Can an upscale health spa anchor a mixed use/retail center? The Gale Company is counting on it at Princeton Forrestal Village. A new health club, complete with swimming pool, has been approved for what is now the two-story food court, Market Hall. Market Hall’s food businesses will be moving to other spots in the Village to make room for the 70,000 square-foot CanDo health and fitness spa, and an additional 5,500 square feet will be built for three swimming pools.
Meanwhile the headquarters of the company that puts one-fourth of the nation’s magazines on newsstands has moved to the Village. Jointly owned by Conde Nast Publications and the Hearst Corporation, Comag Marketing Group LLC has moved its 45-person headquarters from West 55th Street in Manhattan to a third-floor space at 155 Village Boulevard, and it is hiring.
The Gale Company has put $15 million into getting the Village to the point where it can come close to fulfilling its original purpose. In 1987, when the Village opened, it was positioned as a upscale mixed use center and shopping mecca. Then, when the economy turned sour, the retail portion became a factory direct outlet. Now Gale is refashioning the Village to be a prestigious center with corporate and professional offices, plenty of dining facilities, and a significant retail component; CanDo Fitness would be the centerpiece.
"In recasting Princeton Forrestal Village, they have confidence in the quality and experience that we deliver," says Stuart M. Polevoy, owner of CanDo, who says the deal has been in the works for three years. "They picked us above some prestigious names in the national market. And in New Jersey there isn’t another health club that does what we do." This two-story facility will have separate entrances for a hair salon, nail salon, and beauty salon, plus fitness-related retail. It will also include a lap pool, a therapy pool, and a spa pool.
The health club/spa chain has current facilities in Edgewater, Short Hills, and Wayne; the architects are Fabiano Designs International in Montclair and Sterba Pagani & Associates in Totowa. Polevoy’s wife, Gina, is the interior designer; her design for the Wayne club won a gold award from the American Society for Interior Design. Plainsboro Township has signed off on the project, and if all goes as planned, construction is expected to be finished by early next year.
Polevoy is not daunted by the proliferation of health clubs and spas in the Princeton area. The son of a New York butcher who was one of the co-founders of Pathmark, he had his first job, at age 11, eviscerating chickens in his father’s shop. After graduating from Babson College, Class of 1965, he owned various companies in the food business (processing, importing, ranching, and cattle feeding).
In 1999, after he sold his firm to ConAgra, Polevoy set his sights on an industry that was not Internet or technology-related, that was not dominated by a mega company, and that was a growth industry – not a fad. "I wanted an industry that I could bring some fresh thinking to," says Polevoy about his choice of the health club industry. "I wanted to create something different from what was out there."
He admits that CanDo’s price point will be higher than others in the marketplace, "but we give you far more value. The quality of our offerings is the best that there is. Not only do we design and buildclubs that are esthetically pleasing and not intimidating, but we staff them with high caliber people who are nationally certified and go through auditions." As an example, Polevoy cites the club’s 1,000 square-foot Authentic Pilates studio: "We are paying to put our instructors through that 600-hour certification program."
A press release from the Gale Company points to the Comag (CMG) lease as proof of how the Village is "one of Princeton’s leading corporate addresses."
Created by a joint venture five years ago, CMG represents publishers to get magazines placed, positioned, and promoted. It has sales staffers around the country, and a satellite field office in Southhampton, Pennsylvania, is expected to move here, but its office in Charlotte, North Carolina, will stay put. "A number of client service jobs are available," says Walter Verfenstein, CMG spokesperson.
Jeff Burns, the new director of human resources, can be reached at 609-638-8296 (E-mail: email@example.com). A general 609 number was not available at press time.
Glenn Dawson of George Comfort & Sons Inc. represented Comag in the 26,200 square-foot lease for space that was formerly occupied by Kemper Insurance.
Michael L. Sullivan, Comag’s president and CEO, was executive vice president of Hearst Distribution in 2000 when the CMG group was founded. After graduating from the University of Florida, Gainesville, Sullivan worked for the FBI. He entered the periodical industry in 1981 and has had senior positions at the Murdock Magazines, TV Guide, Global Marketing Services, and the Hearst Distribution Group. He lives in Newtown, Pennsylvania.
