From left: Christopher Fitzsimmons, Sam Perrelli, Lindsay Florio and Jacqueline O’Dor made up the winning team from Monmouth University at this year’s NAIOP New Jersey CRE Intercollegiate Case Study Competition. Peter Reinhart (far right), director of the university’s Kislak Real Estate Institute, served as the group’s faculty advisor for the competition. —Courtesy: NAIOP New Jersey
By Joshua Burd
A team of Monmouth University students earned top honors recently at NAIOP New Jersey’s annual Intercollegiate Case Study Competition, offering a vision for redeveloping the former Hoffmann-LaRoche campus in Nutley and Clifton.
The group was among three teams on April 4 that offered a mock master plan for the 116-acre campus on Route 3, now known as ON3, which is being redeveloped by Prism Capital Partners. In a news release, NAIOP said the team leveraged the campus’ position as the future home of the newly formed Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine and offered a vision of a highly connected, walkable and bikeable setting with a medical and health care theme.
Those anchor uses would be supported by residential, lifestyle, hospitality and retail components, the news release said. Like their counterparts from Rutgers and Villanova universities, the students were judged based on the financial feasibility, design excellence and sustainability components of their plans.
The winning team from Monmouth — including Jacqueline O’Dor, Lindsay Florio, Sam Perrelli and Christopher Fitzsimmons — took home a $5,000 prize.
“As part of our Industry Insights Series, CREICS provides students with real-world opportunities to influence the planning of New Jersey’s most ambitious development initiatives,” said Dave Gibbons, NAIOP New Jersey’s president. “This competition serves as a valuable platform for educating students and local officials, while generating fresh design ideas and perspectives — and this year certainly continued that tradition.
“Congratulations to all three teams and their advisors.”
NAIOP noted that the proposals featured elements such as a winter garden that would be the epicenter of cultural and professional gathering, a vertical farm geared toward the production of medical marijuana and a health village with fitness, medical and pharmacy services.
Judges for the 2018 competition included Clifton Mayor James Anzaldi, Eugene Diaz of Prism Capital Partners, Mary K. Murphy of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, Robert Rudin of Cushman & Wakefield, Nutley Mayor Joseph P. Scarpelli and Roger Smith of Gensler.
“The breadth of this 116-acre campus, nine miles from Manhattan and spanning two towns, made this assignment a heavy lift for these students,” said Diaz, a principal with the Bloomfield-based firm. “These teams — which included some of the commercial real estate industry’s most promising next-generation leaders — did fantastic jobs and came up with some great ideas.”
Prism acquired the iconic campus in fall 2016, following Roche’s decision to shut down operations in the state after more than 80 years. All that remains of the complex is a collection of trophy-quality office and research and development buildings totaling more than 1.2 million square feet, offering a location less than 10 miles from Manhattan.
Prism has already attracted the biotech firm Modern Meadow to the complex, while the Hackensack Meridian Seton Hall School of Medicine and a group of Seton Hall University health sciences programs are set to move in over the next several months. But the firm’s broader vision includes a mixed-use neighborhood supported by retail, restaurants, residential space and other services.