Hx2 Development, JLL meet life science demand as next phase of historic Roebling redevelopment gets underway

Hx2 Development welcomes office tenant, begins work on 100,000-SF lab, research facility

Hx2 Development and JLL announced that work is underway on the next phase of the 7.1-acre mixed-use Roebling Center, a five-building community of offices, residential lofts and amenities rising from the bones of the historic Roebling wireworks in the Chambersburg neighborhood of Trenton.

Building 114 is a 100,000-square-foot facility tailored towards the life sciences and pharma manufacturing sectors. It has abundant natural lighting and ventilation from expansive factory windows and skylights throughout the interior roof areas. Its core and +shell can be delivered ready for tenant fit-out within six months of lease signing to meet demand within the sector for well-located, high-quality space with access to the region’s top-ranked higher education institutions and skilled workforce.

Ceiling heights will range from 18 to 24 feet, with 75-foot column spacing. The building roof is suitable for solar PV, with its shape able to provide increased production from reflected light.

“The unique needs of the life science sector make Building 114 an ideal location,” David Henderson, principal of Hx2 Development, said. “We will deliver the property ready for a custom buildout at a time when leading companies continue to actively pursue Class A R&D and lab spaces in one of the nation’s most competitive life sciences real estate markets.”

JLL Managing Director Thomas Romano added, “As the development of new space remains burdened by high land costs and administrative hurdles, Roebling Center presents an ideal solution to forward-thinking life science companies seeking specialized facilities in an urban enclave with tremendous accessibility and diverse neighborhood amenities.”

According to JLL’s Q1 2023 New Jersey Life Sciences Insight, flight-to-quality has been a recurring theme of the industry, as established companies including AbbVie, Bristol Myers Squibb and Sanofi have relocated within the state into high-end spaces to accommodate new workplace strategies.

The announcement comes following a lease with marketing consultancy Taft Communications at Building 110. Taft signed a five-year lease to occupy a 4,794-square-foot first-floor suite, joining environmental engineering firm Princeton Hydro, which occupies the entire 9,041-square-foot top floor.

JLL, which serves as exclusive agent for the Roebling Center, is now marketing the remaining 10,000 square feet of available space in that building to creative tenants.

Romano, who is leading the marketing effort, commented: “Taft is a perfect addition to this diverse, vibrant and growing community, and we are thrilled to now be moving forward with the redevelopment of Building 114. It will offer tenants a custom space within an evolving live, work, play community in a region populated by skilled workers and surrounded by unrivaled transportation options that offer easy commuting options.”

The Roebling Center is immediately adjacent to the Hamilton Avenue station of the RiverLINE light rail line and proximate to the Trenton Transit Center, which links four major rail lines with service to New York City, Newark Liberty International Airport and Philadelphia, and Amtrak, servicing the entire country. Located at the Hamilton Avenue intersection of Route 129, Building 114 has easy access to Route 1, Interstates 195 and 295 and the New Jersey Turnpike.

The property is surrounded by multiple bicycle and pedestrian paths and minutes from Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park, a 70-mile linear, multiuse path along a historic canal. A historically Italian neighborhood, Chambersburg has evolved into a diverse community of boutiques, restaurants and grocery stores, with the Roebling Market located directly across the street.