"We’re renovating an entire floor, bringing more of our people together under one roof," he says, also citing an educated workforce and a "great quality of life." for employees. "The new technology, improved work envirnoment, and energy of our new staff members convince me that our move to Princeton is already paying dividends. We’re very happy to be here."
Comag Marketing Group, 155 Village Boulevard, Suite 300, Princeton 08540. Mike Sullivan, www.i-cmg.com
Tapestry Asset Management, 136 Main Street, Princeton Forrestal Village, Princeton 08540. Afroz Qadeer. 609-520-4046. Home page: www.tapestryam.com
Four former hedge fund managers at Goldman Sachs/Commodities Corporation started Tapestry Asset Management, an independent investment firm focused on creating proprietary investment. Now Tapestry has signed a lease to move from its shared office at HQ to 2,200 square feet at 136 Main Street in Forrestal Village, according to a press release from the Gale Company. Tom Romano of GVA Williams Buschman represented the tenant.
As reported by Alternative Investment News in May, 2002, Afroz Qadeer and Sue Osborne left the nine-person hedge fund management team atGoldman Sachs Princeton to form a fund-of-hedge-funds management company. They were joined by two other members of the Goldman Sachs team, Kathy Filiponi and Jon Knudson, and by Sadeem A. Siddiqi, formerly of Deutsche Bank.
According to the company’s website, the principals are operating a "hedge fund factory" that includes proprietary multi-manager vehicles, customized/bespoke hedge fund portfolio management services for specific needs, and sub-advisory services.
Cody Eckert & Associates PA, 206 Rockingham Row, Princeton 08540. 609-716-8500; fax, 609-716-8686. Home page: www.thecodyeckertalliance.com
Cody Eckert has moved into 2,600 square feet on Rockingham Row, which represents an expansion over her 2,200 square feet on Clarksville Road.
Her firm does architecture, planning, interior design, design/build,and construction management.
The trial of biotech entrepreneur Jonathan Nyce, accused of murdering his wife, Michele, in January of last year, has commenced. Nyce is accused of murder, but his attorney, Robin Lord, is apparently going for a lesser charge, passion provocation manslaughter. The almost all-white jury includes a pilot, two educators, a paralegal, two researchers, an engineer, a biophysicist, a graphic artist, and a nurse’s aide.
In her opening statement to the jury, Lord was apparently trying to play the empathy card (How would you feel if your had lost your company and your job and your wife was having an affair). She emphasized that the real issue was the marriage and that when his wife returned from a night with her lover, Nyce had panicked: "I’m not going to stand here and say this didn’t happen. He found himself in a horrible, heart-wrenching situation, and he panicked. The events that followed is the reason we are here today."
The prosecutor, Doris Galuchie, was of course, having none of that. "When you’re Mrs. Jonathan Nyce, you pay for your marital indiscretions with your life. Infidelity never justifies murder."
Lord has failed in her bid to suppress the tapes the police made of Nyce’s statements after his wife’s body was discovered in her car in a creek. On one of the tapes, Nyce is quoted as saying, "I wish she was alive. I wish everything would have stayed the same. I loved her very much. I still do. I was waiting for her to get better, and I think she would have. I wish this stupid accident didn’t happen."
Solar Rebates Expire
Can your commercial building beat the deadline to save money on solar energy? As of Friday, June 24, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities is reducing its solar electricity rebates, according to Baltimore-based SunEdison. At a free workshop on Thursday, June 16,from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., energy managers can learn how to submit solar energy applications before those rebates decrease. The SunEdison workshop is at the Rutgers Student Center, 126 College Avenue, New Brunswick. Call Claire Broido at 410-528-1922 or E-mail: Claire@sunedison.com (www.sunedison.com).
SunEdison claims that solar can be installed in some facilities at no upfront cost to the owner. At qualifying facilities, SunEdison can pay for, install, own, and operate the solar installations. Involved in this program are BP Solar, Hudson United Bank, Goldman Sachs Group, and Marathon Capital LLC.
