Corrections or additions?
Life in the Fast Lane
This article was published in U.S. 1
Newspaper on April 28, 1999. All rights reserved.
Following in the footsteps of drug colleagues such
as Johnson & Johnson and Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb last week held
grand opening ceremonies for two of four planned childcare centers,
one at the Forrestal Center on Scudders Mill Road, and one at the
Route 206 headquarters.
Meanwhile another big firm, Dow Jones, has been caring for pre-school
children in its new 15,000-foot center on its South Brunswick campus
since last fall. This means there are more than 500 new childcare
slots available, and more are on the drawing board. Yet few of the
existing childcare centers in Princeton are currently running at capacity,
and one is having financial difficulty. Princeton’s child care industry
Some background: The very first office park-based childcare center
in Princeton came to the Carnegie Center and is now being run by a
nonprofit group. That was followed closely by Lisa Forrester’s Harmony
School at Princeton Forrestal Village. A host of other childcare centers
have opened in spaces convenient to workplaces since then, including
seven run by Lakeview, the childcare provider affiliated with Robert
Wood Johnson Health Care Corporation. Last year, at the encouragement
of Merrill Lynch, Prodigy Child Development opened a 10,000-foot center
at 450 College Road East. (Merrill Lynch does not directly sponsor
the center, but it rents "back-up" spaces so that when regular
childcare falls through, the employee can still come to work.)
None of these unsponsored centers are as roomy as the onsite centers,
which pay reduced rent or no rent. At Johnson & Johnson, for instance,
there is a room set aside for breast feeding and a "messy room"
for water play or painting that can be hosed down at the end of the
Bristol-Myers Squibb chose the same national provider that Dow Jones
is using — Bright Horizons Family Solutions. Designed by Francis
Cauffman Foley Hoffman of Philadelphia, and built by Sordoni Skansa,
the new Bristol-Myers Squibb centers are one-story freestanding buildings
surrounded by fenced-in play areas separated by age groups. Each of
the identical 23,000-square-foot buildings can offer childcare to
a total of 425 children of permanent employees, but they are operating
at 60 percent capacity now. When they are at capacity, other centers
will be built in Hopewell and New Brunswick. Regular care is offered
to children from infants through kindergarten. For school holidays
and in the summer, special camp programs will be offered for children
up to age 14.
Both centers have a separate room, staffed by a full-time nurse, for
the "mildly ill" (children who are still taking medication
but not up to par), and separate wings for infants, toddlers, and
preschoolers or kindergartners. Each has a kitchen that dispenses
breakfast, lunch, and free Enfamil formula.
"We were very pleased that the Plainsboro facility was picked
as one of the first to receive one of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s childcare
centers," says David Knights, director of marketing for Princeton
Forrestal Center. "Knowing its price tag, it is an extremely expensive
facility, well-designed, and a real asset to Plainsboro."
"We are aware that other corporations have provided benefits such
as this, but Bristol-Myers Squibb does want to be an employer of choice,"
says Tricia Haugeto, spokesperson. "With this benefit we feel
we will be able to attract and retain the best of the best in New
Jersey. This is the medicine chest of the country, after all."
Prices are termed "competitive," and Bristol-Myers Squibb
is helping subsidize the care with an amount determined by a sliding
scale based on the employee’s salary, says Haugeto. Going beyond the
actual care, the Bristol-Myers Squibb schools will offer training
workshops for potential childcare employees and will help other schools
to get national accreditation.
The manager of the Lawrenceville center is Jackie Grisham, who
was formerly with the YWCA after school program and Carnegie Family
Center’s Lawrence Day School, where she was executive director. Christine
Boufford directs the Plainsboro center.
Dow Jones has its childcare center that offers similar programs to
Bristol-Myers Squibb, except that it does not have a facility for
the mildly ill. Gene O’Connor (Pratt Institute, Class of ’58) of the
Hightstown-based O’Connor Group designed the exterior, so that the
spaces for different age groups have slightly different colored rock-face
concrete block and are separated by adult administrative space. Radiant
floors replace radiators and heating vents, and windows have sills
just eight inches above the floor so infants and toddlers can pull
themselves up and look out.
