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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on April 12, 2000. All rights reserved.
Telecom Hotels in Trenton
What’s hot in Trenton? Yes, there is actually something
hot in Trenton. Factory buildings located by railroads, as it turns
out, are prime sites for telecom hotels, the places where telecommunications
companies can plunk large equipment and tap into the fiber lines.
Andrea Kotzker is leasing two such sites for Nexus Properties. "That’s
how all these Internet companies are setting up their sites,"
she says. "They are man-less offices. It is very exciting —
we have two major players in the one building and have a lot of interest
in the other.
The former Lee Overall factory on Trenton and the former Chris Craft
boat upholstery factory in Hamilton now have a possibility for new
life. Both are 70,000 square feet. It’s good for real estate, if not
for jobs. Rent is $10 triple net.
Among the companies that can use these steel and concrete buildings
with 12 to 16-foot clearance are AT&T, Venture Media, Broadwing —
Kotzker ticks them off. "There’s a zillion of them."
A "small" 98,000 square-foot building, to house
Kinko’s and Vitamin Shop, will face Home Depot at Nassau Park. The
groundbreaking is scheduled to take place during the week of April
24, says Steve Spiegel of Atlanta-based Hendon Properties. Already
built and soon to open are Chuck-E-Cheese, Leather Center, and a Hallmark
Of the 450,000-foot project, everything is leased, says Spiegel, even
though some of the stores are currently empty. The plaza area, which
the developer promised to build — even mentioning an "ice
palace" and/or a gazebo — is going to be created, but Spiegel
does not promise an ice rink. Earlier he had talked about leasing
to Gap Old Navy, Mikasa, and the Silver Diner.
An Extended Stay America suites hotel is going up across
from Nassau Park, next to Behrwood Pet Motel. Last year another hotel
from this chain opened on Route 1 North, north of Novotel.
What used to be Princeton’s only heavy manufacturing
building has been stripped to the walls and will soon be framed. More
than 47,000 square feet at 693 Alexander Road is being converted to
office buildings for office or office research and will be known as
Alexander Commons. Compass Realty and Development of Cranbury-South
River Road bought the former Rosenblad building for $1,250,000. Rosenblad
had been virtually the only heavy manufacturing firm in Princeton,
and when it moved out in the early 1980s, Commercial Property Network
leased the building for a season to Paramount, and the site exuded
glamour as the production headquarters for "I.Q.," the fictional
Einstein film starring Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins, and Walter Matthau.
Then Control Automation occupied the building on a lease-purchase
deal but was bought out and moved to California.
More than 15,000 square feet have been added to the original two-story
buildings on 4.8 acres. The three buildings, right across from the
Hyatt, will have a campus like setting, with a common courtyard and
seven entrance locations. Target date for completion is August. Included
are 158 parking spaces, two elevators, a sprinkler system, sprinklered
landscape design, and forced air HVAC with separate controls possible.
Brad Valerius is the project manager.
Nexus Properties has one up and two to go. The 60,000-foot
three-story building at Alexander Court (the name Princeton Plaza
has been dropped) is up at 731 Alexander Road and is fully leased
by such companies as R.G. Vanderweil and Amper Politziner Mattia.
A single user, Caxton, has leased the entire 40,000-foot two story
building to be erected in the rear of the current building. Caxton,
a Manhattan-based commodities and securities trader with John Forbes
heading the Princeton office, will expand from 17,000 square feet
on Enterprise Drive. Having taken a long-term lease, it will get its
name on the building and possession is scheduled for October 15.
Up on the corner of Vaughn Drive and Alexander Road, Station Plaza
at Princeton Junction Train Station is under way. It’s on the side
of Vaughn Drive furthest from Route 1. Occupancy is expected in late
summer. The 27,900-foot building, designed by Kevin Blackney & Associates
of Philadelphia, will be owned by Striper Associates, which is connected
to Nexus Partners. It is renting for $28 gross, and 28,000 square
feet are available. All of these properties have fiber optics.
