Consumer products company Church & Dwight Co. Inc. said it was on the hunt for space for a new headquarters location or an expansion of its existing headquarters in Princeton.
"We're definitely on the market looking for space," said Matt Farrell, chief financial officer of the company, one of largest employers in the Mercer County municipality.
"Our head count has been growing at Princeton," where about 750 employees currently occupy several buildings on an office campus at 469 N. Harrison St., he said. "There isn't enough space in our current location to accommodate growth over a longer-term period."
Farrell declined to specify which locations Church & Dwight was considering, but said "it makes sense to stay in the Princeton vicinity," where many of the company's employees are based.
Real estate insiders said Church & Dwight was looking at build-to-suit opportunities in the 200,000- to 250,000-square-foot range in Princeton, but Farrell declined to comment. He said the company was likely to make a decision on a new site sometime in the next 12 months.
Church & Dwight was approved by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority for a $10 million Business Retention and Relocation Assistance Grant, as well as a $2 million Business Employment Incentive Program grant, on March 8. In its application, the company had said it was considering moving its headquarters to Bucks County, Pa.
Sleepless over American Dream
Negotiations over American Dream Meadowlands went right up to the night before the press conference announcing a deal over the retail/entertainment complex, making it difficult for Triple Five to announce tenants at the event, according to a source familiar with the agreement.
Negotiations to finalize a contract had been ongoing for months, limiting Triple Five's ability to sign tenants, according to the source. With a public agreement that provides $200 million in state financing in place, Triple Five will have more credibility than previous developers, Mills Corp. and Colony Capital, to line up new tenants and complete the project.
Can't hear Thunder in Newark
The city of Newark and Oklahoma City Thunder dismissed a May 9 Grapevine report that the NBA team had made inquiries about a possible move to the Prudential Center when the Nets move to Brooklyn.
It's "100 percent wrong and untrue," said Dan Mahoney, vice president of corporate communications for the Thunder. "Of all the teams who might think of moving, it's not the Oklahoma City Thunder."
A Newark spokeswoman said neither Mayor Cory Booker nor Stefan Pryor, deputy mayor for economic development were aware of the inquiries.
Doctors high on Downs
New Jersey doctors will be talking about Larry Downs, who this past weekend became CEO of the Medical Society of New Jersey. Downs had been the society's general counsel, and succeeds the retiring Michael T. Kornett. Downs, a Rutgers Law School-Camden alum, got the nod in New Brunswick at the annual meeting of the Medical Society of New Jersey, where Dr. Niranjan (Bonki) Rao succeeded Dr. Donald Cinotti as president of the society.
Business owners are saying their firms are weaker now than in the first quarter of 2010, according to a managing partner at a large regional accounting firm.
"They just don't feel aggressive about investing (in capital purchases) or in hiring in this economy," the CPA said. "It's across the board, from construction to consumer products companies. You'd figure that things would still be slow, but not down from a year ago."
Part of the reason could be that high gas prices are sucking up money that customers normally would spend on other goods or services, the source said.
Fording the river
New Jersey's proximity to New York and relatively low commercial lease prices have historically made the Garden State an attractive place for venture capital-funded startups. But the recent recession pounded New York rents, eroding New Jersey's competitive advantage, says a well-placed financial provider who's done a lot of work with startups.
But don't count the state out, the source cautioned. As the economy recovers, New York rents are likely to rise, once again making New Jersey the bargain state.
Grapevine reports on the behind-the-scenes buzz in the business community. Contact Editor Sharon Waters at email@example.com.