50 Barrack St. in Trenton — Courtesy: New Jersey Department of Treasury
By Joshua Burd
State officials are seeking a buyer to revitalize the 10-story, 230,000-square-foot office building in downtown Trenton that was the longtime home of New Jersey’s Division of Taxation.
The Capital City Redevelopment Corp., a state authority, recently issued a request for offers to purchase and redevelop the well-known property at 50 Barrack St. Working on behalf of the Treasury Department, the agency is hoping to lure a developer that will reposition the structure primarily for office use, dangling as much as $4.5 million in potential grant funds for such a project.
Responses are due 12 p.m. Feb. 15, 2022, according to a news release. The state said it will accept a minimum purchase price of $1.79 million, the appraised value of the building.
“With its prime location and promising redevelopment potential, the former Taxation building is ready to be a part of Trenton’s ongoing revitalization,” state Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio said. “This project is a great example of the type of collaboration that was envisioned when Governor Phil Murphy established the State Capital Partnership.”
Created in 2018 by executive order, the partnership is meant to harness state support and resources to spur economic development in Trenton, bringing together state agencies, city officials and Mercer County. Muoio noted that her department has been working with the CCRC, the municipality, the state Economic Development Authority and local stakeholders and “(stands) ready to work with the next occupants to ensure that the rebirth of this building is not only successful, but comports with the overall vision of the many who call Trenton home.”
In soliciting offers, the state touted the building’s views of the Delaware River and its location just steps from the state capitol, adjacent to many of Trenton’s historical and cultural attractions and within walking distance of the Trenton Transit Center. The transportation hub is served by Amtrak, NJ Transit, light rail service and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.
“With its strategic location, redevelopment of the former Taxation building has the potential to uplift downtown Trenton in terms of job creation and the ancillary benefits it will provide for existing downtown businesses,” said Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who serves as commissioner of the state Department of Community Affairs. “We’re pleased to see the State Capital Partnership working exactly as it was intended — harnessing state support to fuel Trenton’s revitalization in a collaborative fashion.”
The CCRC is responsible for planning and promoting development within the Capital District of downtown Trenton, the news release said. State officials say the building is ideally suited for continued office operations, bringing jobs and supporting vibrant activity in the downtown community, adding that they would also welcome complementary uses.
The half-acre property has 40 existing parking spaces located in the on-site garage, along with a substantial amount of furniture that respondents are allowed to bid on, if interested. It’s also located in an area eligible for incentives under the newly implemented New Jersey Economic Recovery Act, including financial and logistical support from the state.
“Trenton’s Capital District has so much to offer, from its flourishing arts scene to its proximity to mass transit and major highways,” CCRC Chair Peter Inverso said. “Part of the CCRC’s mission is to ensure redevelopment in the district benefits the greater Trenton community and furthers our goal of bringing new life into the capital city. This building presents a worthwhile opportunity to bolster our growing business community and be a part of Trenton’s renaissance in the making.”
Treasury will continue to operate and maintain the building while the search for a new owner is underway.