Leasing at 3705

Ibis Plaza Leasing

Expansions at Ibis Plaza: Textile Creations

Contracts Awarded: Edda and IVF

Expansions: Cambridge School

Name Changes: LFL Veritas LLC

Crosstown Moves

Crime Watch: Assets Frozen

Axelrod Plea

Labor Charges

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Barbara Fox were prepared for the November 24,

2004 issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Life in the Fast Lane: Rollerblade

Rollerblade USA, which gets the credit for rolling out the inline

skate industry, moved its headquarters office from Bordentown to 4,500

square feet at University Plaza II last month. Ten years ago it

patented a new braking system, but no brakes have been applied to its


The company makes more than 30 models of skates and claims 250

innovations. The brake, patented in 1994, does not require the skater

to raise the foot. Instead, the skater puts one foot forward so that

the cuff leans backward. A small arm attaches to the brake pad and

pushes down on the pavement. The newest patent is for an expandable

children’s skate, which has a toe box that slides forward and latches

into one of four different sizes.

Rollerblade skates are sold at sporting goods chains and pro shops.

"We prefer to support the smaller companies, and they give the

attention that the product needs," says Jeremy Stonier, the general

manager of the company, formerly owned by Benetton and now owned by

Tecnica. Skates for children and youth start at $19 and go to $500 for

racers. Designed in the United States and Trevignano (near Venice,

Italy), they are manufactured in Italy and Asia.

The son of an entrepreneur, Stonier grew up in several locations,

including Manhattan and Mercer County; after studying at Middlebury

College, he graduated in 1992 with a double major in economics and

sociology from Principia College in Illinois. He worked on Wall

Street, taught skiing, and was a sporting goods buyer, joining

Rollerblade in 1999. He lives in Princeton with his wife, a former

teacher at Wycoff School in West Windsor, and their toddler son.

Rollerblade had moved to New Jersey from Minnesota in 1999 when it

joined its sister company, Prince Manufacturing, which focuses on

tennis. At that point the parent company, Benetton, was energetically

purchasing sporting goods companies. Among the other sports

represented in the Benetton family were ski boots from Nordica and

snowboards and sunglasses from Killer Loop. "They were an apparel

company that did not have what it took to run a sporting goods

company," says Stonier.

With the help of investors, Prince bought itself out, and Tecnica,

headed by Giancarlo Zanatta, bought Rollerblade last July. "It was

time to move out on our own," says Nicholas Skally, marketing


Tecnica’s owner, Zanatta, started out manufacturing shoes, then ski

boots, and now inline skates. "He is obsessed by perfecting equipment

for the feet," says Skally, who started with Rollerblade when he was

an avid skater and a journalism major at the University of Minnesota,

Class of 1999; he moved with the firm to New Jersey that year.

Skally claims more than 40 percent of the market for Rollerblade and

suggests that the major competitor is Seattle-based K2, which "also

makes everything from fishing poles to skis."

"We get a lot of crosstrainers and ice skaters, because they find it

difficult to get access to ice," says Skally. "And we get letters

about clubs for 70-year-olds."

Steve Cohen of Moran Avenue in Princeton designed the Rollerblade

space, which has an open floor plan but also includes custom skate

displays, "cutouts" with special lights. "We had high end office

megacubes made of light blond wood, black metal, and glass," says

Stonier. "They have a very striking look. We wanted to maintain that

look in a more open environment, and Steve helped us create a space

that fit our needs."

The best part about the new quarters, say Stonier, is its proximity to

Mercer County Park, site of the county’s best asphalt skating trails.

"At the ribbon cutting, Hamilton’s mayor urged us to try Veteran’s

Park." It’s a fun place to work, he says. "We’re not out there saving

the world, but we are promoting an enjoyable and healthy thing to do.

In the spring and summer we close down and have picnic/skate days."

He’s not hiring now, but prospective employees do not have to be

skaters. Says Stonier: "We have a business to run, and once we have

the right people, it’s pretty easy to learn."

Rollerblade USA Corporation, 3705 Quakerbridge Road, University Plaza

II, Suite 207, Hamilton. Jeremy Stonier, general manager.

609-249-1700; fax, 609-249-1790. Home page: www.rollerblade.com

Top Of Page
Leasing at 3705

ABC Real Estate LLC, 3705 Quakerbridge Road, Suite 200,

Hamilton 08619. Steven Hercman, owners’ representative. 609-689-4670;

fax, 609-689-4671.

