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Commercial Construction & Renovation

The Book Nook – September/October 2010

New, larger bookstore gives Rutgers students another option for school needs

This year, incoming Rutgers students have one more place to shop for books and game day sweatshirts as New Jersey Books opened the doors for its first fall semester at a new location in New Brunswick, NJ.

New Jersey Books, which has served the area since 1970, relocated and expanded as part of the ongoing redevelopment of New Brunswick. The local bookstore upgraded from a 3,500-square-foot space in an older building to a new 18,000-square-foot two-story store half a block away on Easton Ave.

Designed by AZSK Architects of New York, N.Y., the $3.7 million structure features exposed ceilings, high-end finishes and custom millwork. Using the construction manager as constructor method, Tekton Development Corp. of New Brunswick, N.J., built the store at a former Rutgers maintenance building site.

Tekton Director of Business Development, Ryan Applegate, attributes the company’s involvement in the New Brunswick revitalization to a close connection to the area. He also says that the New Jersey Books project was advantageous for Tekton as the company transitioned from working on primarily public projects, to participating in more private and retail endeavors.

“Our owner, Brendan Murray, a Rutgers graduate, has take a personal interest in the development of New Brunswick, and since this project, Tekton has expanded its profile to include more retail projects including three Wal-Mart Remodels in 2010,” Applegate says.

Tekton has been a recurring participant in the New Brunswick redevelopment, completing renovations at St. Peters Convent, the State Theater and Middlesex Family Courthouse, all within two blocks of the train station, which also is receiving a large-scale overhaul. New Jersey Books was one of several businesses revamped as part of the mixed-use project.

New Jersey Books owner, Ed Mueller, says his store is re-opening at a prime time. “When you move in mid-semester, it’s hard to get everything ready, but now, the store is merchandised well. It’s our first September in the new location, and that’s our big season. [Since the relocation], business has increased and should continue to increase.”

New Jersey Books is planning a grand re-opening of their second level after September.

Tekton Development Corp. was awarded the Richardson Lofts project in Newark, N.J., last year, and is currently working on multiple school renovations including Jersey City Community Charter School. Construction is also under way on their new LEED Silver-certified office building on Bayard Street in New Brunswick.