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Roundabout Proposed for On3 Entrance on Kingsland Street for Former Roche Site
tapinto.net
June 14, 2017
Original Article

Eugene Diaz of Prism Capital Partners told the Nutley Board of Commissioners that the company is working on plans to install traffic circles as part of the roadways plan for the former Roche campus. Diaz said removing the traffic light on Kingsland would in part, help buses from NJ Transit with ingress and egress at the new Medical School campus. The announcement was made at the June 8 BOC meeting. 

Diaz said all state agencies including NJ Transit are on board. He stated that there is an opportunity for On3 to obtain a "Transit Oriented District" (TOD) designation. A compete engineering design is being finalized for the roadways on and around the 'pedestrian friendly campus.  

Currently, Hackensack/Seton Hall has leased 16 acres from Prism for the first medical school to be built in NJ in fifty years. Eleven of the 16 acres are located in Nutley and the remaining 5 in Clifton. An updated redevelopment plan for the campus was submitted about 60 days ago.

According to Diaz, they are in "advanced negotiations" with Hackensack-Meridian Health to lease the 'top two floors of building 102'. A National Institute of Health group is seeking to expand as well. An application has been submitted to Pat Intindola in the Nutley Code department.

Future plans for building 102 might also include building a 'Demo Process Plant' attached to the building on what was known as Fifth Avenue. The avenue has been re-named "Ideation Way." 

Prism is also negotiating with a 'bio-fabrication' company looking to relocate 60 employees from its current New York location. Diaz said the possible tenant uses "biology and chemistry to make textiles and fabrics" and has plans to grow to 250 employees.

The new address for Building 76 is 200 Metro Blvd. Prism is finalizing plans for removing the exterior marble on the building and replacing it with glass in order to provide 'unobstructed views of New York City'.

Diaz said Prism has been approached by a number of companies regarding tenancy on the campus. He stated while they are not exclusively marketing to life science companies, the current buildings and co-generation power facilities are a good fit for those entities.

"On3 is a multi-discipline, multi-use campus. The old planning model has been abandoned. What is happening now is all components are co-mingled in a cohesive plan, with all parts contributing to the value of the whole. " Gene Diaz

Other Potential Tenants

  • A Fortune 500 NY fashion retailer is interested in moving 500 employees into Building 1, the large building behind the proposed traffic circle at the main entrance to the campus.  The company relocation will require a garage for approximately 1100 parking spaces. Diaz said they have worked with Essex County on other projects for bonds to finance garages and will do the same if the retailer leases space On3.
  • A pharmaceutical company from India is interested in establishing their headquarters in the US and has met with Prism.
  • Prism has been in discussion with a life sciences company based in the UK and Hamburg, with a few offices in the USA, including one in NJ.
  • Regarding the "12 acre parcel we call South of Kingsland" Diaz said it is 'stand alone site' and there is a "significant amount of interest" for 3.5 acres of the site from assisted-livingfacility operators.

Prism's On-going Plans and Potential Developments

  • Application has been submitted to NJ DOTD and it is anticipated Essex County will issue approvals for the Route 3 entrance to be re-opened within three weeks
  • "Significant discussions" with a limited service hotel brand for possible location on the campus
  • Further marketing and branding as a unified campus vs. 'this is Nutley, this is Clifton.'
  • "Things are loosening up" on the Clifton side since the initial Joint Repurposing Committee meetings and uses such 'luxury rental buildings' on the Clifton side of the campus by Route 3 are now a possibility. Diaz said the the 'Clifton side' plan is on its tenth reiteration.
  • In response to a request by Commissioner Rogers for Prism to 'prioritize hiring of Nutley citizens' Diaz stated the redevelopment plan could contain a component that 'allows us to look for first level employment.'

Prism Principal Partner Edwin H. Cohen also attended the meeting and thanked Mayor Scarpelli for attending the NAIOP 30th Annual Awards Gala on May 11. Prism received the 'Deal of the Year' award - Mixed-Use: Hoffmann-La Roche US HQ and R&D Campus, Nutley and Clifton

Scarpelli said he was invited by Michael G. McGuinness, Chief Executive Officer of NAIP who grew up in Nutley.

Philip Abramson, Principal, Annie Hindenland and Michael Martone of Topology – NJ, LLC sat in on the conference portion of the public meeting. As part of the agenda, Topology gave their second presentation to the Commissioners and citizens attending the meeting.

Their 37-page handout included several sections including:

Foundation

  • Hoffman-La Roche Site: planning strategy that pays particular attention to the edges of the campus
  • Franklin Avenue: Repurposing of Ciccolini parcel to recoup Township's investment

Inspiration

  • Mobility & Connectivity: distance between downtown and the campus is .7 miles
  • Open Space + Environment: Improve banks of and accessibility to Basking Brook
  • Urban Design + Land Use: Residential neighborhoods need to be 'rewoven' into the site.

During the interview, Commissioner Petracco asked: 'Is it realistic that people will come out of that campus and go to our downtown?' The planner replied 'we have to create a plan to make it happen.'

Topology was chosen as Nutley's Redevelopment Planning firm to work with the On3 development and the resolution was approved later in the meeting. Nutley's redevelopment attorney for the project is Dean Donatelli of Inglesino, Webster Wyciskala & Taylor, LLC. The city of Clifton NJ has also hired a planner.