A commercial real estate group is tapping college students for their best ideas on Trenton redevelopment. When members of the NAIOP NJ Chapter meet over dinner and drinks this week, they will hear from students participating in the CRE (Commercial Real Estate) Intercollegiate Case Study Competition about their vision for redeveloping the historic former home of the Roebling Company.

The event will take place Wednesday, April 5, at 5 p.m. in at Pines Manor, 2085 Lincoln Highway, Edison, followed by a buffet dinner. Congresswoman Bonnie Watson-Coleman, Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson, and Greater Trenton CEO George Sowa will speak, and students will give team presentations. Tickets are $195, $125 for members. For more information, visit www.naiopnj.org.

“The student teams did an outstanding job of understanding Trenton, its rich history, the assets and opportunities there, and how to create a vibrant and exciting sense of place for businesses and residents,” said Sowa, CEO of Greater Trenton, a non-profit focused on economic revitalization in Trenton. “Their creative proposals for redeveloping the historic Roebling site truly captured the essence of our Capital City.”

Twenty students from Rutgers, Monmouth, Villanova, and Lehigh will present their insights and share their vision for redeveloping the former Roebling Company site, including seven historical buildings, which the City of Trenton would like to have rehabilitated. Competition site sponsor, Greater Trenton, in coordination with the NJ Schools Development Authority provided access to the former Roebling site for study purposes. Located close to the NJ Transit River Line (light rail), the property used in the case study encompasses the site of the former Roebling Company, where John Roebling moved his fledgling wire rope manufacturing business in 1848.

“This property has great significance to the City of Trenton’s history and that of the nation,” said Mayor Jackson. “Roebling and his sons went on to produce the steel cables that support the Brooklyn Bridge, the George Washington Bridge, and the Golden Gate Bridge.”

The students will present their case studies at the meeting in pursuit of the $5,000 prize. Assemblywoman Elizabeth Muoio; Trenton director of housing and economic development Diana Rogers; Andrew Merin of Cushman & Wakefield; Sowa of Greater Trenton, and Peter Kasabach of NJ Future will judge the competition.

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