Crosstown Move

Ampericon Inc., 1 Tamaron Court, Monmouth Junction 08852; 609-945-2591. Vivek Bhatnagar, president. www.ampericon.com.

Ampericon, an alternative energy company, has moved from 195 Nassau Street to Monmouth Junction. “We needed more space, and parking,” says Adam Fisch, a partner in the company. “Actually,” he adds, “we built a house. It includes the technology we install, so people can see how it works. My partner is going to be living in the house.”

Fisch’s partner is Vivek Bhatnagar. The two install energy-saving technology in homes, stores, and businesses. “We just installed wind turbines in a Howard Johnson’s in Virginia,” says Fisch, speaking on his cellphone. “We made the news, but unfortunately they didn’t use our name. They just said ‘a Princeton company.’” Wind turbines could well catch on as the current federal administration pushes alternative energy, but there probably won’t be too many in the Princeton area. “You need to get them up high,” says Fisch. “You need to be on a hilltop, clear of trees.” Being near the coast is a also a plus.

Ampericon is now doing a lot more solar installations than wind turbine installations. It also outfits homes with geothermal systems, which draw upon the moderate temperatures found well below the surface of the earth.

A big part of the company’s role, says Fisch, is helping potential customers to assess what type of energy-saving technology makes sense for them. Solar can bring great savings, but it won’t work well if a house is closely circled by 60-foot trees. Geothermal requires a large initial outlay, but cuts energy bills substantially — Ampericon’s new geothermal-equipped office, for example, has been using only $90 worth of energy for each of the past three months. However, Fisch says, geothermal requires that a deep wells be dug no closer than 20 feet from the house. “You need land,” he says.

Right now the best deals are in solar because of unusually generous subsidies available to New Jersey residents. PSEG will give loans for a substantial portion of the cost of the systems. The interest rate is 6.5 percent — “not that good,” says Fisch. But, he adds, the loan is paid off through energy credits. As homeowners use electricity, they generate credits, which go to PSEG as payment for the loans. After the loan is paid off, the credits belong to the homeowners, who can sell back to the utility.

As energy programs ramp up, there should be more good deals — some from the state, some from the federal government, and some from energy companies like PSEG. “It will be like going shopping at outlet stores,” says Fisch. “You have a 50 percent off coupon, and then you get 30 percent off on top of that.”

All of this is good for Ampericon. “Business is somewhere between up and way up,” says Fisch.

Consolidation

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), One Johnson & Johnson Plaza, New Brunswick 08903; 732-524-0400; fax, 732-214-0332. William C. Weldon, chairman & CEO. Home page: www.jnj.com.

Johnson & Johnson, which recently leased 112,000 square feet of space on Orchard Road, is consolidating management and scrapping one of its new business groups in response to better than expected profits. No layoffs or office closings have been announced, but the company did say that this reorganization is a first step, with news of more changes expected over the next several weeks.

The company is eliminating its comprehensive care business, one of three business units created in November, 2007, to boost sales. This unit includes vision care, diabetes products, heart stents, and diagnostic tests. The unit will be broken up, and its businesses will be shifted into the other three operating groups: pharmaceuticals, consumer health products, and surgical care.

Oral Fixation Mints, 53A RailRoad Place, Hopewell 08525; 877-646-8349; fax, 866-726-0481. Henry Rich, owner. Home page: www.oralfix.com.

Oral Fixation, a company that makes tiny mints and markets them in sophisticated little tins, has consolidated operations. The company had two offices, one at 8B Seminary Road in Hopewell and one at 53A Railroad Place in Hopewell. The company has now consolidated at the Railroad Place location.

Eric Lybeck, who had been the company’s COO, has left to return to graduate school. The company is being run by its owner, Henry Rich.

Expansion

Hopewell Valley Community Bank, 11 State Road, Princeton; 609-924-2032. Scott Prakken, branch manager.

Hopewell Community Bank has just opened its seventh branch, at 11 State Road in Princeton. The community bank is just 10 years old. It is headed by James Hyman, its president and CEO.

A spokesperson says that the bank, which caters to both individuals and businesses, opened its latest branch in response to a vacancy in a desirable area.

Leaving Town

Bank of America, 301 Carnegie Center, Princeton 08540; 609-683-5498. Home page: www.bankofamerica.com.

The Bank of America branch at 301 Carnegie Center closed on August 28, ending an era that saw one bank after another operate from one of the most visible and architecturally interesting buildings on the Route 1 corridor.

A Route 1 landmark, the granite facade of the Hillier-designed building in which Bank of America had its offices first carried the logo of United Jersey Bank. Then Summit Bank put its name on the handsome building, whose design incorporates a large fountain. With Bank of America’s retrenchment — the Wall Street Journal reports that the bank has plans to close some 10 percent of its branches, a statement that Anne Pace, a communications officer with the bank, denies — the run of banks at 301 Carnegie Center may be at an end. (Pace says the closure is part of the bank’s ongoing program of adjusting branch locations to customer needs — closing some and opening others.)

At one point Bank of America had about 100 employees at the location. Spokespeople for the bank declined to say how many people worked there when the branch closed, but Pace said that all employees have been relocated to other branches.

The building is now home to a number of companies, including several large law firms, an accounting firm, and a commercial real estate brokerage.

Area residents looking for an alternative to the 301 Carnegie Bank of America ATM should have no trouble finding one. The bank’s website identifies 1,028 other locations in New Jersey.

Dunham Construction Services Inc., 947 State Road, Princeton 08540; 609-921-8990; fax, 609-921-6589. Robert C. Dunham, president. www.dunhamconst.com.

The family-owned custom-design construction firm appears to have left its office on State Road.

The space appears vacated, and the business’ phone and fax numbers have been disconnected.

The firm has been involved in numerous renovation and reconstruction projects, including the remodeling of an 18th-century barn, redesigned as a residential space by Michael Graves Architects.

Milestones

Catherine Marie Wilson, 46, on August 28. A Plainsboro resident, she was a store opening supervisor for Finast supermarkets.

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