A family-owned business, ABC Real Estate, announced new University

Plaza tenants with a ribbon cutting celebration on Monday, November

22. The most prominent of the tenants is Rollerblade USA Corporation

(see article above). Bruce Carnegie of Maguire Burke is in charge of

leasing the building, and Jerry Fennelly of NAI Fennelly represented

the tenant, Rollerblade.

Steven Hercman is the owners’ representative for ABC Real Estate,

which is headquartered in Ridgewood, New York. Hercman grew up in

Queens and majored in premed at New York University, Class of 2000,

before deciding to go into the family business and change it from an

investment firm to an active real estate company. His father is a

sweater manufacturer and his mother a school teacher; his wife is a

social worker.

Hercman’s company, ABC Real Estate, partnered with developer Stanley

Newman to build University Plaza in 1988, and it is now the sole

owner. "When we bought it, it was 80 percent occupied," says Hercman.

"Our company prides itself on – if a company wants space, we try to

give it to them," says Hercman. "We fit out the entire space for


ValueOptions (CSA for New Jersey Child Behavioral Health

Services), 3705 Quakerbridge Road, Suite 116, Hamilton 08619. Angelo

McClain, executive director. 609-689-6208; fax, 609-689-6270. Home

page: www.valueoptions.com

As part of a reform of the state’s children mental health delivery

system, New Jersey signed a contract with Value Options, which

recently expanded from a 3,000 sublease to 12,000 square feet at

University Plaza. Based in Virginia, Value Options is known for its

ability to reform large delivery systems, says Angelo McClain,

executive director for nearly three years. A 1979 alumnus of West

Texas State, he has a master’s degree from the University of Texas at

Arlington and a PhD in social work from Boston College.

At this address his agency administers contracts for New Jersey Child

Behavioral Health Services, formerly called Partnership for Children.

"This project sought to pool dollars and services," says McClain,

"which were fragmented between juvenile justice, child welfare, and

child mental health, and Medicaid. We provide the infrastructure."

NovaSoft Information Technology Corp., 3705 Quakerbridge

Road, Suite 112, Mercerville 08619. Neil Bhaskar, CEO. 609-588-5500;

fax, 609-588-5577. Home page: www.novasoftinfo.com

Founded in 1993, this firm does E-commerce, migration and outsourcing

applications, and training. Formerly subleasing here, it signed a

lease for 4,500 feet. Five years ago it owned its own 18,000

square-foot building, had 50 people, and was on the Inc. 500 list.

Rose & Associates LLC, 3705 Quakerbridge Road, Suite 215,

Mercerville 08619. Sharon L. Rose CPA, vice-president. 609-586-7772;

fax, 609-586-7182. Home page: www.rosecpa.net

The general accounting firm moved from 13 Roszel Road to 1,110 square

feet at University Office Plaza II, and it has a new phone and fax.

The firm was founded in 1991.

DePinto & Brown LLC, 3705 Quakerbridge Road, University

Office Plaza II, Suite 214, Hamilton 08619. 609-587-5100; fax,


In June Lance Brown Esq. moved from 375 Route 130 in Hightstown and

joined Sal DePinto in 1,600 square feet at University Office Plaza II,

where he has a new phone and fax. The firm does estate planning, real

estate, collections, bankruptcy, tax controversies, probate, and

estate litigation.

The anchor tenant at University Plaza is Unisys, which processes

Medicaid claims. Other tenants include Optima Global Solutions Inc.

Mercer County Special Services School District, Farm Family Insurance

Companies, Fidelity National Title Insurance Company, and dentist Gary

S. Klein

Top Of Page
Ibis Plaza Leasing

Farther down on Quakerbridge Road another development, Ibis Plaza, is

announcing expanded leases. As for the owners, two family entities

have merged. An organization called Ibis Plaza LLC now owns the two

single-story buildings totaling 120,000 square feet at 3535

Quakerbridge Road. Office suites range in size from 1,500 to 5,000

square feet and larger.

Since 1982 the ownership has been in the Jerjian family, a partnership

of four Jerjian brothers. "In December, 2003, my brother Simon

unexpectedly passed away, and since we had to go through a purchase

and sale agreement with his estate, we decided to form a new entity

going forward, Ibis Plaza LLC," says Christopher Jerjian, who now owns

the property equally with his brothers, George and Jack.

Christopher Jerjian has managed the business since 1988 and under his

management the project was transformed from a plain vanilla 1970s

office building to a more contemporary office park, says Gerard

Fennelly of NAI Fennelly, Ibis Plaza’s exclusive leasing agent. "He

has done extensive renovation, putting $4 to $5 million into it, and

he continues to spend money to make it better."

