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MONTGOMERY, NJ-Already a major employer in the Princeton, NJ area, Bloomberg, the international financial news-gathering organization, wants to build as much as 650,000 sf of new offices and computer space in this Somerset County, NJ township just northwest of Princeton. The new construction would take place on the company’s existing property, which is located near the Princeton Airport, and on an adjacent site that it has acquired.

The company’s plan is to combine its operations here with others sited in Plainsboro, NJ into one campus-style location. Bloomberg’s local operations are involved in data collection, editorial and marketing. The company’s other two major operations are located in New York City, its headquarters, and London. Bloomberg currently has 1,600 staffers in the Princeton area, and the capacity of its Montgomery site is approximately 4,000 workers.

“We are growing at about 20% a year,” according to Paul Darrah, the company’s real estate director. “We expect to need between 2,500 and 3,000 employees in the Princeton area by 2003.”

Earlier plans to expand met with resistance from Montgomery Twp., but several of the problems have been solved. In the most important one, the township has added sewer capacity to handle the expected growth at the Bloomberg site. A wetlands problem involving the adjacent site was solved when it was determined that an endangered turtle species doesn’t live there anymore.

Finally, development limitations imposed by airport hazard zone rules were eased when Princeton Airport moved its runways slightly, opening up more of the Bloomberg site for development.

Township officials are also satisfied that the latest Bloomberg proposal is less dense than the earlier plan. “It’s more spread out,” says Montgomery planning board chairman Richard LeTard. “Before, their previous proposals would have shoehorned the people in.”

A recent informal poll of Montgomery planning board showed solid support for the proposal, but there has been no formal vote. Remaining issues include rezoning the adjacent site, and new road construction to ease expected traffic problems around the site.

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