Not so many years ago the Scudders Mill Road corridor looked like a bleak spot on the commercial real estate landscape. The big office complex at 800 Scudders Mill had been vacated by Merrill Lynch and was about to lose Blackrock. The conference center next door had gone through a series of different owners.
Now Novo Nordisk has refitted and transformed the 731,000-square-foot complex at 800 Scudders Mill into the gleaming new headquarters for its North American operations. The hotel space has both a Crowne Plaza Hotel and a Holiday Inn Express.
Now comes word of a new neighbor hoping to move in next door — a proposed 720,000-square-foot Class A office and research campus at 700 Scudders Mill Road.
The Plainsboro office of Los Angeles-based CBRE Group Inc. has been named exclusive leasing agent for what is being called “the Green at Princeton.” Alec Monaghan of CBRE said the new office campus is still in the planning stages, and has yet to secure tenants or approvals from Plainsboro Township.
CBRE’s team of Monaghan, Joe Sarno, Jeremy Neuer, Adam Englander, and Wes Moore will oversee the leasing and marketing campaign on behalf of the owners, Scudders Land Holdings LLC, a joint venture between LCOR, Ivy Equities, and Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation.
The campus at 700 Scudders Mill Road could comprise approximately five to six buildings on more than 100 acres, including 60 acres of preserved open space ensuring tenants will have expansive, unobstructed views. Existing neighboring tenants include Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novo Nordisk, Credit Suisse, Zurich Re Insurance, Princeton Plasma Physics, Siemens, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Sandoz, and NRG Energy.
Monaghan said the new office complex would be designed by LCOR and Ivy, which were responsible for the overhaul of the Novo Nordisk headquarters next door to the site. Like Novo’s headquarters, the new buildings will feature open floor plans with glass-walled conference rooms. “The plan is to keep the window line very much open,” Monaghan said. “Light just bleeds through the whole place. It’s a huge advantage for the right user.”
Monaghan said that open floor plans like this would be more appealing to high-tech companies. Law firms and wealth management companies would be less interested in the space because their office layouts favor privacy, he said.
The planned office park is called “The Green” because of its environmentally friendly features, such as a potential large solar panel array to provide power providing 7 megawatts of power. The campus is planned to be LEED Platinum-certified, the highest level of good environmental engineering.
The project also includes a high ratio of parking to office space, and could increase that ratio even more if the tenants prefer a higher worker density.
Monaghan said the Princeton market is ideal for companies wanting to be near New York without paying New York prices, and that campuses tend to do well here. “People do want the campus environment in a suburban setting, where there is energy and collaboration among tenants,” he said. “Princeton is a unique market that doesn’t necessarily behave like the rest of the state.”