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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on February 23, 2000. All rights
RCN’s Site Search
RCN Corp., in the midst of a search for a new
has tripled its projection of the space it will need and could be
trying to engage four municipalities in a horse race to see which
can get the approvals to the finish line first. Instead of building
a 500,000 square foot headquarters as announced last fall, it now
hopes to build 1.5 million square feet and break ground in July.
Three different developers are offering sites in three different
townships: West Windsor, Lawrence, and Ewing, and a site in
is supposedly also in contention. But to go forward simultaneously
with three sets of drawings in three townships would be very expensive
either for RCN or for the three developers, so RCN may only be trying
to test the waters on site approval for Lawrence and Ewing. The
are in place in West Windsor.
Fast-growing RCN is the largest single-source facilities-based
of telephone, Internet and cable television services to dense
markets. It currently has 600 employees in three buildings and 200,000
square feet at the Carnegie Center with a lease on the major building,
105, that extends through September, 2004. It also has a call center
at Lawrence Circle.
Lawrence Township is in RCN’s spotlight because on Tuesday, February
29, Matrix Development Group (based at Exit 8A/Monroe Center at
is scheduled to present a plan for the former Union Camp site on
Pike plus some limited access acreage from the portfolio owned by
DKM. Christopher Tarr of Smith Stratton et al is representing the
applicants. Richard F.X. Johnson, senior vice president, is in charge
of the project for Matrix, which would build the facility and turn
it over to RCN.
Matrix is asking for a total of 1.5 million square feet, including
10 office buildings and nine parking garages, to be built on 134
The application also calls for an employee training facility with
overnight sleeping capacity to house the "Cable Camp," a
center for installation of phone, cable, and high speed Internet
The now vacant Union Camp facility formerly housed 187 scientists
and if it is not incorporated into the plan, it might need to be
with all of the complications that might involve. But at the end of
the day RCN would own its own place.
RCN would also own its own headquarters if it built in Ewing on the
110-acre Atchley farm tract, located on the west side of Pennington
Road (Route 31) south of I-95. Here, it is being represented by
Center-based King Interests, which did the initial site search last
fall. No applications have yet been filed for this site but Fred
Ewing Township’s business administrator, says that if an application
conforms to township zoning, all approvals could be completed within
Last year Ewing — responding to protests from residents —
rejected an application for development that would include retail
stores, a hotel, warehouses and offices. "I believe this
has received a much more favorable reception," says Walters.
procedures are followed through relatively quickly if there are not
any problems." The fact that the tract is currently zoned
does not constitute a problem, he says. Mrs. A.L.P. Atchley’s house
could be considered historic but is not located on the center of the
property. Walters also says that currently Route 31 has only one ramp
to I-95 but another is planned and is supposed to be built soon.
The Carnegie Center’s owners, Boston Properties, could accommodate
RCN’s needs on Route 1 South in West Windsor between Alexander Road
and Carnegie Center Boulevard. Approvals are already in place —
lasting through 2113 — for 1.1 million square feet plus parking
garages, and RCN would not need to build a hotel because the
and the Hyatt Regency are so close.
"Everything that is going on in Lawrence, as it relates to Union
Camp, has been in place at the Carnegie Center for years," says
Sam Surtees, West Windsor’s director of community development, who
met with RCN’s attorney last month. "All they need to do is come
in with full scale architectural and engineering drawings and they
will be in front of the planning board and could break ground in
But in West Windsor RCN would be paying rent on a build-to-suit campus
with a long-term lease. "Boston Properties is not in the business
of selling land," says Micky Landis, regional vice president,
noting that this option offers maximum flexibility for growth or exit
strategies and that his project is way ahead of the others in
"We have DOT access permits and curb cuts in place that could
take them years to get."
Still, Landis thinks that all three townships would expedite this
project. "If you have a million square foot in your township,
developed today, you have raised $3 to $4 million for your township
without spending one penny. I would expect any township to roll over
and give them what they want. West Windsor has a reputation of being
tough, as does every other township in our area, including Lawrence.
But in this particular instance, I think they would all be
As for the Bucks County site, little information is available about
the potential location or the developer. It could even be a mere ploy,
"stalking horse" to be used in negotiations with New Jersey
state government to bargain for maximum tax benefits.
300, Princeton 08540. David C. McCourt, chairman and CEO.
fax, 609-734-7551. Home page: http://www.rcn.com.
— Barbara Fox
TrammellCrow, the property management and consulting
firm, has moved from 993 Lenox Drive to the brand new Hillier-designed
building at 600 Alexander Park. The 140,000 square-foot building is
fully leased and Mathematica is its chief tenant. A new 72,000
Class A spec building next to it will be built this year.
Princeton staffers Aubrey Haines and Karen Iman have closed more than
$260 million in transactions in the past six years. As a team they
have sold the 720,000 square foot Lockheed Martin Corp facility and
leased the Berlitz headquarters on Alexander Road and more than
feet at 500 College Road.
An 11th-generation New Jerseyan, Haines went to Tufts, Class of 1985,
and has studied at the London School of Economics, Wharton School,
Temple, Mercer County Community College, and Rider. He just stepped
down as board chairman of the Princeton Chamber.
Iman ran her own commercial real estate database company before
it to a publisher. She has worked at the Linpro Company and Jackson
Cross and held vice president positions at Rosenfeld Inc. and GMH
Realty. With a New Jersey headquarters in Chatham, Trammel Crow has
more than 3,5000 employees in 200 offices nationwide.
201, Princeton 08540. Aubrey Haines/Karen Iman, vice presidents.
The Garibaldi Group — one of the few privately-owned
real estate firms in New Jersey — has joined with Gale & Wentworth
and a European company, King Sturge, to form the Trinity Alliance,
International Real Estate Advisors, with the intention of providing
a "single cross-Atlantic network of integrated services to U.S.
and foreign corporations." The alliance will offer such services
as tenant representation, facilities and property management, and
acquisition and disposition representation.
Based in Florham Park, Gale & Wentworth has an office in England and
owns or manages a portfolio totaling more than 29 million square feet.
It has made investment partnerships with Morgan Stanley Dean Water,
J.P. Morgan, PaineWebber, and the Praedium Fund.
Based in Chatham, the 81-year-old Garibaldi Group belongs to Corfac
International, which covers 41 markets in the United States and
The group’s clients include Bristol-Myers Squibb, Honeywell, Schering
Plough, and Warner Lambert.
King Sturge employs 790 people in the United Kingdom and 310 in
plus it also has offices in China and Australia. It also belongs to
On the alliance board, the Garibaldi Group will be represented by
James J. Garibaldi and Peter D. Blanchard. Gale & Wentworth will be
represented by Donald M. Slaght, Bart Oates, and Carl Seaholm.
Princeton 08542. Robert T. Morford, principal. 609-688-3490; fax,
Doug Lezynski, leasing agent. 609-452-0771; fax, 609-452-2870.
Forrestal Village, Princeton 08540. Marie Cunningham, senior property
manager. 609-799-7400; fax, 609-799-0245. Home page:
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