150 employees on
Rosedale Road and 600 additional workers in Baltimore, Maryland (with
iLearning Inc.) and St. Paul, Minnesota (with Experior Assessments).
Fitton, 46, is the firm’s third CEO and has been on the board of the
Chauncey Group (the original spinoff) since it was founded (U.S. 1,
October 29). The son of an engineer and a social worker, he majored in
computer science at Rutgers, has a master’s degree from Stevens
Institute of Technology, and had a 10-year technical career at Bell
labs. Leveraging a lifelong interest in business, he worked for a
small company in New York, then founded a couple of companies,
including one that did fixed price systems integration for major
companies and one that formed and capitalized companies in the
technology and real estate markets. Active in real estate, he
developed the Sky View Golf Club in Sparta plus the 80 homes that
surround the club.
Although Fitton is restricted by the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Act
from talking about specifics, he does say that the workers from ETS
and/or Capstar will indeed eventually occupy Alexander Commons, the
47,000 square-foot new building at 693 Alexander Road. Originally
scheduled for last January, the move-in date keeps getting pushed
back, he says, in part because of redesigned space and the need to get
plans approved by the township.
Michael Fitton, president & CEO. 609-720-6500; fax, 609-720-6550. Home
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