Meanwhile WorldWater & Power Corp., based at Pennington Business Park, reports contracts totaling $114,000 to deliver solar electric generation and distribution systems to two homes, one in Lawrence and Princeton. Under the New Jersey Clean Energy Program, up to 70 percent of the cost will be refunded to these homeowners, according to Quentin T. Kelly, CEO of Worldwater.
At the Lawrence home of Al and Lisa Everson, photovoltaic panels in two fixed roof-mounted arrays are expected to meet 99 percent of the current electric usage charges. Everson, a contractor, is working with WorldWater to install other residential and commercial systems.
"I believe these two projects represent the tip of the iceberg in consumer interest in solar installations for residential use," says Kelly (www.worldwater.com).
New in Town
Millennium Mortgage Inc., 14 Washington Road, Colonial Building, Princeton Junction 08550. Nicholas Chingas, president. 609-275-4555.
One of the more interesting buildings around the Princeton Junction train station, the "Colonial Building," resembles a Victorian farmhouse, but it used to be occupied by a very modern business, the National Information Bureau, a credit scoring company. That company has disappeared without a trace and has been replaced by a very traditional firm, a mortgage company.
Millennium Mortgage moved in February from the Raritan Center in Edison. With seven employees, it offers residential and commercial mortgages.
Nicholas Chingas, the president, grew up in Queens, the son of Greek immigrants. He went to Queens College (City University of New York), and majored in diplomacy at the Columbia University’s School of International Affairs, then went into banking. He worked for CitiBank and Mellon Bank on Long Island and also overseas in Panama and Canada.
"Our greatest strength, in addition to having all the programs available in the marketplace, and the best rates, is in the delivery of customer service, which is second to none," claims Chingas. "We will meet with the customer during the day or the evenings, at the home or place of business, whatever they prefer, in addition to having our offices available. We will even go so far as doing closings at their homes. Nobody can match the level of service we provide. Our greatest source of business is referrals."
P.T.B. Financial LLC, 83 Princeton Avenue, Suite 3D, Pennington 08534. Peter A. Baldini, president. 609-466-7288; fax, 609-466-7289.
In April Peter Baldini moved his insurance business from Newtown, Pennsylvania, to Pennington, near where he lives. He offers life, annuities, and health insurance, plus securities for individuals and small-to-medium sized businesses.
Like his father, who worked for Prudential, Baldini has spent his career in insurance. A 1987 graduate of Pace University, where he was on the basketball team, he has an MBA in finance from Fairleigh Dickinson, and worked for Prudential for 11 years.
"It’s not an easy career," he admits, "and it requires perseverance and hard work." He remembers the disappointing times when his father lost a client. "The analogy is, you can get on a ferris wheel or a roller coaster, and insurance is like a roller coaster, with many ups and many downs, but you try to maintain an even keel."
What makes him successful, Baldini says, is that he has a full-time assistant and two part-time assistants to help with client management. He says he has "finished in the top five in the past three years." He also wholesales business to other life insurance and annuity agents.
He and his wife. Christina (who used to work for New Jersey Special Olympics), dated when they were in high school in Tenafly but married different people. They divorced and remarried and together they have seven children – six girls, one boy, two dogs, and two turtles.
The lesson from playing basketball apply to the insurance business: Focus. "In order to maintain my grades I didn’t have much of a life," he says. Hard work. And, of course, competition. Says Baldini: "At least 50 percent of my clients are a result of college or basketball."
Spherosils LLC, 11 Deer Park Drive, Princeton Corporate Plaza, Suite 206, Monmouth Junction 08852-1923. Pradyot A. Agaskar PhD, president. 609-537-0061; fax, 609-537-0063. www.spherosils.com
After a year and half in Virginia, Pradyot A. Agaskar moved his firm, Spherosils LLC, to Princeton Corporate Plaza last year. He is an inorganic chemist who does materials research, making inorganic compounds, precursors, and converting them to functional materials.
