What did Mercedes-Benz pay for its 68 acres? Alec Taylor, COO of Matrix Development, says his contract calls for silence on that topic. But the auto company’s arrival at 7A represents a coup for Matrix’ newest business park at Exit 7A of the New Jersey Turnpike.

Matrix had been the pioneer at Exit 8A, jumpstarting the warehouse building with 1,800 acres at CenterPoint in 1981. It began to develop the Exit 7A area in 1989. Northeast Business Park, the first phase, has 400 acres and the potential for building out five million square feet, and just 900,000 square feet remain to be developed. Sleepy’s has a built-to-suit warehouse of 135,000 square feet. Other tenants include Lifetime Hoan, Bohrens/United Van Lines, Seaman’s, BindRite, and W.W. Grainger.

Mercedes-Benz is the first tenant at the second phase of this park. The two areas are divided by a large wetlands area and have separate entrances and separate tenancies. “We are eager to distinguish them,” says Taylor, who notes that the new section is called Matrix Business Park at 7A. Mercedes-Benz has the right to build an additional 650,000 square feet but currently has just over 450,000. The second tenant, McMaster Carr, will move from its building at Exit 8A to a build-to-suit warehouse that is about 700,000 square feet. Roughly 320,000 acres remain, and this area has been approved for three million square feet.

Land at Exit8A has become scarce. At 45 Stults Road Matrix is demolishing an old 444,000-foot building and starting over with another warehouse of almost equal size. At CenterPoint at 8A the tenants include the Associated Press, Sony, Seamans, Shiseido, and the Appliance Dealers Cooperative. The newest tenant will be Sabry Lee at 5 Fitzgerald. The biggest tenant is another auto dealer, Volkswagen, which has a new parts distribution warehouse with 928,000 square feet. That would seem to dwarf the 456,000 feet in the new Mercedes Benz building, but the planned expansion — to 1.2 million square feet — would top VW.

Matrix Development Group, Forsgate Drive, CN 4000, Cranbury 08512. Joseph S. Taylor, president and CEO. 732-521-2900; fax, 609-395-8289. Home page: www.matrixcompanies.com

Other States Make, New Jersey Stores

Warehouses are replacing factories in New Jersey, says the manager of a staffing service, because of the cost of living here. “With $200,000 as the average cost of a house, someone making $8 an hour can’t live around here, and manufacturing companies are moving out of state,” says Robert Rizza, regional manager of CoWorx Staffing Services, formerly known as Pomerantz.

His agency is moving from attention to light industrial jobs and replacing that work with clerical jobs, which now comprise 80 percent of the business in his district — 12 recruiters covering from Trenton to Edison. An office on Quakerbridge Road recently moved to 12 Roszel Road. Calls are being taken at Rizza’s East Brunswick headquarters, while the Princeton office is staffed by recruiters three days a week. Nationally there are 64 offices.

Citing a mattress company that moved to Pennsylvania, Rizza says that — because of inflation, cost of living, and pressure from unions — it was paying $25 an hour for sewing labels on mattresses, a job that he says is worth only $8 to $10 an hour. “You’re seeing New Jersey becoming a point of service state. For a distribution center, you don’t need as many people.”

Rizza says that the lack of public transportation makes it difficult to staff factories. “Some agencies are doing vanning (transporting workers from the inner city to the factories), but for safety and liability reasons, we don’t see that in our future. One of the reasons why Dayton and Edison are manufacturing centers is because they are close to New Brunswick and Perth Amboy, where it is cheaper to live.”

The company’s name change was triggered by the retirement of founder Gary Pomerantz and by a merger with Rhode Island-based Agentry. “It seemed to be a perfect time,” says Rizza.

Coworx Staffing Services, 12 Roszel Road, Suite A-204, Princeton 08540. Robert Rizza. 609-452-0176; fax, 609-452-0173. www.coworxstaffing.com

Staffing Expansions

Spherion Atlantic Workforce LLC (SFN), 100 Canal Pointe Boulevard, Suite 118, Princeton 08540. Mike Vigna, area director. 609-419-0880; fax, 609-419-0891. Home page: www.spherion.com

After six months at HQ in Princeton Forrestal Village, Spherion Atlantic Workforce, a staffing agency, moved from HQ to Canal Pointe Boulevard in January. Founded in 1946, this public company is traded on the New York Stock Exchange; it is based in Fort Lauderdale and has branches in the United States, Canada, and Central America. It does permanent, temp to perm, and temporary staffing in the accounting, finance, and IT industries.

NAI Global Finds a Princeton Home

After 25 years in East Windsor, NAI Global, a national commercial real estate and investment services firm, is moving its headquarters to the NEC building at 4 Independence Way on Thursday and Friday, February 24 and 25.

