Billtrust, a provider of outsourced billing services, has announced plans to move its headquarters to Lawrence, just 5 miles from its current home in Hamilton, after receiving more than $12 million in tax credits from the state.
2016 Princeton Office Market Report
Mercer Oak Realty, Princeton Property Partners & Princeton Property Management are proud to present our 2016 Market Report (click to download). This year’s report highlights trends from 2015, what 2016 could hold, how New Jersey’s economy is doing at the moment and a look back on our 2015 predictions.
Hot topics include:
New Landlord in the Princeton Market
If you enjoy the content in our Market Report and/or have an interest in the Central New Jersey Real Estate Market- please join us this coming Thursday morning for the Central Jersey Real Estate forecast, held at the Hyatt Regency in Princeton.
Small Business Owners in Philly Metro are Excited about 2016
Sixty-two percent of respondents to the Small Business Pulse Check conducted by TD Bank said they were “optimistic” or “excited” about 2016 and the overwhelming majority of the small business owners who responded indicated that they would close out 2015 strong, most of which expected to meet or exceed their annual revenue goals.
New Jersey Business reports on the findings of this survey, including local company’s thoughts on local taxes, legislation, hiring patterns, and a number of other small business factors. Read the full report here.
Scudder Falls Bridge Improvements to Begin
Preparation work has begun for the Scudder Falls Bridge construction project slated to begin in 2017. The bridge connects Bucks Co, PA & Mercer Co, NJ. A bottleneck during commute hours on I-95, the span (built in 1959) was recently deemed “functionally obsolete” and is long due for upgrades. Commuters and businesses in both Mercer County and Bucks County will benefit from the work done on the Scudder Falls. Read more about the project on nj.com.
2016 Central Jersey Real Estate Forecast
The 3rd annual Central Jersey Real Estate Forecast breakfast will be taking place on Thursday, January 28th.
This year promises to be a thoughtful and interesting event and will feature keynote speaker Michele Brown, President & CEO of Choose New Jersey. Mercer Oak Realty’s CEO Aubrey Haines will join the panel, along with Jud Henderson of Sotheby’s, Sharbell’s Tom Troy and Tom Gates from Mortgage Master.
In addition to the panel’s economic and real estate predictions for the New Year, Ms. Brown will be giving an update on the incentives currently available to attract and retain businesses in New Jersey.
We hope to see you there!
Details: 2016 Central Jersey Real Estate Forecast Breakfast
When: Thursday, January 28th 2016
Where: Hyatt Regency Princeton
How many office buildings come with high end Italian food?
Recently, Susan Sprague Yeske visited Settimo Cielo, an Italian restaurant located in a corporate building that Mercer Oak Realty represents: 2445 Kuser Road and documented her experience in the Times of Trenton. Settimo Cielo began as a Trenton location, and to meet the requests of customers who wanted another option for dinner and weekend dining opened up the second location in Hamilton.
Along with a responsive and engaged landlord, Class A finishes and convenient location, Settimo Cielo helps to provide a strong amenity package at 2445 Kuser Road. Learn more about Susan’s experience and what Settimo Cielo has to offer in the article on nj.com, found here.
Financial Website Ranks Princeton Best Small City in America
Princeton recently received more national recognition: the “Overall Best” spot in a ranking of small cities in the US. In October, Princeton was also named the “Best College Town to Live in”. Both of these distinctions were presented by financial websites, wallethub.com and smartasset.com, respectively.
To learn more about the categories included in the decision and details on how Princeton ranked, please read the nj.com article here.
Congratulations to JZA+D’s Partners!
The Partners of Princeton based integrated design firm Joshua Zinder Architecture + Design, Joshua Zinder & Marlyn Zucosky, have been selected the Entrepreneurs of the Year by the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The Sustainable Office: A peek into the modern changing office
The panel discussion, along with breakfast & networking, was held at the Springdale Golf Club in downtown Princeton.
Featured speakers included Brian Marrs (Manager, Policy & Strategic Sustainability) & Bill Walsh (Director of Corporate Facilities) at NRG Energy and our friend Marlyn Zucosky (Partner & Director of Interior Design) at Joshua Zinder Architecture + Design.
Mr. Marrs & Mr. Walsh excitedly shared a sneak peak of what NRG’s new Princeton building, located on Route 1 in Carnegie Center, will include. The 130,000 sf building will serve as NRG’s new headquarters and is a mix of sustainable design elements for the sake of the environment and also experiments of NRG initiatives. Learn more about all of the features of the project on NRG’s website, here.
Ms. Zucosky discussed trends they are currently seeing in office space design: layouts that allow for more natural light into the center of the floor plan, open work spaces, huddle areas, game room and other elements to attract Millennials to companies. Mr. Walsh commented that many of the trends JZA+D has been noticing are in fact being employed within the new NRG building. Check out some of JZA+D’s projects here.
$120M public-private development partnership nears completion
The College of New Jersey and PRC Group took on the challenge of creating Campus Town, a $120 million mixed use development project, in Ewing, NJ.
Campus town will include 612 upscale apartments for students and also a 11,400 sf fitness center, restaurants (such as Panera Bread, Mexican Mariachi Grill and more) and retailers (Barnes & Noble/Starbucks and more) open to both the students and the public. It will also be an attractive amenity package for workers who spend their days in the 1 million square feet of office space less than a mile away on the I-95 Corridor.
