The Federal Reserve raised interest rates in June, signally that government leaders think the economy is gaining strength. The latest hike is being met with mixed responses. Read the full report here.
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.
New to Market: +/-6,798 SF Class A+ Office Space
Suite 250 at 100 PrincetonSouth Corporate Center is now available for lease.
The +/-6,798 SF office space boasts high end finishes: rich wood mixed with modern glass fronts on the offices makes the most of an expansive window line and allows natural light to filter throughout the space.
This suite is a unique opportunity in the 100 Building- taking up an entire end of the building, the footprint produces a layout with an above average number of corner offices for a space of it’s size.
Suite 250 is able to be subdivided- down to 2,000 SF.
If you have any additional questions, please reach out to Aubrey Haines below, by email directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (609.452.0200).
We look forward to seeing you at PrincetonSouth for a tour!
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.
Meeting new Industrial demands: Renovations & Market Shifts
New Jersey’s industrial market has been going through some changes recently. What are they and how did they come about?
This NJBiz article highlights some of the issues with the state’s current warehouse stock and what is being done to change that.
$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”.
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
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?
An Interview with NAIOP’s New President
Clark Machemer, the Rockefeller Group’s senior vice president and regional development officer, was recently announced as NAIOP New Jersey’s new President. He is a 15 year member and previously served as the chapter’s vice president for public affairs.
Choose New Jersey & the EDA Welcome CEOs
Both Choose New Jersey & the Economic Development Authority recently brought on new CEOs: Michele Brown and Melissa Orsen, respectively. Both groups work towards improving the business and economic climate in the state.
Learn more about Choose New Jersey and Michele Brown’s plan for helping the Garden State attract & retain business.
Check out the Economic Development Authority’s role and why Melissa Orsen was the best choice for the position.
30K SF Lease Signed at PSCC: Mercer Oak in the News
This lease brings 100 & 200 PrincetonSouth to 85% occupancy.
For information on remaining space at PrincetonSouth, please see our properties page.
State of Mercer County
County Executive Brian Hughes delivered the State of Mercer County address to 500 local officials & business leaders yesterday at the Hyatt Regency Princeton. What did he have to say about our county? Nj.com covered his speech here.
2014 Commercial Real Estate Recap
2014 is drawing to a close. The coming of the New Year is, naturally, a time of reflection. What did your 2014 hold? We hope a lot of success and fond memories.
What about in our commercial real estate world? NJBiz took some time to recap their biggest real estate stories of 2014. What made their list? Do you have any additions?
We here at Mercer Oak Realty wish you and yours a very enjoyable New Years celebration and a healthy and prosperous 2015!
Archer & Greiner wins award, Ewing’s airport shows its strength & how the town of Princeton extends beyond its borders
Congratulations to our friends at Archer & Greiner!
NJBiz announced their Business of the Year Awards winners last week at their annual event. We are very proud to congratulate our client, Archer & Greiner on being named the Corporate Citizen of the Year for 2014. For a full list of winners, please visit the NJBiz website.
As other regional airports struggle, Ewing’s Trenton-Mercer Airport continues to grow
Last year multiple regional airports made moves- Atlantic City International Airport added more United Airlines flights, Frontier Airlines added a stop in Wilmington, DE and People Express began service out of Newark Liberty International Airport. At the same time, Trenton-Mercer Airport spent $20 million in renovations and reopened to the public with Frontier Airlines. As of now, the Trenton-Mercer addition is the only one left standing- and its not just barely making it, its growing. NJBiz provides more details here.
Princeton is everywhere
If you’re familiar with the area you understand that just because a business, store, or corporate park has “Princeton” in the name does not mean it is actually located in the town of Princeton. Mayors from neighboring towns (whose names often get replaced by “Princeton”) weigh in and add their comments in this nj.com article. Previously this year, the cache attached to the Princeton name and how it effected corporate tenant’s location decisions was discussed also.
If you enjoy our news updates- please consider following us @MercerOakRealty on twitter for more Princeton area & commercial real estate news. Mercer Oak Realty can also be found on Facebook & LinkedIn.
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.
New Jersey construction predicted to increase by 20%
From nj.com story Construction boom coming to N.J. over next two years, business leaders predict:
Business and industry leaders are predicting a construction boom over the next two years in New Jersey.
Construction across the Garden State is forecast to rocket by 20 percent, according to agencies comparing their predictions at the New Jersey Alliance for Action’s 30th annual construction forecast seminar, held this morning at the Edison Hotel and Conference Center.
New Jersey has its first LEED Platinum Industrial Building
It has taken 3 years, but Princetel’s 41,500 square foot repurposing project is finished and just received its LEED Platinum rating, making it the first LEED Platinum industrial building in New Jersey.
LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) is a certification program established by the US Green Building Council that requires buildings to satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of “green” certification. The program supports efforts to promote building practices that have sustainability, health of future occupants, renewable and clean energy use and long-term money savings at the forefront. There are 4 levels of certification: Certified, Silver, Gold & Platinum.
As of August 1, 2014 there are 934 LEED Registered Commercial projects and 343 LEED Certified Commercial projects in the state of New Jersey; Princeton is home to 6 of those. Before this project, Hamilton had 2.
Princetel was founded in Pennington in 2000 and manufactures fiber optic rotary joints. The company moved to Hamilton in 2011 and has doubled its staff since then. CEO Barry Zhang says that the company’s mission is to remain sustainable, and explained that their Hamilton building has turned into a “passion project.”
156,000 sf of retail plans to come to Lawrence
4100 Quakerbridge Road, a 17 acre site south of the Quakerbridge Mall was sold to Costco for $9.4 million this week. Costco’s plans for the site are 156,000 sf worth of retail space including: a liquor store, pharmacy, optical services section, tire sales & installation and a 16 pump gas station- all of which should provide employment to 200 people.
The town became aware of Costco’s interest in the site when the then owner, United States Land Resources of Morristown requested a zoning change for the piece of property, over two years ago. Originally it was zoned for senior housing, but the argument was made that highway commercial would mix well in the area and the planning board approved the change.
This store will be the only Costco in Mercer County.
Buyers & plan remain a unknown, but Congoleum factory in Hamilton, NJ sells
On Wednesday, Hamilton township officials announced that the 1-million square foot Congoleum plant on Sloan Avenue in Hamilton, NJ was sold.
The plant’s location makes it an interesting opportunity to develop. It is situated very close to major highways, creating easy access and also extremely close to the Hamilton Train Station, leading some to wonder if the plan will include attempts to created a mixed-use, rail oriented space.
US1 Covers Sab Russo’s Commercial Real Estate Trends
Sab had a chance to chat with Diccon Hyatt of US1 last week before he gave his presentation at the MIDJersey Chamber’s Breakfast Forum on Thursday the 23rd.
Hyatt not only learned about the booms & busts that would be in Sab’s presentation, but also a little more about Sab himself.
Urban Renewal Without an Urban Center
Urban crawl: After many years, the time is right for towns to create urban pockets where none exists
Urban renewal has worked in Montclair. It has worked in Morristown.
But what can developers and local officials do when they have no urban center to renew?
They can create one.
Steps for Scotch Road
The owners of the property in Hopewell formerly owned by Merrill Lynch have decided to abandon the current zoning, which calls for office use. They are seeking new zoning that would allow a proposed development dominated by multi-family with some retail and 94,000 sf of office (down from 1,000,000+ sf of office). Recently, Bristol-Myers Squibb announced that they would develop a site that they own at I-95 and Princeton Pike for their own use. BMS plans to start construction shortly on a 650,000 sf campus on their 100+ acre property in Lawrenceville. These two developments significantly reduces the potential supply of Class A office sites in the I-95 corridor. This will drive up demand for the remaining I-95 Corridor sites as well as properties along the southern portion of the Route One corridor and will bolster the value of the existing limited supply of existing and proposed Class A space in this submarket.
Mercer Oak Realty Welcomes Vice President
Ewing, NJ – Dawn Stillwell, of Haddon Township, NJ, has joined Mercer Oak Realty, Princeton’s commercial real estate brokerage firm, as vice president, announced Mercer Oak’s CEO, Aubrey Haines, LEED AP.
As Vice President, Stillwell concentrates on business development, strategic planning and team leadership. She researches and pursues leads to bring new clients to the firm and helps to deepen current client relationships. Her management skills also enable her to grow business by strengthening Mercer Oak’s strategic plan, realizing and achieving company goals and increasing day to day productivity within the office.
Stillwell has spent a great deal of her career in sales, working as an Area Sales Manager for the Regus Management Group, which provides executive office space in over 1,800 locations through the world. In 2012, Stillwell sold over $1.9 million in product at Regus, making her one of the top 20 producers in the company. Prior to working for Regus, she worked in retail management, where she generated sales through prospecting and special events, building repeat business and customer loyalty.
“Dawn will bring a new dimension to Mercer Oak. Our team has over 90 years combined commercial real estate experience in the Princeton Office Market. Dawn will help us leverage our market knowledge to reach a wider audience of potential clients”, says Sab Russo, President of Mercer Oak Realty.
Church & Dwight Moves into New HQ Building at PrincetonSouth
Mercer Oak Realty would like to officially welcome Church & Dwight to Princeton South Corporate Center.