Exercise in Efficiency
A sustainable, mixed-use complex with an “iconic and distinctive” design gets underway in New Jersey’s capital city.
The development of a 700,000-sq-ft LEED platinum Class A office tower currently in pre-construction in Trenton, N.J., is tied to the revitalization of the city, and the building’s green credentials are being achieved at a minimum of cost.
The 25-story Vista Center, being developed by Capital Real Estate Group of Trenton, will offer offices in increments of up to 200,000 sq ft. It also will have 12,000 sq ft of street-level retail, a 1,140-car parking garage and a public plaza. The building wraps around the garage, with minimized east and west exposures to sunlight, and the floor plans are maximized for north-south daylight.
“We wanted something iconic and distinctive but still have it work as a highly functional office building,” says Sergio Coscia of RMJM Hillier, New York, the project architect. “We were driven by the need for a highly sustainable building and something suited for the site.”
Vista Center will sit adjacent to the Trenton Transit Center and be served by NJ Transit, AMTRAK, SEPTA and the NJ Riverline. The transit hub—the second-busiest station on the Northeast Corridor, which spans from Boston to Washington—is also currently undergoing a $75-million renovation, and Vista’s plaza is designed to provide a pedestrian link between the train station and the city’s historic neighborhoods.
Coscia says the building’s design emphasizes “slenderness, especially from the east side when you come from the train station. We accentuated it by using three types of glass and treated each side differently. The south side has sunshades, and the north side is different.”
Daniel Brenna, principal at Capital Real Estate Group, adds: “One of the things we talked about was how buildings are stationery objects, but, depending on perspective, can appear as different buildings completely. There is nothing like Vista in Trenton and certainly in New Jersey.”
The project is expected to bring300 construction and 2,800 permanentjobs to Trenton, as well as $35 million in real estate taxes over 30 years. In addition, the project is expected to spur new residential construction as well as increased spending at area businesses.
The project was unanimously approved late last year, and construction is expected to take 24 months once the financing is in place, Brenna says. He adds that Trenton Mayor Douglas Palmer is on board in helping secure lead tenants. The building is located inside an Urban Enterprise Zone, which offers tax advantages and utility discounts.