A rendering of office space at Building 110 at Roebling Center in Trenton — Courtesy: Hx2 Development/Clarke Caton Hintz
By Joshua Burd
A consulting firm is moving its headquarters to a historic industrial campus in Trenton, marking a milestone for the city and for the developer that is repurposing the property.
The tenant, Princeton Hydro, is leasing 9,000 square feet at the former Roebling Center complex, where Hx2 Development is creating a mixed-use destination that already includes 138 loft apartments. The water resources engineering and natural resources management practice will relocate to the site from Hunterdon County, occupying part of a long-vacant, brick and timber building along Route 129 that will be transformed into three floors of loft-style office space.
Construction is underway, Hx2 said, with Trenton-based Clarke Caton Hintz overseeing the adaptive reuse of the 100,000-square-foot space. Move-in is slated for next January.
“From restoring ecosystems and improving the water quality to providing sound geotechnical engineering and designing for resiliency, we are passionate about our mission and the services we provide,” said Geoffrey Goll, president of Princeton Hydro, which is currently based in the Ringoes section of East Amwell. “With so much character and opportunity, our new space will enable us to increase our regional reach and partner with more clients that share our values.
“After looking at many properties, we fell in love with this space. It is the perfect mix of character, history and location, and it fulfills our desire to be a part of the revitalization of the city of Trenton. We’re excited to meet our new neighbors and look forward to getting involved with the local community.”
Roby Bull of JLL represented the developer, while William Barish of Commercial Property Network represented the tenant.
In a news release, Hx2 said the move will bring more than 30 jobs to Trenton, while bringing new life to a building that has been empty for more than 25 years. The developer noted that its work at the five-building former Roebling Steel complex has received enormous support and encouragement from the city and Greater Trenton, an economic development organization.
The office project at what’s known as Building 110 would follow an initial phase, completed in 2018, which resulted in the 138-unit Roebling Lofts apartment building.
“We’re very excited Princeton Hydro has picked the Capital City as its new home and look forward to seeing this historic site reclaim its status as a bustling center of commerce and ingenuity,” Mayor W. Reed Gusciora said. “We hope this is one of many new businesses looking to take advantage of Trenton’s unique combination of historic architecture, transportation routes, cultural amenities and proximity to government agencies.”
For its part, Princeton Hydro was formed in 1998 with the mission of providing integrated ecological and engineering consulting services, the news release said. The firm offers expertise in natural resource management, water resources engineering, geotechnical design and investigation and regulatory compliance throughout the Northeast.
“It’s great to work with a client like Princeton Hydro, with their strong commitment to sustainability, collaborative and innovative workspaces and new technologies,” said John Hatch, a principal with Clarke Caton Hintz. “Their new offices are going to be extraordinary!”
Hx2 Managing Principal David Henderson added: “We are very excited to welcome this regionally prominent consulting firm to Roebling Center and to Trenton. In Building 110, we are providing this unique firm with unique space that has extraordinary historic character, including heavy timber structure, huge windows, skylights and wonderful brickwork as well as state-of-the-art building systems and exciting finishes.”
George Sowa, CEO of Greater Trenton, said Princeton Hydro’s decision was a testament to the city’s transportation network, convenient location and its history and architecture.
“This move represents a wonderful partnership between a professional firm with big ideas and commitments, the hard work of city staff, and Greater Trenton’s assistance with marketing and logistics,” Sowa said. “This is a win-win for all involved and we are excited to welcome Princeton Hydro to Trenton!”