Jerjian earned a degree in economics at Leicester University in the

United Kingdom and has a marketing diploma from NYU. He has been

working in real estate and investment since the early 1980s.

Just as ABC Real Estate suffered when Congoleum left, Ibis Plaza took

a blow when its major tenant departed. "In 1993 we lost the State of

New Jersey as a tenant," explains Jerjian. "This was quite

devastating, since the state leased the entire 120,000 square feet at

Ibis Plaza. Down, but not out, we struggled and converted the

buildings into office suites so that we would never be in a position

where one tenant could have so much leverage. Despite all the

predictions made by many in the real estate market we survived and

came back stronger. By the mid to late 1990s, with the help of the

local brokerage community and the likes of NAI Fennelly and Richardson

Commercial Realtors, Ibis Plaza became viable and stable."

"We have had such good support from the entire real estate community

and the Hamilton Partnership and going forward, we have a vision of

being an integral part of the a more dynamic and prosperous Hamilton

business community," says Jerjian. "We see Hamilton as having a major

impact in Mercer and New Jersey in the years to come. We made a

multi-million dollar investment because we believe in Hamilton’s


Top Of Page
Expansions at Ibis Plaza: Textile Creations

CHN Solutions is the anchor tenant for Ibis Plaza at 3525 Quakerbridge

Road. Other tenants at 3535 Quakerbridge Road are Capital Imaging

Associates PA, Capitol County Children’s Collaborative, Hamilton

Horizons Federal Credit Union, Impact Business Information Solutions,

Laser Energetics Inc., NAI Fennelly Inc. Neurological Trauma

Associates P.C., NovaCare (formerly Impact Physical Therapy & Work

Injury Center). Two tenants with expanded leases are Textile Creations

and Philadelphia Insurance Companies.

Textile Creations, 3535 Quakerbridge Road, Ibis Plaza,

Suite 400, Hamilton 08619. Jim Hankins, owner. 609-631-4433; fax,

609-631-4434. Home page: www.textilecreations.com

Jim and Margie Hankins went from $2 million to $8 million in revenues

in four years and expanded from 3,000 square feet to 5,000 square feet

at Ibis Plaza – all from designing, importing, and reselling quilting

fabrics. The company moved 14 employees from Suite 201 to Doug

Forrester’s former political office, and it also outsources work to a

warehouse in Passaic.

All this space is for offices except for a small sample room where

cuts are kept of all the stock. "If we need to send samples we do it

from here," he says.

"We feel we have been blessed with the growth of the business," says

Hankins, who along with his wife and four children is an active member

at Windsor Chapel in Princeton Junction. Margie Hankins continues as

VP of merchandising and marketing, and the couple has hired a CFO,

Mukesh Bhat, and a national sales manager, Jeremy Jeffries, from


The son of a Methodist minister, Hankins knew he always wanted to be a

fashion designer. Daunted by the prospect of living in New York to

attend his first choice, Fashion Institute of Technology, he majored

in home economics at Middle Tennessee State, and married the store

manager at a fabric chain. In 1999 they opened their first office at

Office Concierge and moved to their own space at Ibis Plaza in 2000

(U.S. 1, January 10, 2001).

"About 35 percent of our business is in sales to more than 2,000 quilt

stores across the country, plus we have a national distributor, and we

sell to some national chains," says Hankins. "We also export a lot to

distributors internationally – all of Europe, Korea, Japan, Canada,

Australia, and New Zealand." Though quilting fabrics comprise 70

percent of the business, these fabrics are also used for apparel and

home decorating. Most of the fabric is imported from India as bolts or

in full rolls.

Hankins, who designs most of the fabric, just finished drawing

patterns for Christmas, 2005. "Batiks, hand prints, are still very

important to the quilter. Pink has been strong and continues strong.

But the big color for next season," he says, "is purple."

Philadelphia Insurance Companies (PHLY), 3525 Quakerbridge

Road, IBIS Plaza, Suite 910, Hamilton 08619. Brian O’Reilly, regional

vice president. 609-586-6122; fax, 866-879-4284. Www.phly.com

Philadelphia Insurance Companies, a commercial property and casualty

insurance firm, moved its regional office from Route 206 at the

Whitehorse Circle to Ibis Plaza two years ago, and it recently doubled

its space to 5,000 square feet.

Brian O’Reilly, regional vice president, is a 1990 graduate of

Lafayette College, and a native of Hamilton Township. With 36 branches

in and around Philadelphia, the Bala Cynwyd-based firm is traded on

Nasdaq and has 25 specialty products. It focuses on health clubs,

nonprofit groups, schools, hotels, shopping centers, and professional

liability for lawyers and accountants.