“The location and global recognition of the Princeton area brand was an integral consideration for the move. Princeton has its own cachet,” says Gerry Finn, chairman and CEO of NAI Global. “We needed additional amenities, especially a larger conference room for the many international clients that visit the offices.”

“We have a new branding campaign, and this is a way of aligning our corporate space with our global presence — in a more upscale location and with an updated look,” says Jeffrey M. Finn, president and CEO. “We are the world’s only managed commercial real estate network, and our branding element — a network grid motif — reinforces the fact that we have had a network of brokers working together for more than 25 years.”

The NEC building is being represented by Jerry Fennelly, president of NAI Fennelly, through the building’s owner/manager, NEC Corporation. “NEC understood that to attract large corporate clients, health and exercise amenities have become excellent perks for companies to offer employees,” says Fennelly. NAI Global is taking 12,000 square feet and will have a new phone and fax. Also moving to this building is the Martin Group, an insurance company that has taken 10,000 square feet (see article below).

The property is across Route 1 from Princeton Forrestal Village and has a newly renovated lobby, a new gym, volleyball courts, a full basketball court, and two tennis courts.

With 120 people in its research department, NEC occupies 65,000 square feet, and the 120,000 square-foot building has 45,000 feet remaining. Carla Saams, senior manager of administrative services at NEC, says that NEC and NAI Global are partners in other real estate relationships on the east coast.

Gerry Finn’s father, an advertising man for a department store in Trenton, died when Gerry was 16, and he went to work, serving in the Army at the Pentagon during the Korean War. In 1962 he and his wife, Norma, had their fourth child, Jeffrey. In that decade Finn laid the original plans for a pioneering Planned Unit Development in East Windsor, Twin Rivers, and in the late 1970s he began to build one of the first global networks of brokers. After Jeffrey graduated from Boston University he joined the firm and installed its first networking software system, later using the Internet and other technologies to connect clients with information and brokers with each other (U.S. 1, March 31, 1999). Now NAI has 4,000 professionals and operates in 300 markets and 40 countries.

Such widespread coverage is NAI’s trademark, according to Fennelly. “The best system you can have is more offices in more locations with more people on the ground, whether they are in primary, secondary, or tertiary markets, and NAI has a stronger penetration of primary, secondary, and tertiary markets than do other broker networks,” says Fennelly. New York City and North Jersey are examples of primary markets, whereas Hamilton would be a secondary market. To operate in secondary markets you need to have “feet on the ground,” he believes. “You can’t cover a large geographic region effectively with one office.

NAI Global, 4 Independence Way, Suite 400, Princeton 08540. Jeffrey M. Finn, president and COO. 609-945-4000; fax, 609-448-8126. Home page: www.naiglobal.com

NAI Fennelly Inc., 3535 Quakerbridge Road, Ibis Plaza, Suite 102, Hamilton 08619-1209. Gerard J. Fennelly, president. 609-520-0061; fax, 609-631-9208. www.fennelly.com

Expansions

Martin Financial Group, 4 Independence Way, Princeton 08852. Tracy Martin. 609-356-1500; fax, 609-356-1501. www.martinfg.com

By Monday, February 28, the Martin Financial Group will have expanded from 2088 Route 130 to 10,000 square feet in the NEC building at 4 Independence Way. Phone and fax will be new. Until Friday, the phone is 732-274-2800; fax, 732-274-2801. With from 22 to 25 employees, the insurance agency emphasizes services to small business.

Advanced Biomedical Research Inc., 117 Campus Drive, University Square, Princeton 08540. Michael Willett Pharm.D, president and CEO. 609-818-1800; fax, 609-818-0026. Home page: www.abr-pharma.com

Advanced Biomedical Research moved earlier this month from 10 South Main Street in Pennington to Campus Drive, University Square. Phone and fax are new. A contract research organization, it has a clinical research facility in Hackensack. It does clinical study design, project management, quality assurance auditing, medical safety monitoring, biostatistics, clinical data management, regulatory submissions and scientific communications.

Advanced Medical Systems, 1239 Parkway Avenue, Suite 200, West Trenton 08628. Larry McBride. 609-882-6889; fax, 609-882-6881. Home page: www.advmedsys.com

Advanced Medical Systems moved from Bear Tavern Road to 1,700 square feet on Parkway Avenue. It offers materials management software for hospitals.

Masterex Technologies Inc., 379 Princeton-Hightstown Road, Building 1, Cranbury 08512. Radjeev Chadha, founder, CEO. 609-371-3712; fax, 206-203-4270. Home page: www.masterexinc.com

A technology consulting firm expanded in early November within the Dataram office park. It has 20 consultants, including six at this location, and its IT areas include Mercury products (such as Roadrunner and Windrunner), Java and J2E, and data warehousing. “We are hiring more people in data warehousing, says CEO Radjeev Chadha. A 1993 graduate of Pune University in India, he has worked for Bearing Point (now KPMG), Prudential, and Capital One.

