Fennelly Associates helps trade former nuclear research facility in Plainsboro for $7.7M 

Fennelly Associates said Wednesday that it sold a 50,150-square-foot, 31-acre state-of-the-art drug research and manufacturing facility in Plainsboro for $7.7 million.

Jerry Fennelly, president of Fennelly Associates, and Matt Fennelly, corporate real estate specialist, represented the seller, Turkey Island Corp., and procured the buyer, Princeton Life Science Park LLC, through a successful marketing campaign.

Located at 31 Schalks Crossing Road, the property was originally constructed in 1957 as one of several similar buildings designed to commercialize isotopes across the country. Columbia University and the Institute of Advanced Study jointly ventured the Princeton reactor, the nation’s first privately owned nuclear reactor. Utilized as a research reactor by a variety of public and private research institutions, including nearby Princeton University, the property played an integral role in the U.S.’ nuclear power research program for over five decades. However, local population growth and ongoing funding concerns forced the reactor to be permanently shut down in the late 1970s.

Following its closure as a nuclear research facility, 31 Schalks Crossing Road enjoyed a second life as a state-of-the-art pharmaceutical research and manufacturing facility operated by its tenant Jacobus Pharmaceutical.

Fennelly Associates was then tapped by the building’s owners to market the unique technology building for sale.

Through the implementation of a creative and persistent marketing strategy, Fennelly attracted a reputable buyer and provided the real estate services needed to finalize the transaction in a 12-month process from start to finish. In addition to purchasing the building, the new buyer also purchased the patents on the prior owner’s pharmaceutical products and its pharmaceutical manufacturing equipment, as well as retaining its previous employees.

“While 31 Schalks Crossing Road’s historical value and recognizable features stand out in the local area, they also made attracting prospective buyers more difficult,” Jerry Fennelly said. “However, our team’s ability to highlight the potential of spaces and deep experience in marketing a diverse slate of buildings across the region consistently allows us to find prospective buyers for any property and help our clients meet their strategic business goals.”