Alexander Road Bridge

That Old House

Hopewell Bank

Keller: Name from the Past

Expansions

Deaths

Corrections or additions?

Life in the Fast Lane: Bridges, Houses, Banks

These stories were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on January 27, 1999.

All rights reserved.

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Alexander Road Bridge

More small but concrete signs of progress in our community:

First that old bridge on Alexander Road crossing the railroad tracks

at the T-intersection with North Post Road in West Windsor. The bridge,

just a block away from the bustling Princeton Junction train station

and several blocks from the million dollar Alexander Road overpass

at Route 1, is a traffic bottleneck from another era. Posted with

a four-ton weight limit and a 10 mile-per-hour speed limit, the bridge

has been "abandoned" in terms of repair or upkeep for 15 to

20 years, according to West Windsor officials.

Now comes a call for action, in the form of bills introduced in the

senate and the assembly that would require the Department of Transportation

to take responsibility for the bridge. Shirley Turner, Democratic

senator from Lawrence, introduced the West Windsor Orphan Bridge Bill.

It was co-sponsored by W. Reed Gusciora, Democratic assemblyman from

Princeton.

"Nobody wants to claim responsibility for the bridge," says Rich

McClellan, spokesperson for Turner. "The weird thing is that for

some bridges, the states are responsible, and for some, the railroad

is responsible." The bill is currently before the Senate Transportation

Committee and a decision on the matter is expected before the end

of February, says McClellan.

West Windsor is hopeful that it can add further improvements to the

bridge. Bob Bruschi, West Windsor administrator, says the township

would like to establish a right hand turn lane before the bridge to

deviate traffic. "That would involve some work like building up

the bank and eventually signalize the intersection."

Bruschi adds that this can only be considered as a temporary solution.

"As it is, the bridge is inadequate and instead of repairing the

existing bridge what we would like to see is a new bridge 200 yards

away to cross Amtrak tracks at another place. The right turn lane

would solve the traffic problem in the interim."

The state did pay — through the Orphan Bridge Bond Program —

for 100 percent of the cost to repair a similar bridge in Plainsboro

in 1996, says Patrick Guilfoyle, Plainsboro Township’s administrator.

West Windsor Township officials are hoping that funds from that program

will be made available for the repair of the Alexander Road bridge.

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That Old House

Thanks to Adam Wengryn, one more old house has escaped

the bulldozer. This time it is the old yellow house at Mapleton Road

and Route 1, where Wengryn is taking up the dismantling project begun

by Tennessee architect James Hollingsworth (U.S. 1, August 26, 1998).

With his four-year-old firm, Restoration Technologies of Ringoes,

Wengryn works on pre-1900 buildings — houses, barns, wagon-houses,

any old building that is worth saving — restoring, dismantling,

and recycling them.

"I have always loved old houses," says Wengryn, who started

his career as a trim carpenter in Ringoes. "I saw too many old

buildings go to the dumpsters and somebody had to start recycling

them," he says of his decision to go into the business of restoring

old houses. "I got sick and tired of developers coming in and

saying that old buildings are garbage. These buildings are far superior

to anything that is being built today."

Wengryn agrees with Hollingsworth, the Mapleton Road house’s former

savior, that it is a very good building. Hollingsworth had bought

the 6,000 square-foot house, dating from the 1850s, for $1 from Princeton

University and worked for three months to systematically dismantle

it, intending to move it to Memphis. By the time he quit work and

headed back to Memphis, he had already invested $20,000.

Hollingsworth had perhaps not anticipated the time and finances that

was going to be involved, says Wengryn: "It was too big an undertaking

for Hollingsworth. I do this for a living."

Princeton University needs the acreage for the new Marriott Suites

motel adjacent to the house. It had to either send in a demolition

crew to raze the site or find somebody to continue what Hollingsworth

could not finish. "James left us in a tight spot," says an

official at Picus Associates, the firm that manages the Princeton

University’s commercial real estate operation at Forrestal Center.

"We wanted the house to be taken apart and erected somewhere in

the spirit of what James was doing. We were very lucky to find this

guy."

Wengryn is making great progress but does not know where the house

will go at this point. He is taking it down, marking the pieces, and

storing it. Even though there is a lot of interest in old houses,

finding buyers is not that easy, says Wengryn. "This is a very

specialized field. It is pretty hard to find people who know what

we are doing."

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Hopewell Bank

Less than two years after he decided to leave the family

beer business and open a bank, Patrick L. Ryan has done it. Hopewell

Valley Community Bank (HVCB) will begin services as a full-service

commercial bank on Tuesday, February 16.

"February 16 will be the day we have worked for and anticipated

over the past year," says Ryan, founder and chairman. "We

received our Certificate of Authority from the New Jersey Department

of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) on January 12 officially authorizing

us to conduct banking business."

The bank will begin its operations at its temporary facility at the

Pennytown Village Shopping Center on Route 31 with a full-time staff

of 12 people. The main office, at 4 Route 31 across from the Pennington

Market, is expected to open by mid-summer. The bank had purchased

the 3,600 square feet office from Chester Urbanski for around $600,000.

By the time of the stock offering deadline, the bank had received

$5.4 million, more than enough capital to meet its legal requirement

of $5 million. But it extended the deadline by 10 weeks, to January

15. "The bank will open with a solid capital base in excess of

$7.8 million invested by 441 shareholders," says Ryan. This represents

$2.4 million of additional investment from 117 new shareholders since

the bank’s original closing date. The decision was made, in part,

to accommodate requests from the community, says Ryan.