"We are the premiere writer of nonprofit organizations and health

clubs nationally," says O’Reilly. "We insure a board for the decisions

they make. For a nonprofit, most of the exposure is for is

employment-related practices, sexual harassment, and discrimination."

Top Of Page
Contracts Awarded: Edda and IVF

Edda Technology, 14 Washington Road, Building 2, Princeton

Junction 08550. Jian-Zhong Qian, president and CEO. 609-936-8282; fax,

609-799-1545. Home page: www.eddatech.com

The FDA has given marketing clearance for software for digital X-ray

technology devised by a diagnostic imaging and analysis firm, Edda

Technology, located at Washington Park. The company also has an office

in Shanghai, China.

IQQA-Chest Software, an image analysis system aimed at the softcopy

review of digital chest radiographic images, is the first real-time

interactive diagnostic analysis system. Running on a PC platform, it

can quantify nodules detected with projection chest radiography, the

most commonly performed imaging procedure.

Though lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, only 16

percent of cases are diagnosed at an early stage. If found and treated

in the early stages, the average five-year survival rate is nearly 50


Radiologists will use this software to identify, confirm, and quantify

pulmonary lesions. Lesion-specific image enhancement viewing will

dynamically detail image structures and highlight suspicious areas

that suggest nodular abnormalities. It provides analysis tools to

identify characteristics, including size, density and shape, then it

assembles a clinical report for follow-up review.

"This combination will have a broad impact on improving nodule case

diagnosis and patient prognosis, especially as digital X-Ray continues

to gain market acceptance and acceleration," Jian-Zhong Qian,

president and CEO.

IVF New Jersey, 3100 Princeton Pike, Building 4 Suite I,

Lawrenceville 08640. Susan Treiser MD. 609-799-5666; fax,

609-219-0742. Home page: www.ivfnj.com

Because of its exclusive partnership with Extend Fertility, a Boston

firm that aims to prolong the fertile life of women, IVF New Jersey

can provide egg freezing services for women who want to freeze and

store their young, healthier eggs.

"In the past, women were bound by the limitations of time when it came

to their reproductive choices. Women who wanted to get pregnant later

in life were faced with egg quality issues," Susan Treiser,

co-director of IVF NJ. "This will allow women who have not yet decided

to have children to preserve their eggs until a time in their life

when they are ready to have a family."

IVF NJ is one of the first centers where Extend Fertility clients can

have the service provided. One of the largest fertility practices in

the world, IVF New Jersey also offers insemination with donor sperm,

egg donation, gestational surrogacy, in-vitro fertilization,

intracytoplasmic sperm injection, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis,

and blastocyst transfer.

PharmaNet, 504 Carnegie Center, Princeton 08540-6242.

Jeffrey McMullen, president and COO. 609-951-6800; fax, 609-514-0390.

Home page: www.pharmanet.net

SFBC International Inc. is buying PharmaNet, a private clinical

research organization (CRO) which has 300 workers at the Carnegie

Center and about 750 people overall. Jeffrey McMullen will remain

president and CEO of PharmaNet and join the SFBC board, and all of the

company’s employees are expected to continue.

SFBC will buy all the PharmaNet stock for about $245 million in cash.

Jefferies & Company represented SFBC and UBS Investment Bank

represented PharmaNet in the transaction, which is expected to close

by the end of this year.

Trading on NASDAQ as SFCC, SFBC provides specialized drug development

services to global and specialty pharmaceutical, biotechnology and

generic drug companies. PharmaNet recently topped ratings taken by a

trade publication in Europe and the United States for its reputation

as a clinical research organization. With a global Phase II-IV

platform comprised of 19 offices on five continents, it has a varied

customer base of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device


Top Of Page
Expansions: Cambridge School

Cambridge School, 100 Straube Center Boulevard, Pennington

08534. Deborah Peters, head of school. 609-730-9553; fax,

609-730-9584. Home page: www.thecambridgeschool.org

The Cambridge School moved from 62 South Main Street to a new 22,000

square-foot building at the Straube Center in November. Using a

curriculum based on the Orton-Gillingham method and Lindamood-Bell

Learning Processes, Cambridge serves children, ages five through

eighth grade, with language-based learning differences.