Lisa Kaplan, Dow Jones’ childcare center director, is a Baltimore
native who majored in early childhood education at the University
of Delaware, Class of 1991. For Bright Horizons she has been program
assistant and assistant director at a childcare center for Allied
Though Dow Jones’ capacity is 110 children with 24 backup spaces,
only 55 children have enrolled since September. Perhaps because of
this extra capacity, the center is open for children of both fulltime
and part-time workers — and even to children of Dow Jones’ contractors.
Like Bristol-Myers Squibb, rates are on a sliding scale based on salary.
Most for-profit and non-profit centers are not operating at capacity,
and at least one — the Carnegie Family Center — is having
some financial difficulties. Founded as Family Resource Infant Center,
it was the first in New Jersey to provide childcare for infants; it
founded Lawrence Day School in 1981. Now the founders say that the
7,000-square-foot building at Carnegie Center does not provide enough
capacity to keep income in line with the rent, and it is in litigation
with the landlord, Boston Properties.
Boston Properties, meanwhile, declines to comment on the litigation
but says that it has another childcare provider ready to provide a
seamless transition should the current operators move.
But Princeton’s childcare needs aren’t going to dwindle any time soon,
and the private centers aren’t worried about over-capacity. "At
all of our Harmony School centers we have families who have onsite
care as an option," says Harmony’s founder Lisa Forrester.
Her Forrestal Village-based school is licensed to hold 250 but she
generally has about 200 children. "We had 35 children from Bristol-Myers
Squibb; five went to the new onsite center and 30 stayed with us.
It is not an economic issue but a convenience issue. It is difficult
to turn down having your child in close proximity to your office."
She does note that pharmaceutical company-based centers don’t have
to pay rent and can draw from their human resources budgets (from
the "keep people happy" line items). They can also justify
spending money to enhance their prestige. Johnson & Johnson’s 24,000-foot
center in New Brunswick was designed by I.M. Pei, the world-famous
architect who did the rest of the headquarters. It has the "messy"
hosable room, a music room, and a computer room.
"So much space means that a lot of that space is not being used
most parts of the day," says Harmony School’s Forrester. "Huge
corporations with deep pockets do things that you and I can’t fathom.
Do we have a art room that can be hosed down at the end of the day?
No. A nursing room? No."
She thinks the small firms have an advantage with the "comfort
issue," whether you are comfortable putting your child in a center
run by a national agency. "If you work for the big corporation,
you are comfortable with a structure of `You will never talk to the
president,’" says Forrester. "But with us, parents know where
the top is. They know they can talk with Lisa Forrester."
— Barbara Fox
1116, Plainsboro 08536. Mostaq Hossain, owner. 609-936-8420; fax,
Mostaq Hossain is the owner of this new information technology company
that does software and consulting for mainframes.
08540. Michael R. Johnston, area manager. 609-243-0001; fax, 609-243-0417.
Norwest Mortgage, a national banking chain responsible for roughly
1 out of every 12 loans in the United States, is joining the Princeton
franchise of Remax, one of the largest real estate firms in the world,
to launch a subsidiary company that would bring real-estate and financing
under one roof. Behind the synergetic venture is Robert Lyszczarz,
an account executive with Norwest who owns Remax franchises in Morristown,
Kendall Park and Princeton.
A Plainsboro resident who grew up in Edison, Lyszczarz graduated from
Rutgers in 1990 with a BS in accounting and received an MBA from Rutgers
in 1992. An entrepreneurial spirit has motivated Lyszczarz in the
nine years that he has been in the mortgage business, and in 1997
he even acquired a ski resort in Vermont: Magic Mountain. "I was
trying to find a way to be more productive," he says "and
this kind of company would enhance our control in the mortgage operation."
Lyszczarz expects the company to pull in between $40 and $60 million
The synergy between real-estate and financing may be an advantage
to the new company, but not, Lyszczarz says, the only one. "This
kind of company would address local needs rather than the national
agenda," he says.
The name of the new company is still being determined, but Lyszczarz
says it is likely to be Progressive Mortgage or Progressive Home Mortgage.