A 1975 graduate of the University of Bombay, he earned his doctoral degree from Texas A&M and worked for Mobil Research lab. "When they moved to Paulsboro I stayed on with several clients," he says. "I am still in the start-up phase."
Agaskar investigated locating at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s Technology Center of New Jersey in North Brunswick, but he lives in Pennington, and that would be twice the commute. His wife, a software developer, is director of technology at Ewing-based Archi-Tech Systems, and they have a son at Cornell and a daughter in high school.
Omniplanar Inc., 157 Imperial Way, West Deptford 08066. Eric P. Batterman, president. 856-537-6100.
Acquired last fall by Metrologic Instruments (NASDAQ-NMS:MTLG), Omniplanar has moved from 14 Washington Road to West Deptford and has a new phone number. Metrologic paid about $13 million for Omniplanar, which has a complete package of bar code reading software for 2D imaging for fixed position, conveyor belt, and hand held readers.
At the time of the sale in September, 2004, Metrologic was to operate Omniplanar as a separate entity out of its existing offices in Princeton.
Metrologic designs, manufactures, and markets bar code scanning and high-speed automated data capture systems solutions using laser, holographic, and vision-based technologies.
U.S. ProPack, 341 Fairfield Road, Freehold 07728. Stephen Miller, president. 732-294-4500; fax, 732-294-4501. Home page: www.uspropack.com
U.S. Propack, a producer of customized packaging, including corrugated cartons, shipping supplies, and printed packaging and promotional materials, has expanded from 2,500 square feet of space at 92 North Main Street in Windsor Industrial Park to 12,500 square feet at 341 Fairfield Road in Freehold.
The firm makes folding cartons, printed packaging materials, corrugated cartons, shipping supplies, and promotional materials such as sales giveaways.
U.S. Mail Consolidation Inc., 4 Aurora Drive, Cranbury 08512. 609-655-3484. Louis J. Baio Sr., owner. Home page: www.mailcon.us.
After moving into 145,600 square feet in a ProLogis building last year, U.S. Mail Consolidation Inc., a third-party logistics firm known as MailCon, has subleased 218,000 additional square feet from Graybar Electric. The tenant was represented by Adam Citron, Mike Markey, and Jon Tesser of Colliers Houston, and Graybar by Jonathan Stravitz and Kenneth Lundberg of NAI James E. Hanson.
MailCon consolidates deliveries for printers, mailing houses, general freight shippers, and national distributors. For publishers of daily, weekly and monthly newspapers, periodicals, and books, it does "drop-shipping," delivering palletized items to the U.S. Postal Service to be mailed at the lowest possible rates. It offers this service throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and part of the Southeast.
MailCon’s other services include fulfillment, pic/pak, storage/warehousing, "just-in-time" delivery, crossdock services, and dedicated shuttle services.
In addition to Cranbury and South Brunswick locations, MailCon also has locations in Mount Jackson, Virginia, and Rensselaer, New York. By the end of this year it will have more than 800,000 square feet of consolidation and distribution space.
Creative Marketing Alliance Inc. (CMA), 191 Clarksville Road, Box 727, Princeton Junction 08550. Jeffrey E. Barnhart, president and CEO. 609-799-6000; fax, 609-799-7032. Home page: www.cmasolutions.com
Among Creative Marketing Alliance’s new clients is American Bank Note Holographics (ABNH), a hologram company that is moving to Robbinsville (U.S. 1, January 12, 2005). Also a new CMA client is Lamina Ceramics, a four-year old firm incubated at Sarnoff, now located in Westhampton, that develops and produces super-bright LED arrays (U.S. 1, October 10, 2001).
Another client, based in Toms River, is Fraud Prevention Network, an independent third party team of fraud specialists and accounting expert that ferrets out and prevents fraud in public agencies, particularly housing authorities.
Lawyer Links LLC is the first to develop a topic-oriented research tool for corporate advisors – called LawyerLinks Advantage. The web interface optimizes corporate law research by indexing information by topic.
