NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — MatrixGroup, one of the Northeast’s most active and well-regarded real estate investment and development companies, announced today that the company was recently honored by PlanSmart NJ with the organization’s prestigious Economic Development Achievement Award.
The award recognized Matrix, along with Robbinsville Township, for the redevelopment of approximately 400 acres, totaling 10 million square feet of development, near the Exit 7A interchange of the New Jersey Turnpike into Northeast Business Park and Matrix Business Park at 7A. The industrial parks have served as an economic boon for Robbinsville and the surrounding region. In total, the project has created more than 4,000 jobs and injected more than $700 million into the New Jersey economy.
“This award once again reinforces the importance and effectiveness of well-executed public-private partnerships,” said Joseph S. Taylor, President and CEO of Matrix Development Group. “Together with Robbinsville Township, we were able to clean up underutilized land and transform it into a major economic driver for the entire region. We are extremely proud that the level of cohesion and coordination involved in Northeast Business Park and Matrix Business Park at 7A is being recognized as a model for redevelopment moving forward.”
The 7A parks broke ground both literally and figuratively in 2000, becoming the first non-residential project to receive an approved General Development Plan in New Jersey, effectively streamlining project approvals. Faced with a litany of environmental and economic challenges, Robbinsville Township utilized a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) program to ease the financial burden of full contamination remediation. The Township also paid upfront utility costs to the site, and transfer of development rights (TDR) was used to preserve eighty acres of surrounding open space. The plan allowed Robbinsville to establish “greenbelts” counteracting the large-scale development, helping to preserve the site’s aesthetic and character.
Offering direct access to both the New Jersey Turnpike and Interstate 195, the 7A parks have been the beneficiary of high leasing and build-to-suit activity. Earlier this year, Matrix secured a 293,000-square-foot lease with S&S Activewear to occupy 16 Applegate Drive, a speculative distribution center at the park. Matrix also signed more than one million square feet of lease transactions at the park, including two leases totaling more than 500,000 square feet with Global Equipment Co., a subsidiary of Systemax, and IDS USA, a subsidiary of Li & Fung Limited. Build-to-suits and land sales in recent years include Ritchie and Page, McKesson Pharmaceuticals, and Falken Tires, to name a few.
“We are very grateful to receive an honor that recognizes the impact that this comprehensive redevelopment project has had onin Robbinsville,” Robbinsville Mayor Dave Fried said. “It underscores all of the hard work put forth by the Township and Matrix to break down development barriers to achieve such an impactful project.”
Matrix’s 7A parks offer a prime location within a Foreign Trade Zone, with direct routes to New York City, Port Elizabeth, Newark Airport, the Philadelphia docks and the Philadelphia airport. Tenants also benefit from robust labor markets near the site, including Mercer County, N.J., and Bucks County, Pa. In total, there are 3.5 million people within commuting distance of the park.
Widely considered the state’s premier land use planning organization, PlanSmart NJ is committed to promoting public policies to strengthen the regional economy, protect the environment and advance racial and economic integration. The organization’s Economic Development Award was one of only six awards presented at its annual dinner on Nov. 14. Other honors included the Regional & Community Planning Award; Outstanding Individual Achievement Award; Environmental Achievement Award; Resource Efficiency Achievement Award; and the Regional Equity Achievement Award.
For more information about PlanSmart NJ, visit http://www.plansmartnj.org/.
Matrix Development Group
Matrix Development Group is a privately held, full-service real estate investment and development company with offices in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The company is active in the commercial, industrial, urban, residential, golf and hospitality markets throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions. Since its founding in 1979, the company has developed real estate valued in excess of $1 billion and has been recognized for its leadership by numerous charitable, community and real estate organizations.
For more information on Matrix Development Group, please contact the company’s Cranbury, N.J., office at 732-521-2900 or visit www.matrixcompanies.com.