It will be located next to Norwest at 600 Alexander Road. The company
will hire two or three new sales people to make a team of roughly
Uritz, operating supervisor. 609-924-4090. Home page: http://www.bostoncoach.com.
An executive at Fidelity Investments Company had one too many bad
experiences with car services, it seems. He decided to start his own
executive ground transportation service specifically for Fidelity
employees. Today, that company — BostonCoach — has offices
in New York, Boston, Newark, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Chicago
and Minneapolis. A branch has opened at 19 Wall Street with a fleet
of 25 1999 Volvos. Todd Stephens, vice president and regional manager
in the Elizabeth office, won’t say who the clients are but pointed
out that it was a good spot for executive travel between Philadelphia
and New York.
Trenton 08619. Jim Davis, owner. 609-586-1169.
Jim Davis has opened a limousine business starting with one sedan,
a 1997 Lincoln Town Car, equipped with soda, spring water, coffee,
newspapers, cellular phone, and weather reports from the Internet.
Davis graduated from the New York School of Visual Arts, Class of
1982, and worked in New York as a photographer before founding Pennington
Photographics, a professional photo lab. He sold that in 1993 and
began working for limousine companies. "I loved being a photographer
but driving is the only other thing I enjoyed," he says. "You’re
wearing a nice suit and driving a nice car and the money is really
His first marketing endeavor: distributing 3,000 business cards to
New Jersey hotels.
Road, Lambertville 08530. Peter Morgan, architect. 609-466-7796; fax,
It was his independent streak, says architect Peter Morgan, founder
of Outerbridge Morgan Partners, that led him to resign from Hillier
Group last year and start his own architectural firm. "I wanted
to do everything," he says, "and I love the promise of being
able to do stuff with people overseas through the Internet." Morgan
paired up with Bermuda native Andrew Outerbridge in 1998 to start
the Lambertville-based architectural firm. In addition to a few residential
homes on Province Line Road, Outerbridge Morgan also did the interior
layout of a securities firm on Nassau Street.
A native of Princeton, Morgan has a BA from Brown, Class of 1982,
and received an MA in architecture and preservation from Columbia
English architecture — traditional forms, ideas and a sense of
scale — are what Morgan favors, and what he finds most lacking
in today’s modern buildings. Still, he says, he and Outerbridge complement
each other well. "I like bigger, my partner likes the smaller
stuff — he’s very detail-oriented." The firm also does space
planning and planning for its commercial and residential clients.
With low overhead, and other businesses in the area to which they
farm out some of the work, Morgan says it wasn’t too difficult to
get the company launched on just savings and the help of friends.
It’s a challenge, nonetheless, he says. "You find out quickly
how much you do and don’t know."
Princeton 08540. 609-921-7787; fax, 609-921-7797.
Thomas U. Foster, a residential and commercial real-estate appraiser,
has moved from 65 South Main Street in Pennington to Thompson Court
at 195 Nassau Street.
Corner Road, Building 2, Suite 200, Lawrenceville 08648. Thomas H.
Judge, president. 609-620-0011; fax, 609-620-0277. Home page: http://www.comprehensiveusa.com/0640.
The accounting firm has moved from its shared space at 321 Wall Street
to its own office in Lawrenceville. It does bookkeeping, consulting
and tax services, and is an accredited tax preparer. Phone and fax
08542. Paul Lunden, acting branch manager. 609-639-2100; fax, 609-639-2167.
Home page: http://www.kenan.com.
As of March 1 Kenan Systems Corporation, an international communications
software firm, became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lucent. Although
in this merger Kenan is retaining its name, 25 Kenan employees have
left 300 Alexander Road for temporary quarters with Lucent Technology
on Carter Road. Soon they will move to Lucent’s Liberty Corner facility.
The 17-year-old firm is headquartered in Cambridge and has offices
in Denver, London, Singapore, Washington D.C., Paris, Munich, Miami,
and Buenos Aires. Peter Anewalt, formerly Kenan’s branch manager in
Princeton, opened an office in Sydney, Australia, last year.
"Lucent is synonymous with innovation," says Paul Lunden.
