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.
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
"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.
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
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."
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
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
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
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.
Lawrenceville 08648. Kevin Ward, general manager. 609-620-4100; fax,
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
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.
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
services at the Institute for Advanced Study.
technician with New Jersey Bell, AT&T, and Lucent Technologies.
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?
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