Corrections or additions?
These articles by Kathleen McGinn Spring were prepared for the
April 4, 2001 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Office Space: Bringing in Broadband
New Jersey property managers are behind the curve in
wiring their buildings for high-speed broadband access, says Steve
Weiss, real estate account manager for Winstar, a broadband service
provider. But Weiss’ comments make it clear that getting wired is
no simple matter. Weiss works from offices in both New York City and
Union, and finds property managers in the city to be a much easier
sell. "I found in New Jersey, when I started talking to property
managers, they look at you like you have three heads."
Touting the benefits of fitting out office buildings for high
telecom and Internet, Weiss moderates one of several panels at the
National Association of Industrial and Office Properties’ day long
conference, "Technology E-ssentials: New Jersey’s only real estate
technology conference for the beginner and expert," on Wednesday,
April 11, at 8 a.m. at the Woodbridge Hilton in Iselin. Cost: $120.
Weiss started out intending to be a scientist. A 1982 Rutgers
he was a bio-chem major. After college he went to work for
biotech, Liposome, becoming that company’s 11th employee. He worked
for Liposome for seven years before deciding "I had gone as far
as I could in science." He enrolled in a part-time MBA program
at New York University. Initially planning to use his business degree
to go into management with a pharmaceutical company, he says "in
my third year, I decided I’d always had an interest in real estate.
So I switched."
After working with a small real estate company "just to get my
feet wet," Weiss moved on to a large mortgage banking firm. Then
last year, looking for something different, he heard about Winstar
and was drawn to the opportunity to work at a career that combined
real estate and technology.
Winstar equips office buildings for high bandwidth communications
using "line of sight" technology. This involves installing
radio equipment in the building and beaming signals through the air
from a central hub. Tenants in the building are offered the option
for tapping into the system. Those that do so become Winstar
Often, there are several competing high-bandwidth providers in a
Weiss says property managers benefit from offering their tenants a
crack at high speed communication, and offers the following pluses
along with a cautionary note:
carrier risk "being cut off from the world" should their lines
be cut, Weiss says. Fires, floods, careless construction crews, the
menaces to the wires carrying the phone and Internet signals are
Buildings that allow several broadband providers to set up shop in
their basements achieve a redundancy that could save the day. If some
of the wires enter the building from one side, and some from the
so much better, Weiss says.
While broadband often is delivered through fiber optic cable, signals
from Winstar and similar companies are delivered through the air.
Allowing such a communications provider into a building achieves
Weiss says, by giving tenants a way to keep their E-mails flying and
their customer support centers up even if a disaster of some sort
should cut cables leading into the building. Line of sight service
can be extended to tenants quickly, he says, minimizing any downtime
for offices affected by outages in cable-based systems.
New Jersey property managers. He theorizes that with a strong economy
keeping their buildings full, many are in no great hurry to offer
tenants a smorgasbord of high-bandwidth communications options. Some
tenants, in the financial industry, for example, already need high
bandwidth, and other industries are not far behind in needing —
or wanting — lightening fast Internet and goodies such as clear
video conferencing. Property managers that offer these options will
be ahead of the game, Weiss says, and will be in a strong position
to attract and retain the best tenants in any economic slowdown.
all the work of fitting out a building, and, in exchange for a chance
to sign up tenants for services, compensate building owners. Weiss
did not want to go into specifics of how Winstar structures its
but says building owners typically are paid fees as tenants sign up.
Another advantage, he says, is that broadband is seen as a capital
is generally placed in areas like basements that couldn’t be rented
anyway, but, Weiss says, this is an issue with some property managers.
The radio equipment Winstar installs requires 40 to 60 square feet
of space in an area large enough so that doors to its cabinets can
be opened. The system also requires a mast and antennae. Different
broadband systems require different configurations. Sometimes, Weiss
says, property managers don’t want to deal with the hassles. "It’s
too much. Too confusing."
And sometimes, property managers who want the technology have trouble
getting it. A line of sight system like Winstar’s requires that its
customers be in buildings with an unobstructed view of its hub. If
a taller building is in the way, there can be no service. Not every
building is within sight of a hub. But broadband via fiber optic cable
is expensive to install, and far from universally available.
to cutting edge communication connections surely will build.
now, in a lot of cases it’s looked at as an amenity," Weiss says.
"But I believe in a couple of years, it will be a necessity."