"Historically they have been known as a hardware company. The
merger leverages our expertise in billing systems to supply a more
complete solution for our corporate clients."
Road, Plainsboro 08536. Robert R. Cushman, executive pastor. 609-520-1094;
The church has moved from 4315 Route 1 South to its new 40,000 square
feet facility on 25 acres at Schalks Crossing and Scudders Mill.
200, Lawrenceville 08648. David K. Sengstack, chairman. 609-844-7570;
The non-profit foundation promoting awareness of the importance of
early childhood development has moved from 195 Nassau Street to 993
Lenox Drive in Lawrenceville. Phone and fax are new.
New Brunswick Road, Piscataway 08854. Thomas J. Moran, regional manager.
732-981-4440; fax, 732-981-4420.
The sales branch of the Maryland-based Japanese company has moved
from 12 Roszel Road to Piscataway. The company sells scientific/analytical
instruments, and has grown from 11 to 18 employees.
The electronic access and security firm and its subsidiary, Monitoring
Corporation of America formerly located at 100 Canal Pointe Boulevard,
has moved to Edison.
Square, Princeton 08540.
The regional office of the school division of the publishing company
has moved to 307 Fellowship Road, Mount Laurel 08054. There had been
45 people working here.
Equity One Inc. closed its office at 65 South Main Street in Pennington
and moved remaining employees to its Langhorne, Pennsylvania, office.
The company was having trouble hiring employees, says John Cobb, a
loan officer with the company, and had not found a considerable financing
community in the area.
This 24-year-old video and multi-image slide presentation firm does
not answer its telephone and is no longer listed in directory assistance.
It has no forwarding address.
Plaza, Cranbury 08512.
In a reorganization move the gas distribution facility moved the 25
employees at Interchange Plaza back to a headquarters in Burlington:
300 Connecticut Drive, Burlington 08016; phone, 609-239-2471.
888-953-7737. Home page: http://www.today-tomorrow.org.
World of Knowledge Foundation started out with high hopes for using
telecommunications grants for community outreach programs, (U.S. 1,
September 2, 1998). But it closed its office in Forrestal Village
on March 31. Director Dennis Veccia says the foundation can operate
more efficiently from Orlando, where its financial center is located,
but also indicated that the close was precipitated by the resignation
of executive director Janice Berg-Levi late last year. "We’re
still looking for an executive director," he says.
Cranbury 08512. Carolyn Zengel, partner. 609-448-7500; fax, 609-448-8600.
OdysSea Cruises, a corporate cruise agency, has moved from 329 Princeton
Hightstown Road, and the phone has been disconnected.
732-761-8998; fax, 732-761-9424.
The marketing communications firm that caters to pharmaceutical firms
has moved from Princeton Meadows Office Center to 40 Broad Street,
Freehold. Phone and fax are new.
Princeton 08540. Richard Scribner, president. 609-452-0606; fax, 609-520-7990.
Home page: http://www.princetonol.com/groups/rfb.
Ted Taylor is the new executive director of the state unit of Recording
for the Blind & Dyslexic at 36 Hibben Road (609-921-6534). He replaces
Anne Young, who retired after 20 years with the organization. An economics
major from College of William & Mary he has a master’s degree from
the Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, and was a
visiting scholar at Oxford University.
Forsgate Technical Center, Suite 10, Jamesburg 08831. Barbara Hoover,
manager. 609-409-9403; fax, 609-409-9404.
Cogen Technologies Energy Group has changed its name. It is the regional
office for cogeneration plants in Bayonne, Linden, and Camden.
Junction 08852. Kim Frazee, administrator. 732-274-1122; fax, 732-274-1991.
The 96-bed skilled nursing facility changed its name from Deer Park
Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
Princeton Forrestal Village, Princeton 08540. Leigh Clayton, president.
609-919-9190; fax, 609-919-9655.
The employment agency has a new phone and fax that was not reported
in a previous issue.
at Princeton Forrestal Village.
manager of the Peacock Inn.
at American Express on Lenox Drive.
services at Bristol-Myers Squibb on Scudders Mill Road.
senior tax clerk for Hamilton Township.
Corrections or additions?
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