Stark & Stark, 993 Lenox Drive, Building Two, Lawrenceville 08648. John A. Sakson, Lewis J. Pepperman, co-managing partners. 609-896-9060; fax, 609-896-0629. Home page: www.stark-stark.com

After 72 years in New Jersey, the law firm of Stark & Stark has opened a New York office at One Penn Plaza Center on West 34th Street. The move is a reaffirmation to the clients who are located in New York, Northern New Jersey and Connecticut. Stark & Stark opened a Trenton office in 1933, and other offices are in Cherry Hill and Philadelphia.

New in Town

TBE Group, 3490 Route 1, Building 15, Suite H, Princeton 08540. John Lentini, project manager. 609-452-1007; fax, 609-452-1020. Home page: www.tbegroup.com

TBE Group, a full-service national consulting engineering and planning firm, moved to Princeton Service center last fall. Based in Florida, with branches in 30 states, this 15-person office focuses on subsurface utility engineering.

Women-Owned

Software Start-ups

Hermes Technology, 339 Princeton-Hightstown Road, Cranbury 08512. Shrilata Ganna, president. 609-632-0075; fax, 609-543-1120. Home page: www.hermes-core.com

Nick Ortkuri and his wife, Shrilata Ganna, have opened a software consulting and development firm on Princeton-Hightstown Road. She is the president, and it is a woman-owned business. Four people work here, and an offshore development center in Hyderabad, India, is working on software for the pharmaceutical industry.

Ortkuri earned his bachelor’s degree at Osmania University in Hyderabad in 1995, and Ganna also graduated from Osmania. Ortkuri earned his master’s degree from Villanova and worked at Price Waterhouse, where he did consulting work with start-up companies. He is tapping the contacts he made in the venture capital and angel world to solicit investment in the new firm.

Intuitif Solutions, 2117 Route 33, Lexington Square Commons, Hamilton Square 08690. Claudia Fields, co-founder, 609-689-9300; fax, 609-689-4600. Home page: www.intuitifsolutions.com

Claudia Fields and Vasu Ranganathan have opened a seven-person office at Lexington Square Commons. Founded in 2004, Intuitif Solutions is a women-owned technology consulting organization with a focus on the life sciences.

Fields, an alumna of Brooklyn College, has worked in sales and marketing technology consulting in New York and New Jersey for such organizations as Daymar Consulting, TSR Consulting, Starlex Systems.

Ranganathan, who is in charge of solution delivery, is an expert in the field of content management.

Contracts Awarded

Zon Capital Partners, 5 Vaughn Drive, Princeton Metro Center, Wing B, Suite 302, Princeton 08540. William D. Bridgers, managing partner. 609-452-1653; fax, 609-452-1693. Home page: www.zoncapital.com

Zon Capital Partners led a $5.5 million series B round for a Montreal-based developer of trimming technology, Microbridge Technologies Corp. Microbridge’s latest product for the sensor and micro-electronic markets is called a Rejustor, and it offers electronic temperature compensation — analog electronic resistive trimming plus adjustable temperature compensation capability.

Zon, which has had an office on Vaughn Drive since 1997, invests in early and second stage information technology companies. It seeks to fund companies with $1 million in revenues from paying customers, as opposed to grants, and its investments range from $1 to $2 million as part of a total round of financing for a portfolio company of $2 to 7 million, with follow-on financing available. Among its nine portfolio companies is PowerZyme at Princeton Corporate Plaza.

Bill Bridgers, the managing partner, is a mechanical engineer from the University of Wisconsin who was the chief operating officer at Technology Management & Funding, a 15-year-old early stage investment company now at Princeton Overlook. He also worked at PA Consulting Services, A.T. Kearney, and Kline and Company. Ron Hahn of Battelle Ventures and Early Stage Enterprises sits on the advisory board. Zon also has an office in suburban Philadelphia.

Another founding partner is H. Donald Perkins Jr., a chemical engineer from Clarkson who has a Wharton MBA. He had worked with McKinsey and Company, GE Corporate, and Allied Signal, before co-founding a previous Zon partnership that has been cashed out.

ExpertPlan, 50 Millstone Road, Windsor Corporate Park 400, Cranbury 08512. Tim O’Brien, CEO. 609-918-2500; fax, 609-918-1328. Home page: www.expertplan.com

Expert Plan has gone over the $1 billion market in assets on its recordkeeping and administrative platform. It provides scalable and customized private-labeled retirement solutions.

