NUTLEY, NJ — When Seton Hall University’s application to build its medical school at the Marylawn of the Oranges site in South Orange fell through, the university was forced to find another option. The university and partner Hackensack Meridian Health have since leased two of several buildings on a site that spans Nutley and Clifton.
Prism Capital Partners, the real estate investment company that purchased 116 acres left behind in Nutley following the departure of the Switzerland-based Hoffmann-La Roche pharmaceutical company, is asking the Nutley and Clifton communities what they want to see fill the remaining space. The site is called “ON3” for its proximity to Route 3, and five buildings are located on the property, which sits on the border of Nutley in Essex County and Clifton in Passaic County, fronting Kingsland Street.
In addition to Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian Graduate School of Medicine, the site has one other tenant: Modern Meadow, a biofabrication company that produces animal-friendly leather.
With two unoccupied buildings remaining and acres of space on site, Prism is probing the community regarding what residents want to see in the development.
“Feedback has been very strong and positive toward seeing the site redeveloped. No one has said ‘leave it vacant,’” principal partner of Prism Capital Partners Eugene Diaz told the News-Record via email on Jan. 12.
While the former Hoffmann-La Roche campus closed approximately five years ago, at the apex of the company’s success, the site consisted of approximately 4 million square feet of general office, manufacturing, and research and development facilities. The company was also known to have employed nearly 9,000 people.
After closing, PB Nutclif I LLC — a Prism affiliate — purchased the vacant campus in October 2016, which was then slated for a “multi-tenant, next-generation lifestyle hub,” according to the ON3 website.
Diaz told the News-Record that ON3 wants to attract “high-quality corporations.”
“Overwhelmingly, people are looking to see a mix of uses on the site that will provide opportunities for local people to take advantage of throughout the day, such as restaurants, shops, leisure amenities and business jobs with top-rate companies,” he said.
There is also interest in hotels and various types of housing, which has been expressed with a special emphasis on assisted living Diaz said. He added that Prism will present plans to the municipalities, hopefully by the summer.
In July 2016, Seton Hall University and Hackensack Meridian Health signed a 25-year lease for 16 acres, including two major research-and-development buildings. The buildings will host the new School of Medicine, as well as Seton Hall College of Nursing and School of Health and Medical Sciences, which will be relocated from the South Orange campus, according to a Jan. 19 press release issued by Nutley Township Mayor Joseph Scarpelli. In addition, Seton Hall research facilities are expected to occupy the other non-academic floors of the buildings.
Moving forward with Seton Hall’s relocation, the Nutley Planning Board gave preliminary approval to the medical school’s parking, calling for 465 permanent parking spaces, 55 on-site, on-street spaces, and 196 temporary spaces in the township, according to Scarpelli’s release.
Photo by Jenny Goldberg