Princeton Food Services Inc., 444 Wall Street, Princeton

08540. Stephen P. Baclini, president. 609-924-2262; fax, 609-924-0184.

Princeton Food Services expanded from the Village Shopper across the

street to Research Park, and eight people work in 3,000 square feet,

says Peggy Gladstone, the office manager. John Rawson founded the

company in 1984 and is board chairman; he owns 22 Wendy’s restaurants

in New Jersey and Staten Island. The firm is also known as Rawson Food


Top Of Page
Name Changes: LFL Veritas LLC

LFL Veritas LLC, 1230 Parkway Avenue, Parkway Corporate

Center, Suite 301, Ewing 08628. Hal Levenson, president. 609-882-4171;

fax, 609-883-4090.

Levenson & Associates has changed its name to LFL Veritas LLC. The

firm offers management advisory services, tax planning and

preparation, financial and estate planning, accounting and auditing,

computer system implementation, and forensic and litigation support.

Top Of Page
Crosstown Moves

Starkey’s Signs, 23 Surrey Drive, Hamilton Square 08690.

Bill Starkey. 609-584-9220; fax, 609-587-1530.

Bill Starkey moved his commercial sign-making business from 2479

Pennington Road in Trenton to an address in Hamilton Square. Phone and

fax are new. He offers painted and vinyl signs.

Top Of Page
Crime Watch: Assets Frozen

John Torkelsen was due to go to court in October on charges of

defrauding the U.S. Small Business Administration out of $32 million,

but on Monday, November 8, he signed an agreement that will keep his

civil suit out of court. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for

the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, this agreement means that

Torkelsen – a former Princeton resident who had an office at 5 Vaughn

Drive – does not admit wrongdoing.

Meanwhile the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington is conducting a

criminal investigation into the fund, but there is no information

available about how far that investigation has gone.

The U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia, Paul Shapiro, says there will be no

civil trial for Torkelsen, but that Torkelsen’s signature means that

permanent restraining freezes his personal and business assets and

prevents his venture capital company, Acorn Technology Fund, from

doing business.

The complaint, filed in January, 2003, under the Mail Fraud Injunction

Act, alleged that Torkelsen, two family members, and a business

associate "engaged in a scheme fraudulently to obtain and misapply

government funds through the use of several corporations which they

controlled, and to funnel at least some of these ill-gotten funds to

themselves and others." Supposedly they made fraudulent

misrepresentations in the application to get $32 million in funding

from the SBA for Acorn Technology Fund.

The SBA had temporarily been appointed as a receiver for Acorn. Now

the court is expected to appoint a permanent receiver to collect and

manage the assets. Torkelsen’s attorney is William Crenshaw of Powell

Goldstein in Washington, D.C.

Top Of Page
Axelrod Plea

A former fugitive known for his sale of millions of dollars of

instruments to the New Jersey Symphony pleaded not guilty on Friday,

November 12, to helping a former employee file a fraudulent tax

return. Judge Garrett E. Brown Jr. set a trial date for March 1for

Herbert Axelrod.

Indicted in April, the former pet products mogul fled to Cuba and

Europe, but was extradited from Germany and is now at Monmouth County

Jail. According to Axelrod’s attorney, Michael B. Himmel, Axelrod, 77,

wanted to come back to the United States because he has a serious

heart problem.

The initial charges were that he conspired to defraud the IRS by

helping to hide $700,000 in a Swiss bank account. Axelrod is also

facing a civil suit involving the sale of TFH Publications, his

Neptune City-based firm that publishes books on pets and sells dog


In 2003 Axelrod claimed his collection of rare stringed instruments

was worth $49 million and sold it to the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

for $17 million. He has not been charged with an attempt to take

fraudulent tax deductions, but that reportedly is under investigation

by the FBI and IRS.

Top Of Page
Labor Charges

Ahanita Lance, a former employee of Robert Wood Johnson in Hamilton

and Princeton Nursing Home , was charged on November 22 with failing

to report those earnings during periods when she was receiving

unemployment insurance benefits.

During two periods in 1999, says Vaughn L. McKoy, director of the

Financial Crimes Bureau of the Division of Criminal Justice, Lance

filed for unemployment insurance at the same time that she was working

at these institutions. In 2001 she worked in Burlington County, also

allegedly failing to report the earnings, receiving a total of more

than $6,280 in benefits.

Lance is charged with two counts of theft by deception and two

counts of unsworn falsification. Mercer County Superior Court Judge

Maria M. Sypek will hear the case.The state penalty for a third degree

crime, theft by decption, is up to five years in prison and a fine of

up to $15,000. The maximum penalty for a fourth degree crime (unsworn

falsification) is 18 months and a $10,000 fine.

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