Corrections or additions?
Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on January 26, 2000. All rights
U.S. 1 Progress Edition 2000
What’s the story with this newspaper anyhow?
Good question, and one that we will try to answer specifically and
Specifically this paper that you hold in your hands is the annual
Progress Edition of U.S. 1., a chance for us to take stock of the
companies that have moved into our region, expanded, started up from
scratch, or simply moved into new and — we hope — better offices.
For now we won’t also burden you with the companies that have closed
their doors, shut down their businesses, or moved onto different and
greener — they hope — pastures. That would be a different issue and
we wouldn’t call it "progress."
This paper is also a chance for some companies to purchase space to
tell their own stories in their own words — those stories, clearly
labeled as U.S. 1 advertising features — appear beginning on
A company’s story, we believe, is an important piece of currency in
the corporate exchequer. The company’s story is what the venture
capital people want to know when they are investing their seed money.
The company’s story is what the investment bankers ask about when they
decide to underwrite an initial public offering. Headhunters,
jobseekers, competitors, partners, and even customers often want to
know the same thing: What’s the story on this company, anyhow?
Most companies, we have discovered, do not have a story to tell. Our
friend Charles Kreitzberg, founder and CEO of Cognetics Inc., made the
point in 1992 regarding large corporate entities: Walk into their
lobbies and ask for a brochure or any other piece of paper describing
the company and its purpose and most often you would get no more than
a blank look. Kreitzberg envisioned an interactive "knowledge base"
with hyperlinks that would enable a person to mine the depths of a
company’s services and products (http://www.cognetics.com)
The relatively small companies that dominate the greater Princeton
landscape do no better. Often their idea of a mission statement is to
say that they offer excellent service at competitive prices or total
solutions in a dynamic market. Our annual progress edition is a
challenge for some of them to say something more about themselves.
So that’s the story with this issue. What’s the story with U.S. 1, the
newspaper? The one-minute answer is that U.S. 1 is the paper that
tells the story of the greater Princeton business community, a
community that had been seen mostly as a problem before U.S. 1 came
along in 1984. Telling that story means telling the story of the 5,000
plus businesses that are part of the community, and the new
technologies and scientific discoveries that are part of that
U.S. 1 believes that the cultural resources of our community —
chronicled in the Preview section that appears in the center of every
paper — are as important to the business community as the labor pool
or the price of housing.
U.S. 1 circulates that content through its weekly newspaper, with
19,000 copies distributed every Wednesday, through its Web page,
http://www.princetoninfo.com, and through its E-mail edition, U.S. 1
That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.
Four of Princeton’s fastest growing business types
can be attributed to three big employers — Princeton University,
Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Merrill Lynch — plus a trio of
firms: Dow Jones, Bloomberg, and McGraw Hill.
This judgment is based on studying a year’s worth of reports from
U.S. 1 about company moves — expansions, start ups, or those
that opened branches in Princeton, those "new in town." What
follows is U.S. 1’s annual big picture summary of these moves,
by a report on commercial real estate that, coincidentally, was
at the same time by Gerard Fennelly of NAI Fennelly
One general category of companies involves computers — including
telecommunications, Internet firms, electronic R&D, and software.
Many of them are located in Princeton specifically because the
is here, and some of them grew out of technologies developed in such
university labs as the optoelectronic lab known as the POEM Center
These companies expanded at a rate disproportionate to their numbers.
Though they represent 10 percent of the business community’s roster,
there were 67 start-ups, expansions, and "new-in-town"
in this category — just under one fourth of the move total. These
figures, taken from U.S. 1 records, exactly mirror those in Fennelly’s
report, which analyzes expansions according to business types and
square feet of absorption (the amount of new space taken).
With 8,000 employees in this part of New Jersey, Bristol-Myers Squibb
is a magnet for start-up companies (http://www.bms.com).
Pharmaceutical and biotech
continued their growth, with five brand new companies, double that
of last year, and with 17 companies moving into this area. Altogether
30 companies were "on the move" in this category, also a
figure. Pharmas and biotechs represent only three percent of the total
number of companies in Princeton, but these categories were
for 10 percent of the total number of moves.
The third most active category was finance, and with
its 3,800 workers in Central New Jersey Merrill Lynch has its own
big expansion projects (http://www.merrill-lynch.ml.com). U.S. 1’s
figures show that 37 other firms
in the financial area expanded or were new, and these moves represent
one-eighth of the total moves. The number of companies expanding —
24 — is double last year’s figure.
Communications companies constitute a niche of their own, led by such
publishing giants as Dow Jones (http://www.djinteractive.com), McGraw
Hill (http://www.mcgraw-hill.com), and Bloomberg
have a total of 3,660 employees. Princeton has nearly 600
companies and their expansions here represent one seventh of the
New communications startups quadrupled over last year, and the number
moving into town (13) more than doubled.
Other categories in the "start-up/new/expansion" slots held
steady from last year. There were 17 "on the move" companies
that have something to do with building, and 13 manufacturing firms,
including new warehouses. A dozen management consultants of varying
sorts showed up in the tally, as did 10 transportation companies.
"We have had four years of considerable growth, and we probably
will get one more year," says Fennelly. "This economic cycle
will help fuel growth in the year 2000," says Fennelly. "A
decent part will be internet telecommunications and software
"We have a well balanced makeup of corporations, so when the
falls, we don’t fall as hard as other markets, and when it rises,
we rise pretty rapidly, because of the spectrum of companies,"
says Fennelly, whose report notes that net absorption in 1999 was
1.3 million square feet, an increase of 200,000 feet over the prior
year. In addition, some 80 percent of the speculative space built
during the recent construction boom in Princeton has been absorbed.
"We have been able to attract businesses, but more important,
we are creating new businesses to fill the pipeline."
Harbingers for the future are the half-dozen E-commerce companies
that defy categories, including an online sales firm
a healthcare information firm (HealthAtoZ.com), a healthcare insurance
firm (onehealthbank.com), an athletic equipment distributor
and a web-based bill presenting company, Secure Commerce Services
(see Fast Lane, http://www.princetoninfo.com/200001/00126f01.txt).
Herewith the scorecard — sorted by business
category — of companies making news in 1999:
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.