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Real Estate Development - State Office Building Project

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To consolidate state employees in the downtown, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) has been tasked with overseeing and financing the State Office Building project, which involves the new construction of two buildings to house the departments of Health Administration, Health Lab, and Taxation.  Below is an overview of the project’s genesis and expected next steps.


In partnership with the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, Division of Property Management and Construction (DPMC), the EDA has proceeded with the site due diligence and design development for two new state office buildings in the City of Trenton to replace three existing obsolete buildings: Health, Agriculture and Taxation.  In 2014, Treasury requested the EDA prepare a Feasibility Study to build on assumptions that were included in a report DPMC had commissioned from Lammey & Giorgio and to recommend the most cost-effective solution for the relocation of the departments that currently occupy the Health, Agriculture and Taxation buildings.  

The Feasibility Study recommended the following: replace the existing Taxation, Health and Agriculture buildings with two new buildings; demolish the existing Health and Agriculture buildings; and, to either demolish, rehabilitate, or sell, through a competitive bid process, the existing Taxation Building at Treasury’s sole discretion.

EDA presented the Feasibility Study to DPMC and the City of Trenton Department of Economic Development and DPMC and the City selected the new construction alternative, which involved new construction of a ±7 story (±175,000 sf) building on an existing State parking lot at the southwest corner of John Fitch Way and North Warren Street, and ±5 story (±135,000 sf) building on an existing State parking lot at the southwest corner of North Willow and West Hanover Streets.  



In 2017, EDA engaged two design and construction teams, HDR and Turner Construction for the Health and Agriculture building and Ballinger and Torcon, Inc. for the Taxation building.  Upon commencing the design development, DPMC requested the following program changes: 
  • The planned Health and Agriculture building was revised to accommodate the relocation of Health employees only, with Agriculture employees backfilling space that is currently vacant or will be made vacant by Health employees (other than the existing Health building);
  • The Taxation building increased from ±175,000 sf to ±200,000 sf. and the proposed occupancy increased from 999 to 1,152 employees;
  • The Health building increased from ±135,000 sf. to ±209,000 sf. and the proposed occupancy increased from 398 to 879;
  • The Taxation building site was moved to immediately in front of the existing Labor building along John Fitch Way; and,
  • Demolition of the existing Taxation was excluded from further consideration at the current time and disposition of the property may be considered under a public request for proposal process.

Interaction with the City, the Capital City Redevelopment Corporation (CCRC), local advocacy groups, and Trenton residents resulted in the following recommendations that were implemented: 
  • Locating the Taxation building closer to downtown; 
  • Eliminating cafeterias from the new building plans to encourage a vibrant streetscape with pedestrian activity, including patronage of local restaurants and services; 
  • Including a local representative on the Arts Inclusion Committee
  • Including as a requirement in the RFP that the architect be familiar with the principles of CCRC’s Urban Code and Design Principals and Standards; 
  • Including as a requirement in the RFP that the architect hold a stakeholder meeting to solicit feedback. 
Interaction with the public, also prompted the inclusion of a non-binding alternative in the RFP to provide a structured parking garage. This is consistent with the City’s Master Plan goals and would facilitate the use of surface parking lots as development pad sites and provide ample parking options for residents and visitors to take advantage of a vibrant downtown. 

project advantages & benefits
  • The planned new buildings are within five-minute walking distance to downtown businesses;
  • Additional State workers would be relocated to Trenton from other Mercer County locations, increasing the local customer base.
  • By eliminating obsolete office space and reducing the square foot per State employee, the project paves the way for future development sites without removing parcels from the City’s tax rolls and without utilizing the valuable, tax-incentivized private development parcels in the City near transit.  
  • A state developer ensures an open and competitive bidding process for consultants and contractors; the inclusion of public artwork; schedule enhancements; a set aside program with established goals for using small business enterprises (25 percent); and, Affirmative Action hiring goals and prevailing wage requirements. 


Phase I 
  • Design Development Completion (excludes construction documents) – Completed September 2017
  • Statehouse Commission Approval – December 7, 2017
  • EDA Budget and Bond Approval – December 12, 2017 
  • Joint State Leasing and Space Utilization Committee Approval – December 18, 2017
  • CCRC Board Meeting – Project Update – December 20, 2017
  • Bond Issuance/Closed on the Sale of Bond (per approved budget) – January 2018

Phase II 
  • Construction Documents – TBD
  • Courtesy Review with the City -- TBD
  • Review of Impact Statement with CCRC – February 21, 2018
  • Construction Phase - TBD
  • Demolition of Health and Agriculture Buildings - TBD
Note: This information will be updated as progress is made and posted to the EDA website via www.njeda.com/StateOfficeBuilding.


Board Memo (12/12/2017) - New Health and Taxation Buildings in Trenton, Mercer County Approval of Comprehensive Development Budget and Site License

Board Memo (12/12/2017) - New Jersey Economic Development Authority State Lease Revenue Bonds (State Government Buildings), Series 2017

Board Memo (2/14/2017) - Selection of HDR Architects & Engineers, P.C., as Architectural/Engineering (A/E) firm of record and Turner Construction Company, as the Construction Manager (CM) of record for the Health/Agriculture Project.

Board Memo (2/14/2017) - Selection of The Ballinger Company, as Architectural/Engineering (A/F) firm of record and Torcon, Inc. as the Construction Manager (CM) of record for the Taxation Project.

Information on benefits for businesses expanding in or relocating to Trenton

Other News in Trenton

NJEDA awards first ever BLI grant (NJBIZ 1/24/2018)
Trenton, New Jersey, Seeks Independent Bookstore  (American Booksellers Association 2/14/2018)
EDA awards $38 million to help linen business expand in Irvington, Trenton (Real Estate NJ 10/13/2017)
Maestro Technologies to turn former First Trenton National Bank building into innovation hub (NJBIZ, 10/20/2017)
HHG Development hosts Roebling Lofts grand opening (NJBIZ, 10/9/2017)
N.J. offers 2 new grant programs to businesses in GSGZs (NJBIZ, 10/5/2017)
Tech company launches new Trenton headquarters (NJ.com 9/21/2017)
'Now is the time' to invest in Trenton, city and state officials say (NJ.com, 10/3/2016)
Realtors' new Trenton headquarters shows city's 'development potential' (NJ.com, 9/15/2016)
100 days in, lofts at wire-rope factory coming along (NJ.com, 7/23/2016)
Trenton company offered $33M in tax credits to stay in N.J. (NJ.com, 6/21/2016)
$33.6M incentive for Trenton company to stay in N.J. 1 of 7 approved by EDA (NJBIZ, 6/15/2016)

Capital City Redeveopment Corporation (CCRC)

Click here to visit CCRC's website