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.
How are NJ’s incentives doing?
We’ve posted a lot about New Jersey’s current incentive packages aimed at both retaining current jobs and businesses within the state’s borders and also attempting to attract new businesses and jobs.
There are both fans and critics of these programs, as with most things. In an attempt to get an unbiased answer on whether or not these incentive packages are doing their job- Rutgers University has been given the task of figuring just that out and will start researching and releasing reports in the next 3 years.
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
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?
2015 Market Report & Real Estate Forecast
At 7:30 am on Thursday January 29th over 230 Princeton area professionals gathered in the Hyatt Regency Princeton to hear a panel of three local experts present their outlooks for Princeton’s 2015 real estate market. The 2nd annual Real Estate Forecast saw a 50% increase in attendance from last year.
Mercer Oak Realty’s Aubrey Haines presented the company’s Princeton Office Market Report, recounting that 2014 had been a year of significant activity and continued growth for the area.
Haines also spoke at length about the supply constraint that will be seen in the market as absorption rates have been steady and there has been little to no speculative construction of new office buildings. He highlighted larger deals that had been done in the market and also touched on evolving company culture and employee’s expectations of their work and living environments. “These changes will play a significant role in the type of space companies choose to reside in in the coming years. The Princeton market’s shortage of large available spaces and the updated work place demands make build-to-suit options very attractive.” Haines commented.
The event was hosted by the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce’s REBA (Real Estate Business Alliance) and in addition to Aubrey Haines, the panel included Judson Henderson of Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty, Francis Keene from PNC Wealth Management and was moderated by Tom Gates of Mortgage Master.
Henderson covered Princeton’s residential real estate market and Keene spoke on the current economy. Attendees had a chance to ask the panel questions and a lively discussion ensued ranging from qualities of the Princeton market that makes it so attractive to office tenants to residential buying trends in specific Mercer County submarkets.
You can download the 2015 Princeton Office Market Report here. If you’d like to receive a hard copy, please call (609.452.0200) or email (email@example.com) us.
Glaxo loses jobs, Camden gains a headquarters & sustainable offices evolve
GlaxoSmithKline’s looming job cuts
Earlier this fall it became known that GlaxoSmithKline, British drugmaker, was planning a restructuring of their U.S. operations over the next three years. GSK plans to eliminate $1.57 billion in annual expenses. Details began to surface early this week (read more on njbiz.com) and fears that some of the jobs located in the Parsippany office would be lost began to grow. Once Wednesday rolled around, GSK had announced that there would be significant (upwards of 900 jobs) cuts from North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park and consolidations would happen in Philadelphia offices, with no firm news on New Jersey jobs(details at philly.com).
Camden’s mystery company revealed
Monday morning brought us news from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority: $100 million more incentives and 1,000 jobs were heading to Camden. (full story at Philadelphia Business Journal) At the time, there was no official disclosure of what company would be creating those jobs, although there were suspicions about who it could be. Suspicions were confirmed today when Subaru announced that they would be moving to the Campbell Gateway district. (follow-up article from the Philadelphia Business Journal with new information)
Expanding definition of sustainability
Generally, when one thinks of sustainable practices in office buildings green roofs, rainwater collection and solar panels come to mind. While these are all helpful, companies are finding different ways to be more green. Wyndham Worldwide has a headquarters campus in Parsippany that is prime example on the evolution of a company’s sustainability policy. (learn about it on njbiz.com here)
Ground Breaking on Route 1, Tax Credits to Cash & Princeton REIT CEO Steps Down: This Week in Central NJ
Ground Breaking on Route 1
NRG Energy, a power generation and retail electricity business, broke ground on its new 130,000 sf Headquarters this week in West Windsor. NRG currently occupies about 90,000 sf in the Princeton market- in 2 buildings. $37.5 million in tax incentives are helping the company consolidate and move less than a mile across Route 1, where the new, environmentally sustainable facility will feature a living wall, 2 solar panel fields, rainwater collection, wind turbines, electric vehicle charging stations (along with a myriad of other green features) and house 540 employees; 386 of which are existing and about 150 will be new.
NRG CEO, David Crane made the following statement during his remarks at the ceremony: “None of us will have a full appreciation of this new building until it’s fully built and outfitted and occupied. At that point, I think we will really recognize that it’s not just another suburban office spot, but rather a living and breathing organism that hopefully every day will inspire its inhabitants to accomplish great and important things.”
Is this a taste of what is to come in the Princeton market? Read the full story on the NRG Groundbreaking here, on nj.com.
Tax Credits to Cash
The New Jersey Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer (NOL) Program allows companies to sell NJ tax losses and/or research and development tax credits to unaffiliated, profitable corporate taxpayers in the State. Advantix, a biochemical company based in Princeton, announced its preliminary approval for a $1.9 million 2014 tax credit that it plans to transfer to $1.7 million in cash. Get the details on njbiz.com, here.
Princeton REIT CEO Steps Down
Chambers Street Properties Founder, CEO & President Jack Cuneo announced that he is retiring. Chambers Street Properties is a real estate investment trust in Downtown Princeton and was founded in 2004. The company is currently seeking a replacement. Njbiz.com has a full write-up on this announcement.