1009 Lenox Drive in Lawrenceville — Courtesy: Vision Real Estate Partners
By Joshua Burd
Vision Real Estate Partners is set to welcome another large corporate tenant to its portfolio, following a 90,000-square-foot lease in Lawrenceville with an invoicing and payment software firm.
The developer on Thursday offered new details about the deal with Billtrust, which announced this summer that it would move its headquarters to 1009 Lenox Drive. The company’s new home will be within Princeton Pike Corporate Center, an eight-building 817,000-square-foot campus that has benefited from a multimillion-dollar upgrade by Vision Real Estate Partners.
Newmark Knight Frank Executive Managing Director Steve Tolkach represented the landlord, which provides asset management and operational support for Princeton Pike. Bradford Fenlon, executive managing director with Colliers International, represented Billtrust.
“Our site search for Billtrust involved more than 80 properties in a 30-mile radius,” Fenlon said. “We looked at existing office buildings, build-to-suit opportunities, raw land and adaptive reuse sites.
“Ultimately, 1009 Lenox Drive was the clear top choice.”
Fenlon touted the opportunities for signage on Interstate 95 and expansion potential to nearly double Billtrust’s square footage in the future. He added that “the amenity package at Princeton Pike is unsurpassed by any of its regional competitors,” providing Billtrust with the ability to offer its employees an environment that promotes work-life balance.
Billtrust, a payment cycle management software company founded in 2001, announced in August that it would relocate its headquarters from Hamilton to the 88,759-square-foot space at Princeton Pike. The firm was awarded a 10-year, $12.9 million tax credit package from the Economic Development Authority in connection with a pledge to create 200 jobs and retain 228 existing employees in New Jersey, rather than move to a competing location in Warminster, Pennsylvania.
The company is now consolidating from two leased locations.
“Billtrust is a forward-thinking company focused on its employees, and they recognized the value and quality of this location,” said Sam Morreale, VREP’s founder and managing partner. “We embraced their corporate culture and integrated it with cutting-edge real estate design, providing a functional space that will support their efforts to develop a diverse workforce.”
The Mountain Lakes-based developer took over operations for Princeton Pike early last year. It now oversees a roster of high-profile tenants including Sirius XM Radio, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo Advisors, Stark & Stark, Princeton Healthcare Services, Fox Rothschild LLP and MetLife Solutions Group.
Recent upgrades to the campus include newly renovated lobbies and common areas, outdoor seating, substantially upgraded landscaping and rebranded signage and wayfinding. VREP also cited a network of pedestrian walkways that provides connectivity to the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail and a dedicated recreation area with a professional volleyball court, putting green and other facilities.
An on-site Hilton Garden Inn and restaurant is currently under development, VREP said.
“Millennials and the mature workforce are gravitating towards dynamic workplaces,” said Ross Chomik, managing partner at VREP. “The way the younger generation learned is how they want to earn, so we strive to mirror the way peer universities design synergistic spaces where academics, residential and recreation interact.”
Upgrades to 1009 Lenox Drive, the building that will house Billtrust, include a recently completed atrium with a waterfall feature, plus a renovated café and extended-hours coffee bar. The space also includes multiple seating areas and fitness and conference facilities, while VREP plans to add a basketball court to the recreation area in conjunction with the new lease.
“We are no longer in the office space business,” Morreale said. “We’re creating bright, accessible, sustainable workplaces where inside and outside spaces blend seamlessly into a single environment.”
VREP touted Princeton Pike’s location just minutes from downtown Princeton and equidistance from Manhattan and Philadelphia. The complex also draws tenants whose employees can commute from southeastern Pennsylvania and gives them the ability to draw from the area’s deep, well-educated labor pool.
“It is critical for us to be in the (central New Jersey and Philadelphia) corridor, and this property along with the incentives from the state, made it an easy decision to stay in Mercer County,” said Ed Jordan, chief financial officer at Billtrust. “Our new location and building has everything we need to attract new employees from a deep talent pool while giving our current employees exciting new amenities.”