New Jersey, New Jobs, New Vista

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The Capital Real Estate Group and architects RMJM today unveiled the design for Vista Center, a new LEED-Platinum office tower in Trenton, NJ, which will be the city’s largest commercial development in decades. At a time of economic crisis, this major investment will bring new jobs, revenue and an iconic tower to New Jersey’s capital city. Trenton’s Planning Board unanimously approved the preliminary site plan in late 2008.

Vista Center will be a major catalyst in Trenton’s revitalization, with 300 jobs during construction phases and 2,800 permanent new jobs on build out, according to developer David Brenna. “The City will realize more than $35 million in estimated real estate taxes from Vista Center over 30 years as well as increased demand for housing and retail services,” he said. In addition, estimates from real estate advisors BBPC & Associates indicate the potential for new office workers to spend more than $18 million annually at local businesses. Urban Land Institute studies show that urban center jobs create significant housing demand. The development of Vista Center could spur more than $100 million in new residential construction

Vista Center is a 25-story, 700,000-square-foot Class A office building planned directly adjacent to the Trenton Transit Center, the second busiest train station on New Jersey’s Northeast Corridor, which runs from Boston to Washington. The transit-oriented development will include 12,000-square-feet of ground-level retail, a parking garage for more than 1,140 cars and two public art components—a plaza with a signature sculpture and lobby with a video art installation.

“Vista Center signals a new future for Trenton that will bring new jobs and economic opportunity in a spectacular ‘green’ tower,” Brenna. “The project will enable corporations and partnerships to upgrade to the best workspace available, enjoy incredible rail and highway access for employees, increase worker productivity and reduce occupancy costs to zero as a result of available financial incentives. This is the only project of its kind for companies that qualify.”

The project is targeting a LEED Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council—the highest sustainability rating offered—which would make it the first Platinum office tower located directly at a Northeast Corridor Hub. The Trenton Transit Center, which is the final phase of a $75 million renovation program, is a major hub along the Northeast Corridor, served by NJ Transit, AMTRAK, SEPTA and the NJ Riverline. The combination of four train lines and a location seconds from U.S. Route 1 provide exceptional connectivity to the region’s workforce.

Trenton native Daniel Brenna assembled a world-class development team for the project: In addition to RMJM Hillier serving as architects, Cushman and Wakefield is exclusive office leasing agent; Langan Engineering is the project engineer; Turner Construction Company is serving as construction consultant, and Buro Happold is sustainability engineer.

Trenton Mayor Douglas Palmer said he looks forward to working with the development and leasing team to secure a lead tenant for Vista Center. “Our support of this project and Dan’s intense commitment to realizing this vision will pay off for Trenton and for our residents,” he commented. “Trenton will have the premier office building in the State and will demonstrate how well-conceived plans that incorporate smart growth principles, green design and transit oriented locations can be the key to urban revitalization.”

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