Princeton Partners Inc./Devcom, 100 Village Boulevard, Suite 200, Forrestal Village, Princeton 08540-6618. Thomas M. Sullivan, CEO and owner. 609-452-8500; fax, 609-452-7212. Home page: www.princetonpartners.com

Princeton Partners has five new healthcare clients: Saint Vincent’s Comprehensive Cancer Center in New York City; North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System in New Hyde Park, New York; Holy Cross Cancer Institute in Silver Spring, Maryland; Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick; and Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy. It also has a three-year contract with New York Health and Hospitals Corporation. The agency does advertising, interactive public relations, direct marketing, database marketing, and sales promotion.

Universal Display Corporation Inc. (PANL), 375 Phillips Boulevard, Ewing 08618. Steven Abramson, president. 609-671-0980; fax, 609-671-0995. Home page: www.universaldisplay.com

Universal Display made it into the top 25 on the CNN list of technological innovations of the past 25 years. The list, for non-medically related discoveries, cited the transparent OLED technologies as primary examples of how OLEDs may revolutionize future display and lighting markets. Among the other innovations on this elite list were the Internet, personal computers, e-mail, DNA fingerprinting, airbags, and nanotechnology.

Crosstown Moves

Ambre Financial, 983 Route 33, Building 2, Suite E, Monroe 08831. Eric L. Leibowitz, president. 609-490-9830; fax, 609-490-9835. Home page: www.ambrefinancial.com

Ambre Financial moved from Quakerbridge Road to Route 33. The firm offers financial planning, securities investment advisory services, mortgages, and life and health insurance.

Appleseed, 1304 Whitepine Circle, Lawrenceville 08648. Krisztina Samu. 609-771-4354; fax, 609-771-8680. www.appleseedinc.net

Krisztina Samu moved her firm from Pennington to Lawrenceville, and phone and fax are new. A member of the American translators association, she does graphic design and foreign language typesetting.

Primo Tile & Marble Inc., 22 Route 130, Yardville 08620. Joseph Giovannetti, president. 609-291-9910; fax, 609-291-9915.

The wholesale distributors of ceramic tile and marble moved from South Gold Drive to Yardville; phone and fax are new.

The Rutledge Center Inc., 27 Main Street, Suite A, Robbinsville 08691. Richard Politi, president. 609-259-4121.

The Rutledge Center moved from 2,000 square feet at 2681 Quakerbridge Road in Mercerville to a similar space on Main Street in Robbinsville and has a new phone and fax. It does corporate training and corporate marketing programs.

Down-Sizing

Syska & Hennessy, 502 Carnegie Center, Princeton 08540-6237. Donald Procz PE, senior vice president/managing director. 609-378-0235; fax, 609-936-0746. Home page: www.syska.com

Syska & Hennessy moved from 15,000 feet at 206 Carnegie to 7,000 feet at 502 Carnegie, where it has 30 employees. Headquartered in New York City, it does mechanical and electrical engineering, plumbing, and fire protection.

Deaths

Louis D. Leiggi, 84, on February 15. He had been co-owner of Mike’s Tavern, and was the son of the late Michele and Lena Leiggi.

Irving N. Rabinowitz, 76, on February 16. He was associate director of the computer center at Princeton University and head of the computer section at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.

Management Moves

WWFM-The Classical Network Mercer County Community College, Box B, Trenton 08690. Jeffrey R. Sekerka, general manager. 609-587-8989; fax, 609-586-4533. Home page: www.wwfm.org

After nine years at the station, Jeffery R. Sekerka has been promoted to general manager of WWFM The Classical Network. WWFM is a 10-station, public radio network that broadcasts classical music and public affairs programming throughout the region and serves more than 120,000 listeners.

An alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh, he has a graduate degree from Wharton School of Business in business administration and management and has worked for more than 10 years as a financial manager and consultant. He came to WWFM Radio from WQED-TV/FM in Pittsburgh in the mid-1990s to be development and marketing director.

Out of Business

Lulay Group LLC, 612 Bradley Court, Princeton 08540. Home page: www.TheLulayGroup.com

Janice Lulay has moved to upstate New York and closed her event planning business, which did meetings, conferences and special events for corporate and not-for-profit clients.

Unlimited Electric LLC, 53 Flock Road, Hamilton 08619.

Salvatore Pietro closed his electric contracting business last fall.

Deaths

Louis D. Leiggi, 84, on February 15. He had been co-owner of Mike’s Tavern, and was the son of the late Michele and Lena Leiggi.

Irving N. Rabinowitz, 76, on February 16. He was associate director of the computer center at Princeton University and head of the computer section at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.

Primo Tile & Marble Inc., 22 Route 130, Yardville 08620. Joseph Giovannetti, president. 609-291-9910; fax, 609-291-9915.

The wholesale distributors of ceramic tile and marble moved from South Gold Drive to Yardville; phone and fax are new.

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