Stock market reversals in September and October also affected the

decision. "We felt that we could get stronger capitalization if

we extended it. We raised another $2.4 million, and we are extremely

gratified," says Ryan. The extension into 1999 will also allow

investors greater flexibility in planning for capital gains taxes.

The HVCB Board of Directors held its organizational meeting on January

14 electing Ryan as chairman; James Hyman, president and CEO; Richard

Hebson, senior vice president and treasurer; and Sharon Fink, vice

president and secretary. The first annual meeting of the shareholders

will be held on April 22.

Hyman, the CEO, is a Rutgers graduate who was founding president and

CEO of the First Community Bank in Clinton. The bank grew from scratch

to $195 million in deposits during his seven-year tenure. He also

worked for Midlantic Bank, Ultra Bank, and Carteret Savings and Loan

and served in the U.S. Navy.

"The bank has received a wonderful reception by the community,"

says Hyman. "The success of the stock offering speaks for itself

and I already have a stack of loan applications. There are a number

of future customers who call regularly to check on our progress in

anticipation of transferring their accounts to HVCB."

"There has never been a better environment for banking than now,"

says Ryan. Community based banks have done very well for their investors

recently: Stockholders in Trenton Savings Bank quadrupled their money

in two years, and Carnegie Bank’s shareholders more than tripled their

investment in four years.

— Teena Chandy

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Keller: Name from the Past

Fox News last week discussed how entrepreneurs could

reserve conspicuous website names and then resell the names or use

them for satirical purposes. The program focused on "domain names"

related to some prominent political names, including George Bush and

Elizabeth Dole.

When the nationally televised news account turned to the Dole websites

it turned its cameras on an internet entrepreneur with a name familiar

to some Princeton viewers: Eric Keller, the real estate developer

who more recently was caught up in a bitter divorce case and a controversial

attempt to establish an organic produce stand (U.S. 1, December 4,

1991, and June 26, 1996).

Keller’s website (http://www.liddydole.com) is not the only "outsider"

site that claims a Dole name. Other variants are www.Elizabeth-Dole.com

and www.elizabethdole.com, but www.Elizabeth-Dole.org is

registered to a Dole office on I Street in Washington, D.C.

A search of other domain names reveals that Keller also has registered

liddydole.net, liddydole.org, and dotcommanagement.com, all to the

address of Dotcommanagement LLC at 212 Stacey Avenue, Trenton 08618,

609-396-3854; fax 609-396-0506.

When reached by telephone, Keller declined to comment, and he also

declined to specify what he planned to do with the Dole website names

other than to say he did not intend to sell them. But if Dole does

become the first woman president, those websites or website names

will certainly have some value to someone.

— Barbara Fox

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Expansions

Countrywide Home Loans, 1 Nami Lane, Suite 2, Mercerville

08649. Frank J. Mancino, branch manager. 609-584-7644; fax, 609-584-8151.

Countrywide Home Loans has moved from 3800 Quakerbridge Road to a

bigger office at 1 Nami Lane, Mercerville. The firm is based in Pasadena,

California, and has nine offices in New Jersey.

New Court Financial, 997 Lenox Drive, Suite 112,

Lawrenceville 08648. Kevin Ward, general manager. 609-620-4100; fax,

609-620-1057.

The medical equipment leasing company expanded from shared space at

Office Concierge to its own 4,000-foot space at 997 Lenox Drive. Phone

and fax are new. New Court was represented by Tommy Romano of Buschman-Jackson

Cross.

St. John’s Community Services, 2137 Route 33, Lexington

Square Commons, Hamilton 08690. Tanya N. McBride, office manager.

609-586-8005; fax, 609-586-8096. Home page: http://www.sjcs.org.

St. John’s Community Services has moved from 212 Carnegie Center to

2137 Route 33, Suite C. The organization has expanded to 45 people

from 6, but this was an expansion they were expecting, says Tanya

McBride, office manager. It is one of the service providers that is

housing clients from the North Princeton Developmental Center (U.S.

1, February 4, 1998). It offers support and opportunities for individuals

with developmental disabilities.

Covance, 210 Carnegie Center, Princeton 08540-6681.

Chris Kuebler, chairman and CEO. 609-452-8550; fax, 609-452-9375.

Home page: http://www.covance.com.

The clinical research service firm has finished its long-awaited expansion

at the Carnegie Center; it has moved 450 people into its new building

at Carnegie 206. It still occupies all of Carnegie 210, but workers

have moved out of the first and third floors of Carnegie 104 and from

the first floor of Carnegie 214. Additional employees have been moved

from Carnegie 210 into the new building.

"That will allow us room to grow," says Natalie Shelpuk, spokesperson

for the firm. A cafeteria solely for Covance employees is being built

at 206 but the 210 cafeteria will continue to operate as before and

serve the general public. For now, deliveries are being handled at

210.

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Deaths

James Bess, 70, on January 18. He was manager of administrative

services at the Institute for Advanced Study.

Robert J. Ryan, 61, on January 20. He was a communication

technician with New Jersey Bell, AT&T, and Lucent Technologies.

Edward Palsho, 80, on January 23. A retired plumber and

instructor at Mercer County Vo-Tech School, he was the father of Edward

Palsho Jr., a lawyer with New Jersey Manufacturers Association, and

father-in-law of Dorothea Coccoli Palsho, president of Dow Jones Interactive.

Corrections or additions?


This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com

— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.

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