NUTLEY/CLIFTON, N.J., – PB Nutclif I, LLC, an affiliate of locally based Prism Capital Partners today closed on the purchase of the 116-acre former Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. North American Headquarters campus spanning the Township of Nutley and City of Clifton. In July, Hackensack Meridian Health and Seton Hall University committed to leasing two major buildings and 16 acres at the property.
“Following two full years of comprehensive diligence and complex negotiations involving many stakeholders, the pieces are now in place to move this landmark campus into its next chapter as a preeminent commercial location,” noted Prism’s Eugene Diaz, principal partner. “With the cooperation of Roche, we already have secured an outstanding long-term anchor tenant and new-business magnet.”
With financial and development approvals by both municipalities now in place, Seton Hall and Hackensack Meridian immediately will launch improvements to convert the leased buildings to accommodate the needs of the new Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. Seton Hall will co-locate its College of Nursing and School of Health and Medical Sciences at the site, and Hackensack Meridian plans to create a National Health Institute-designated Clinical Research Center there as well.
Prism currently is also marketing three additional, existing office buildings totaling over 700,000 square feet for lease and development sites as build-to-suit opportunities. Already, Prism has attracted several other notable companies and is currently negotiating agreements with these users for additional leases on the site, according to Diaz.
Over the next 12 to 18 months, Prism will work closely with the Township of Nutley, City of Clifton and a team of consultants to develop the Roche-Nutley-Clifton (RNC) Campus master plan. “We will focus on the longevity of the site as a foremost goal, assembling an appropriate mix of uses, such as the addition of supporting retail and residential, as a necessary means to attract additional best-in-class corporate and research users,” Diaz said. “We are confident that our repositioning ultimately will create a unique business location of uncompromised quality and distinction.”
Prism’s Edwin Cohen, principal partner, noted that designing a site that will produce a stable and increasing tax base is a top priority. “We believe our mixed-use, multi-user environment will ensure ongoing tax ratables and daytime support for local businesses.”
The RNC Campus redevelopment also provides Prism with an opportunity to further the “new urbanist” philosophy that is driving New Jersey’s suburban municipalities to redesign their downtowns and commercial corridors. Growing demand for 24/7 convenience living is resulting in better-balanced business centers that provide a mix of housing options and appealing amenities.
For Prism, the RNC Campus is close to home. The firm is headquartered just one mile from the site at BroadAcres Office Park in Bloomfield, N.J. Prism purchased the four-building, 380,000-square-foot multi-tenant campus in 2006. Today it serves as a flagship of the company’s office portfolio. Prism’s Parkway Lofts project, also in Bloomfield, transformed an obsolete, c. 1915, former General Electric Company industrial property into a distinctive, high-density residential village. Phase I opened in 2013 and achieved rapid success; Phase II is geared up for launch.
“Our team works here and lives here, and we drive on these roads every day,” Cohen said. “We are deeply committed to providing an exciting, attractive and profitable campus – and a master plan sensitive to potential concerns about traffic and quality of life for the larger community.”
The development of an RNC Campus website is underway; it will provide detailed plans, timelines and other important information. Other efforts to engage members of the community and ensure transparency throughout the long-term project are being planned as well.