Biotech 2001: Opportunities in the Nation’s
Center takes place on Monday and Tuesday, April 23 and 24 at the
City Sheraton and the Atlantic City Convention Center. Billed as the
largest regional biotechnology conference in the country, the event
is a joint undertaking of the Biotechnology Council of New Jersey
and the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Association. The organizations’
goal is to build a new biotechnology industry by capitalizing on the
concentration of pharmaceutical giants in the region.
The keynote speaker is Jan Leschly, chairman and CEO, Care Capital
at Princeton Overlook. One CEO breakfast, by invitation only, features
former senior pharma executives talking about what it is like to make
the transition to biotech. They include John Jackson, chairman
and CEO, Celgene Company; David U’Prichard, CEO, 3-Dimensional
Pharmaceuticals Inc.; P. Roy Vagelos, chairman, Regeneron
Inc.; and Douglas Watson, president and CEO, ValiGen Inc.
company has a new branch at Cedar Brook Corporate Center and ValiGen
is opening offices on Carter Road.
Another ValiGen executive, Richard Metz, executive director
of product development, is on an "Introduction to
panel, a basic biotechnology course that will focus on cloning, gene
therapy, transgenesis, plant genetics, mapping the human genome, drug
and vaccine development, plant biotechnology, and proteomics.
Manya Deehr, a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, moderates
a "Law and Biotechnology" workshop to examine issues in the
law that executives need to understand in order to succesfully manage
transactions in the biotechnology arena. Deehr’s law firm has a branch
at the Carnegie Center.
Linda Griggs, also a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, will
discuss "Living with Disclosure: What Impact are the New SEC
Having on Biotech."
Lisa Drakeman, CEO of Genmab A/S and an officer at Medarex on
State Road, is on the panel to discuss how biotechs can tap into
and dollars in Europe and Japan. Title: "Finding an International
"Labor Issues — Finding and Recruiting Key People" is
the topic for Gene Mancino, president, Blau Mancino Associates
at 12 Roszel Road. His panel will address this question: "In the
tightest biotechnology market in history, how can your company find,
hire, and retain the scientists and executives it so desperately
The Bordentown site for this event was canceled at the last minute and
those who registered will attend in Manhattan. This story did not run
in the print edition.
Tom Peters, the management guru, and Martha
Stewart, the housekeeping guru, are among the national celebrities
for a one-day global gathering of business women, on Thursday, April
5, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Marcy Maguire is among the local
leaders of the event that will be downlinked by satellite to the
Chevy dealership on 840 Route 206 in Bordentown. Ticket prices are
$259, including lunch and materials, and may be sold out. Call
Susan Willett Bird, founder of Women.future, is a graduate of
Marquette and Stanford Law School. She has worked for IBM and held
a senior position with real estate company Grubb & Ellis. She built
her own real estate firm and founded a CD-ROM based marketing company
that partnered with Apple Computer to do patent-protected interactive
multimedia marketing of real estate and related products. Bird has
put these topics on the agenda for what she calls the
strengths in the new Internet economy?
and how can an understanding of them help employers attract and retain
those with talent?
companies deliver an "experience" that motivates these
"This is the world’s foremost global gathering of businesswomen
— from small business owners to senior executives to women in
the professions," say the organizers. Maguire and her husband also
Nissan in Hightstown, Saturn dealerships in Bordentown and Toms River,
motorcycle and auto parts stores in Bordentown, and they are building
Saturn and Mitsubishi dealerships in Lawrence.
Maguire is a member of the Committee of 200 in New York City, a group
of the Manhattan’s area’s most powerful women. Bird is a founding
member of this group, and she is also founder and "chief
"In addition to being a great learning opportunity," says
Kate Butler, who is scheduled to be a facilitator at the Bordentown
site, "the day provides a great networking opportunity for
women." Butler has a Trenton-based human resources consulting
company, American Humanagement Association.
Among the other global panelists are actress and producer Drew
Barrymore; Merle Okawara
Scardino, owner of the Financial Times; Kathleen Sullivan
dean of Stanford Law School; Laura Ziskin, CEO of Fox 2000;
Ellen Hancock, CEO of Exodus Communications; J.C. Herz
author of "Joystick Nation: How Videogames Ate Our Quarters, Won
Our Hearts, and Rewired Our Minds;" Wendy Kapp, founder
and president of Teach for America; Betsy Holden, CEO of Kraft
Foods; and Myra Hart, professor at Harvard Business School and
founding officer of Staples.
in this networking extravaganza, as is the National Association of
Women Business Owners and Catalyst. The group’s web page
offers reams of networking contacts, with pages for everyone from
the Amazing Women of St. Louis to the Work & Family Connection.
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.