South Jersey Technology Park unveils conceptual plans Names Ueland Junker McCauley Nicholson architect for first building—the Innovation Center

The Board of Directors of the South Jersey Technology Park at Rowan University on June 9 unveiled conceptual plans for the Innovation Center, the 45,000-square-foot first Technology Park building, for which ground will be broken in the fall.

“This is an exciting stage in the development of the Technology Park,” said Dr. Donald Farish, president of Rowan University and a member of the board of directors. “The conceptual plans provide a clear picture of the possibilities we have been envisioning from the start: a building that will provide wonderful facilities for research and development, a place for emerging and established businesses that want to call South Jersey home.”

The plans were developed by Ueland Junker McCauley Nicholson (UJMN), the Philadelphia-based firm that will be lead architect for the Innovation Center, which will be constructed at of Rts. 322 and 55 in Mantua Township.

UJMN is an award-winning architectural design firm with special expertise in the design of educational facilities, including science and technology laboratories. Since its founding in 1967, UJMN has achieved national recognition and received numerous design awards. A member of the Society for College and University Planning, the firm includes among its educational clients Villanova University, the University of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania State University, Seton Hall University and the University of Delaware.

“Retaining an architect is a major step toward the vision of the South Jersey Technology Park becoming a reality,” said Mel Baiada, vice chair of the Technology Park board and partner, Basecamp Ventures, Moorestown. “The board of directors is pleased with the progress the Technology Park administration is making and with the depth of experience Ueland Junker McCauley Nicholson brings to this effort.”

Designed to provide competitively priced, state-of-the-art facilities for start-up and established companies to bring innovative technologies to the marketplace, the Technology Park is expected to be a focal point for regional economic growth as it facilitates science and technology initiatives.

“Rowan University’s technology park will help the region transition from a manufacturing-based economy to one that is more technology based and entrepreneurial,” said Congressman Rob Andrews (D, Dist 1). “We have seen the model work time and again across the country. Companies that partner with universities through technology centers grow and tend to spin off new companies.  For South Jersey, this will translate into more jobs, higher-paying jobs and a business base that takes us well into the future.”

The newest university research park in New Jersey, the Technology Park is a public/private partnership that has received support from numerous organizations and individuals, including the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the Rowan University Foundation, the Delaware River and Bay Authority, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and the County of Gloucester.

“The creation of a technology center at Rowan is one of the most critical projects underway in our county and for that matter the region,” said Stephen Sweeney, state senator (D, Dist. 3) and chair of the Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders. “It will give us the competitive advantage needed to convince companies to relocate to Gloucester County.”

Developer for the project is Lincoln Property Company, Philadelphia. Engineering firm Pennoni Associates Inc., Haddon Heights and Philadelphia, is handling civil engineering work for the project.  UJMN partner Robert W. McCauley, AIA, will be the lead architect on the Technology Park Innovation Center. He directs the firm’s architectural and planning projects for colleges and universities and is an active member of the Society for College and University Planning.

Ground is expected to be broken in fall 2005 for the Technology Park’s infrastructure. Construction of the Innovation Center is expected to begin in spring 2006. Cost for the infrastructure and building is projected at approximately $11 million.

DRBA commits $5 million to Tech Park

The Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) Commissioners unanimously approved $5 million in funding for the South Jersey Technology Park at Rowan University. The funding will be used to construct a 45,000-square-foot building on the Tech Park campus. The facility will accommodate academic and private sector research and development programs and provide the resources necessary to incubate small for-profit technology start-up companies.

“The South Jersey Technology Park has a number of advantages—situated near major highways; access to a skilled, talented labor market; and devoted advocates with a vision to improve the regional economy,” said Dr. Warren S. Wallace, vice chairman of the DRBA. “The mix of academia, research and development tools and technology incubation are the necessary ingredients to provide an atmosphere conducive for innovative and cutting-edge technological advancements that will create jobs.”

“My administration is working to make New Jersey the best place in the nation for scientific and medical research,” New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey said. “The South Jersey Technology Park is an exciting part of that plan. The partnership between Rowan University and private sector researchers will help new high-tech companies get started; it will create good-paying jobs; and it will speed innovations from the lab to the marketplace. All of that will breed even greater success for New Jersey’s strong and growing economy.”