Odyssey International, 1670 Whitehorse Hamilton Square Road, Hamilton 08690. Sukanya Skandarajah, certified clinical research coordinator. 609-588-5300. Home page: www.odysseyresearch.org
After two years at 300 Alexander Park, Odyssey Research has closed its five-person, 2,300 square-foot office, and a one-person office continues to operate on Whitehorse-Hamilton Square Road. Sukanjan Skandarajah, the clinical research coordinator, was an EMG technologist in Toronto and was involved in clinical trials in the areas of hepatitis B & C and diabetic neuropathy. She obtained her Certified Clinical Research Professional designation and moved to New Jersey in 2003.
The company manages clinical trials, and its headquarters is in North Dakota.
Able Laboratories (ABRX), 1 Able Drive, Cranbury 08512-3609. 609-495-2800; fax, 609-495-2705. Home page: www.ablelabs.com
More layoffs are in store at Able Laboratories, in addition to the 200 staffers already announced, thanks to a mass recall of its 44 generic drugs. Earlier this year it recalled some batches of drugs for problems with potency, labeling, and chemical instability. As it reviewed its procedures, more irregularities were revealed. The annual meeting has been postponed, and its pipeline of new drug applications as been withdrawn.
The recalled drugs include those made by Able for its own label and for Ivax, Hawthorne, Cypress, and Breckenridge. The recalled drugs include various doses of acetamenophen plus codeine, atenolol (a beta blocker), diphenoxylate (for diarrhea), methamphetamine (an addictive stimulant), metronidazole (for adult acne), nitroglycerin sublingual (for cardiac problems), tramadol (a pain killer), and the generic version of Ritalin.
The company’s website has a link to the complete list of recalled drugs as does (www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2005/NEW01182.html). Or call 800-INFO-FDA.
"The FDA recommends that people who have been taking drugs produced by this firm speak with their health care provider or pharmacist to obtain a replacement drug product. Consumers should continue taking the medication until they have spoken with their health care provider. In many cases the risk of suddenly stopping needed medication before getting replacement drugs may outweigh the risk of continuing to use the recalled products," said the FDA’s Margaret O’K. Glavin, associate commissioner for regulatory affairs.
Last year Able Laboratories manufactured more than 1.3 billion products in tablet, capsule, liquid and suppository dosage forms, and it expected to triple or quadruple its capacity with a move from South Plainfield to Cranbury. More than $35 million in real estate and equipment had been spent. It cannot say when operations will resume.
Innophos Inc., 259 Prospect Plains Road, Building G, Cranbury 08512. Randy Gress, CEO. 609-495-2495; fax, 609-860-0138. Home page: www.innophos.com
The specialty phosphates maker increased its net sales and income for the fiscal year of 2004. Last August it became a stand-alone company, comprised of several segments of the North American specialty phosphates business formerly owned by Rhodia SA.
"Our 2004 results were solid, and we continue to execute well on our planned transition to a stand-alone organization," said CEO Randy Gress, in a press release. "Today, Innophos is better positioned to capitalize on our competitive advantages in the North American specialty phosphates market." Net income for the year was $14.5 million, an increase of $13.9 million.
Robert C. David, 54, on May 22. He had worked as a mold maker at Johnson Atelier.
Ramin Ashraf, 40, on May 25. He worked in the media services department at Princeton University.
Marianne Claudine Waterbury, 62, on May 27. She was an associate dean at Princeton University.
Harriet Arnold Whitlock, 76, on June 7. She had been a real estate sales person at Henderson Real Estate.
Josephine Sculerati Tessein, 82, on June 8. She had worked at Edith’s Lingerie.
William Sword Sr., 80, on June 9. He helped establish the mergers and acquisitions department at Morgan Stanley and founded his own investment banking firm, Wm. Sword & Co., for mergers & acquisitions and alternative investments.
Lillian H. Burrough, 79, on June 9. She owned the former bowling lanes on Nassau Street and worked at Princeton University Press until 1995.
Theodore A. Gill Sr. 85, on June 10. An author, editor, and civil rights activist, he was theologian in residence at Nassau Presbyterian Church.
William G. Aust, 53, on June 11. He was employed with the U.S. Postal Service in Princeton and the vice president of Branch 268, Princeton Letter Carriers.