TrammellCrow has nearly leased the 140,000 square-foot
Hillier-designed building at 600 Alexander Park. Mathematica is its
chief tenant, and less than 4,000 feet remain at $29.50 gross. A new
72,000 square-foot Class A spec building next to it at 700 Alexander
Park will be built this year, to be finished by December. Riggs Bank
is the owner.
Note that Alexander Park represents a subset of Alexander Road. It
numbers range from 300 to 700 Alexander Park, but it is located between
731 Alexander (now called Alexander Court) and 821 Alexander (at Vaughn
Drive). Everything in this development was designed by the Hillier
Group, which occupies the building at 500 Alexander Park.
Peter J. Cocoziello, founder of the 20-year-old Advance
Group (www.advance-re.com) is building 41,000 feet on the corner of
Vaughn and Alexander, the corner closest to Route 1, at 821 Alexander
Road. It is expected to be finished in August or September.
The two-story brick-and-glass building was designed by Florham Park-based
Rotwein and Blake. Bovis Construction, which regularly partners with
the Peapack-based Advance Group, is doing the building and will move
from Forrestal Village to take half of this space. It will have an
exercise room with showers. Bob Morford of the Garibaldi Group is
leasing spaces as small as 2,500 feet for $28.50, gross, with a workletter
Peter W. Hegener of Eparkventures LLC (www.eparkprinceton.com)
plans for its pilot project, eParkPrinceton, to be available in 2001.
The 17 acres of undeveloped land at the intersection of Schalks Crossing
and Perrine roads in Plainsboro were acquired two years ago at an
FDIC auction for $533,700. The Hillier Group is designing the space
— four, 60,000 square-foot-buildings — and Princeton Development
Group will be the exclusive leasing agency.
eParkPrinceton will offer start-up businesses reduced rents and a
bevy of professional assistance from ePark partners, leading firms
in communications, advertising, management consulting, and technology.
Tenant start-ups get both a smart building — equipped with state-of-the-art
communications technology — and smart money — financial backing
from a venture capital fund Hegener hopes to grow to $50 million.
(U.S. 1, March 8.)
On the eastern side of Route 1, National Business Parks
hopes to build on the success of its 300 series of College Road buildings,
one-story buildings that are particularly suitable for lab space.
It has planned three lowrise and two midrise buildings on property
shared by Plainsboro and South Brunswick. The buildings would total
350,000 feet and would face Schalks Crossing Road, adjacent to 2 and
4 Research Way, but behind the 300 College Road series. The firm has
a planning board presentation April 26.
The developer will begin construction when leases are signed. Unlike
its properties at the Forrestal Center, where the land is owned by
Princeton University, the developer owns the land for the new development.
Seventeen acres are in South Brunswick and 14 are in Plainsboro.
National Business Parks is the managing agent for 815,000-foot College
Park at Princeton Forrestal Center owned by College Road Associates
One-story buildings lend themselves better to laboratory users with
particular needs such as wet labs and drainage, says Tom Stange of
National Business parks. "You can bring in gases, vent through
the roof, saw cut the floor — and not bother any other tenant."
That big building going up on Route 1 South as you pass
Forrestal Village will be ready for occupancy on August 1. Built by
a Houston-based developer, Dean Patrinely, it will be a handsome 154,000
square feet, made of cast stone, metal, and glass, says Walter F.
Thomas of the Patrinely Group, and all but 20,000 feet has been leased
to Novo Nordisk and ZS Associates. A second building of 70,850 square
feet is scheduled to be finished by April, 2001. It is renting for
$31 plus tenant electric. The land for these buildings was purchased
from Princeton University.
The design was by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates of Manhattan. Construction
is by Konover Swinnerton of Hartford. Peter Hamburger is among the
Cushman Wakefield agents who are doing the leasing.
"By minimizing the width of the building, we have achieved efficient
floorplate and column-free space for efficient tenant use," says
Joe Ruocco of Gwathmey Siegel. A cylindrical atrium/lobby with glass
block clerestory top lighting will be quite spectacular, says Thomas.
