Progress Edition: Between the Lines

Progress Edition 2000: Introduction

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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on January 26, 2000. All rights


U.S. 1 Progress Edition 2000

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Progress Edition: Between the Lines

What’s the story with this newspaper anyhow?

Good question, and one that we will try to answer specifically and


Specifically this paper that you hold in your hands is the annual

Progress Edition of U.S. 1., a chance for us to take stock of the

companies that have moved into our region, expanded, started up from

scratch, or simply moved into new and — we hope — better offices.

For now we won’t also burden you with the companies that have closed

their doors, shut down their businesses, or moved onto different and

greener — they hope — pastures. That would be a different issue and

we wouldn’t call it "progress."

This paper is also a chance for some companies to purchase space to

tell their own stories in their own words — those stories, clearly

labeled as U.S. 1 advertising features — appear beginning on


A company’s story, we believe, is an important piece of currency in

the corporate exchequer. The company’s story is what the venture

capital people want to know when they are investing their seed money.

The company’s story is what the investment bankers ask about when they

decide to underwrite an initial public offering. Headhunters,

jobseekers, competitors, partners, and even customers often want to

know the same thing: What’s the story on this company, anyhow?

Most companies, we have discovered, do not have a story to tell. Our

friend Charles Kreitzberg, founder and CEO of Cognetics Inc., made the

point in 1992 regarding large corporate entities: Walk into their

lobbies and ask for a brochure or any other piece of paper describing

the company and its purpose and most often you would get no more than

a blank look. Kreitzberg envisioned an interactive "knowledge base"

with hyperlinks that would enable a person to mine the depths of a

company’s services and products (

The relatively small companies that dominate the greater Princeton

landscape do no better. Often their idea of a mission statement is to

say that they offer excellent service at competitive prices or total

solutions in a dynamic market. Our annual progress edition is a

challenge for some of them to say something more about themselves.

So that’s the story with this issue. What’s the story with U.S. 1, the

newspaper? The one-minute answer is that U.S. 1 is the paper that

tells the story of the greater Princeton business community, a

community that had been seen mostly as a problem before U.S. 1 came

along in 1984. Telling that story means telling the story of the 5,000

plus businesses that are part of the community, and the new

technologies and scientific discoveries that are part of that


U.S. 1 believes that the cultural resources of our community —

chronicled in the Preview section that appears in the center of every

paper — are as important to the business community as the labor pool

or the price of housing.

U.S. 1 circulates that content through its weekly newspaper, with

19,000 copies distributed every Wednesday, through its Web page,, and through its E-mail edition, U.S. 1

Sneak Preview.

That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.

Top Of Page
Progress Edition 2000: Introduction

Four of Princeton’s fastest growing business types

can be attributed to three big employers — Princeton University,

Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Merrill Lynch — plus a trio of


firms: Dow Jones, Bloomberg, and McGraw Hill.

This judgment is based on studying a year’s worth of reports from

U.S. 1 about company moves — expansions, start ups, or those


that opened branches in Princeton, those "new in town." What

follows is U.S. 1’s annual big picture summary of these moves,


by a report on commercial real estate that, coincidentally, was


at the same time by Gerard Fennelly of NAI Fennelly


One general category of companies involves computers — including

telecommunications, Internet firms, electronic R&D, and software.

Many of them are located in Princeton specifically because the


is here, and some of them grew out of technologies developed in such

university labs as the optoelectronic lab known as the POEM Center


These companies expanded at a rate disproportionate to their numbers.

Though they represent 10 percent of the business community’s roster,

there were 67 start-ups, expansions, and "new-in-town"


in this category — just under one fourth of the move total. These

figures, taken from U.S. 1 records, exactly mirror those in Fennelly’s

report, which analyzes expansions according to business types and

square feet of absorption (the amount of new space taken).

With 8,000 employees in this part of New Jersey, Bristol-Myers Squibb

is a magnet for start-up companies (

Pharmaceutical and biotech


continued their growth, with five brand new companies, double that

of last year, and with 17 companies moving into this area. Altogether

30 companies were "on the move" in this category, also a


figure. Pharmas and biotechs represent only three percent of the total

number of companies in Princeton, but these categories were


for 10 percent of the total number of moves.

The third most active category was finance, and with

its 3,800 workers in Central New Jersey Merrill Lynch has its own

big expansion projects ( U.S. 1’s

figures show that 37 other firms

in the financial area expanded or were new, and these moves represent

one-eighth of the total moves. The number of companies expanding —

24 — is double last year’s figure.

Communications companies constitute a niche of their own, led by such

publishing giants as Dow Jones (, McGraw

Hill (, and Bloomberg

(, which

have a total of 3,660 employees. Princeton has nearly 600


companies and their expansions here represent one seventh of the


New communications startups quadrupled over last year, and the number

moving into town (13) more than doubled.

Other categories in the "start-up/new/expansion" slots held

steady from last year. There were 17 "on the move" companies

that have something to do with building, and 13 manufacturing firms,

including new warehouses. A dozen management consultants of varying

sorts showed up in the tally, as did 10 transportation companies.

"We have had four years of considerable growth, and we probably

will get one more year," says Fennelly. "This economic cycle

will help fuel growth in the year 2000," says Fennelly. "A

decent part will be internet telecommunications and software


"We have a well balanced makeup of corporations, so when the


falls, we don’t fall as hard as other markets, and when it rises,

we rise pretty rapidly, because of the spectrum of companies,"

says Fennelly, whose report notes that net absorption in 1999 was

1.3 million square feet, an increase of 200,000 feet over the prior

year. In addition, some 80 percent of the speculative space built

during the recent construction boom in Princeton has been absorbed.

"We have been able to attract businesses, but more important,

we are creating new businesses to fill the pipeline."

Harbingers for the future are the half-dozen E-commerce companies

that defy categories, including an online sales firm


a healthcare information firm (, a healthcare insurance

firm (, an athletic equipment distributor


and a web-based bill presenting company, Secure Commerce Services

(see Fast Lane,

Herewith the scorecard — sorted by business

category — of companies making news in 1999:

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