The University will repay the DRBA loan using fees charged to companies leasing space at the Technology Park. “We are pleased to have the Delaware River and Bay Authority’s confidence in this project. We should be able to have architectural plans in place and break ground within 8 months and have the building open approximately a year after that,” said Dr. Donald Farish, president of Rowan University.

Through its economic development powers, DRBA manages corporate and aviation properties—two airports in New Jersey (Millville Airport and Cape May Airport) and three in Delaware (New Castle Airport, Civil Air Terminal and Delaware Airpark). All DRBA operating revenues are generated through the bridge, ferry and airport facilities.

Entrepreneurial Forum launched in South Jersey

With the goal of promoting a more entrepreneurial environment in the South Jersey region, Rowan University, Rutgers University and area business and industry leaders have formed the Entrepreneurial Forum of Southern New Jersey, Inc. This not-for-profit organization will work to foster the development of entrepreneurial ideas and ventures, as well as strive to improve the success rate of emerging, growth-oriented companies.

The Forum will focus on meeting the needs of entrepreneurs, businesses and educational institutions throughout the South Jersey region and primarily will serve Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean and Salem counties.

According to Dr. K. Mark Weaver, Forum coordinator and Rohrer Chair of Entrepreneurial Studies at Rowan University, Glassboro, N.J., “South Jersey is a dynamic region, but historically it has not had an emerging growth, entrepreneurially based economy. Because of that, there never has been an adequate support infrastructure to nurture and develop such companies. The Entrepreneurial Forum aims to change that.”

Frank Keith, executive director of Rutgers Camden Technology Campus, Inc., Camden, N.J., agrees, “The Forum will provide the expertise and opportunities needed to encourage local entrepreneurs and businesses to pursue their ideas. Ultimately, we believe our group will promote business growth that will mean more jobs and revenues for the region.”

Among the plans of the Forum are to leverage the collective resources of Rowan and Rutgers universities, top business leaders, professionals and government officials to improve the flow of ideas, services and funding to entrepreneurs and to help connect emerging businesses with resources needed for growth. The group will provide seminars, events, resources and networking opportunities to the entrepreneurial community, colleges and universities and secondary schools throughout South Jersey. The Forum expects businesses under five years old and with revenues under $50 million to find these resources especially beneficial.

The Forum will be administered by a board of directors, which includes entrepreneurs, businesses leaders, education representatives, government officials and economic development professionals, assisted by representatives from the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Rowan University and the entrepreneurial program at Rutgers University. The Forum also has an advisory board composed of representatives from area service providers, financial institutions, private equity sources and businesses interested in working with entrepreneurs and emerging companies.

Marchese named director

The South Jersey Technology Park Board of Directors appointed Dr. Anthony Marchese project director of the Tech Park. Marchese, a professor of mechanical engineering at Rowan University’s College of Engineering, was approved for a one-year, part-time appointment.

In his new post, Marchese will be involved in the initial development of the Technology Park; pre-construction facility planning; design of the first building; outreach to government, economic development organizations and local industry; internal communication and fundraising.

Tech Board enters agreement with developer

The South Jersey Technology Park’s Board of Directors named Lincoln Property Company as master developer of the Tech Park. The developer will provide pre-construction and pre-development services for the Technology Park, actively market the site, manage the infrastructure work, lease the land for the project to develop, identify and recruit tenants, and construct the first building.

Lincoln Property has been involved with many local projects, including Penn Mutual Towers and 1760 Market Street in Philadelphia, and the RiverWinds community center in West Deptford. Construction on the Tech Park is expected to start in six to 12 months, depending on the permit process.

The Technology Park is a proposed mixed-use research and academic high technology park/campus that will be developed in phases, with the first phase consisting of up to 200,000 square feet in as many as four buildings.

The University partnered with Lincoln to supplement the $6 million grant from the state’s Economic Development Authority and a $1 million contribution from the Rowan University Foundation. Under the terms of agreement, which must also be approved by officials from Lincoln Property, the South Jersey Technology Park will provide $5.8 million for construction of the campus’ first building.

The University believes the Tech Park will attract numerous high-tech companies to the area. Tthe ultimate goal is to attract high-paying jobs to South Jersey and to keep tech-savvy college graduates in the region.