Warm-gray metallic panels form the exterior surface of the atrium
and the eastern facade, and provide a contrast to the cast stone material.
A recessed portico faces the expansive lawn and Route 1, while parking
and the main atrium entrance will be in the back. The second building
will be to the north and perpendicular to the first, to create an
expansive lawn on the Route 1 side.
Thomas entered Princeton University with the Class of 1967. He worked
in real estate in San Francisco and Phoenix before joining the Patrinely
Birmingham Corporate Center, 1420 Parkway Avenue.
Available square feet: 67,000, divisible to 5,000.
Stephen M. Segal, Stephen Segal, 609-882-3737. Size:
67,000 feet. Proposed office building.
Princeton Forrestal Center, 750 College Road East.
Aegis Property Group, James A. Kinzig, 609-393-8457.
Building owner: Aegis Property Group and BerwyndGroup. Size of building:
100,000 square feet. New building.
Princeton Forrestal Village, College Road West.
Available square feet: 70,850, Gross rent,$31. Conditions: plus tenant
electric. Approximate per-month cost: $183,029, gross.
Cushman & Wakefield, Peter Hamburger, 201-935-4000.
Building owner: Patrinely Group. Other tenants: Novo Nordisk, ZS Associates.
Size of building: 70,850 square feet. New building.
Epark Princeton, Route 1. Available square feet:
200,000, divisible to 5,000.
Hallbridge Real Estate Group, Suzy Trowbridge/Hal
Hoeland, 609-924-3495. Size of building: 200,000 square feet. State
of art Internet high speed access, good signage, zoning approved.
Trenton Gateway, 526 New York Avenue.
NAI Fennelly, Gerard Fennelly, 609-520-0061. Size
of building: 125,000 square feet. Site good for hotel or office, directly
on Route 1, has existing building, 125,000 square feet proposed, 15.5
Alexander Park, 700 Alexander Park. Available
square feet: 72,000. Gross rent, $29.50. Conditions: plus tenant electric.
Approximate per-month cost: $177,000, gross.
Trammell Crow, Karen Iman, 609-951-0200. Size of
building: 72,000 square feet. Under construction, available December,
Princeton Overlook II, 200 Overlook Center Drive.
Available square feet: 150,000.
Mack-Cali Realty subsidiary, Michael Nevins/Toni
Casiano, 908-272-8000. Size of building: 150,000 square feet. Class
A new construction with potential completion date of second quarter,
Princeton Metro Center, 3 Vaughn Drive. Available
square feet: 98,500.
Mack-Cali Realty subsidiary, Brian Banaszynski,
908-272-8000. Size of building: 98,500 square feet. Class A new construction
with potential completion date of second quarter 2001.
Alexander Commons, 693 Alexander Road. Available
square feet: 27,162, divisible to 1,589. Cost: to be determined.
Compass Realty LLC, , 609-409-2600. Size of building:
47,162 square feet. Available in August. Campus-like setting, three
two-story buildings with common courtyard and 158 parking spaces.
Carnegie Center West. Available square feet: 400,000.
Boston Properties, John K. Brandbergh, 609-452-1444.
400,000 square feet. 10 buildings on the western side of Route 1.
Palladium, Route 1 at Meadow Road.
Steiner Equities Group, Jeffrey Hale, 973-228-5800.
Size of building: 800,000 square feet. 880,000 feet under approval
on 67 acres, adjacent to Carnegie Center with cloverleaf over Route
1 now in site plan review, potential to break ground spring, 2001.
Designed by Hillier Group with T&M Associates as engineers.
Carnegie Center, Canal Pointe Boulevard and Carnegie
Boulevard. Available square feet: 140,000, divisible to 5,000.
Hallbridge Real Estate Group, Suzy Trowbridge/Hal
Hoeland, 609-924-3495. Building owner: Beaverkill Associates. Size
of building: 140,000 square feet. Class A building, cutting edge telecommunications,
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