The project will create a richer environment for the students, but will also be a boon to the community as well, creating what Curt Heuring, VP for Administration of TCNJ, calls the “perfect interaction space” for both groups.
For more details please read the full story here.
What Ewing Business is Getting a $2.125M Boost?
The Trenton-Mercer Airport, located in Ewing, NJ, will be receiving $2.125 million as part of a state grant program specifically created to add value to New Jersey’s airports through improvement projects. County Executive Brian Hughes says “I think this recognizes that the Trenton-Mercer Airport is of regional importance.”
The Trenton-Mercer Airport is home to Frontier Airlines, who has flown out of Ewing since 2012.
Companies Want Quality
The Princeton market is seeing a trend- companies moving to new space not because they need to expand, or shrink- but because they want an upgrade. Current building stock, an uptick in the economy in general and the need to create a work environment that will attract quality talent are all helping to herd companies toward higher quality buildings. Landlords with lower rental rates are helping, too.
Glut, defunct & stranded: What do these words describe?
NJBiz uses these words (in the article linked below) to describe suburban corporate campuses in New Jersey- with enough combined square footage to fill five Empire State Buildings.
PlanSmart NJ has taken on the task of developing a “toolkit” of sorts for municipalities to begin to deal with the 14.5 million square feet of vacant, obsolete office and/or lab space in 94 of the state’s largest (over 200K sf) buildings. These campuses that dot New Jersey’s suburban landscape are often referred to as “stranded assets” and will need some creative thinking to reposition them.
“We’re looking at it holistically — that this is an economic development project, it’s an environmental protection project, it’s a resource efficiency project,” said Ann Brady, PlanSmart NJ’s executive director. “We think there’s a lot of opportunity with these sites, to better connect them to the greater community, to use the infrastructure that’s already there, so we’re directing growth to areas where there’s already existing infrastructure.”
Oftentimes municipalities fear redevelopment, rezoning and mixed-use projects. PlanSmart NJ “hopes to frame the issue by quantifying the problem” with “a major two-year research project that will compile data on vacancy, demographics, property tax appeals and other metrics related to the sites, with the aim of creating a guidebook for local officials and sparking a policy change that could help them find new life as mixed-use assets”.
Two new incentives deals for Mercer County
Who: TRAC Intermodal
Currently located at: 211 College Road East, Plainsboro & 2 Independence Way, South Brunswick
Will consolidate to: 750 College Road East, Plainsboro
Size: 82,000 sf
Lease term: 10 years, 9 months
Incentive amount: $9.8 million
Who: LMT Mercer Group
Currently located at: 690 Puritan Ave, Lawrence
Will build at new location at: New York Ave & Strawberry St, Trenton
Size: 90,000 sf
Incentive amount: $1.55 million
Mercer County Leaders Meet for Roundtable Discussion
Leaders from 6 Mercer County towns came together to discuss their individual priorities and the future success of New Jersey as a whole.
Popular topics of conversation included the NJ Transportation Trust Fund, walkable communities and NRG Energy’s new building in the breakfast hosted last week by the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce.
West Windsor Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh, Princeton Mayer Liz Lempert, Pennington borough administrator Eileen Heinzel, Hopewell Township Mayor Harvey Lester, Hopewell Borough Mayor Paul Anzano and East Windsor Mayor Janice Mironov were in attendance for the roundtable talk.
Will more mixed-use projects find homes in central New Jersey?
The phrase “mixed-use” has been around for a long time, but seems to be growing more prominent in conversations, news articles and online discussions each day. We’ve mentioned a few mixed-use projects in this news section in the past and have had many conversations in the office voicing different viewpoints and imagining possibilities for here in Mercer County.
We can point to a few examples of existing mixed-use environments in our backyard: downtown Princeton (Mercer Co, NJ) and Lambertville and New Hope (Hunterdon Co, NJ and Bucks Co, PA, respectively) that have been around for a long time and are very successful at being what mixed-use plans hope to be: any urban, suburban or village development (even a single building) that blends a combination of residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, or industrial uses where those functions are physically and functionally integrated, and that provides pedestrian connections. Mixed-use has had a variety of exact definitions over the years and still gets used in different ways from time to time- if you are interested in digging a little deeper, this article provided by Placemakers is a good place to start to understand the nuances.
We recently attended the Princeton Chamber of Commerce’s REBA (Real Estate Business Alliance) breakfast event (Bringing Positive Change to the Princeton Region) that was centered around planning concepts that would attract millennials and empty nesters to the Princeton/Mercer region- in particular Trenton. The mixed-use concept was spoke about at length- looking at demographics and trends around the country for the targeted age groups and considering how to apply them to our backyard.
Here is an article about the sale of a long vacant building in Hightstown that hints that a mixed-use redevelopment may be in the cards. An article from earlier in the month follows the possible redevelopment of the Ocean Spray site in Bordentown into a possible “gateway into town” mixing loft style office space and possibly a brewery, yoga studio, etc.
What does this mean for the real estate landscape in Mercer County (commercial, residential, retail, industrial)? Do you see this type of project taking hold and changing our area? Or is this another fad that will pass?