Plans for H-2, the second phase of the New Jersey Health + Life Sciences Exchange in downtown New Brunswick, call for up to 600,000 square feet of build-to-suit lab and office space at the mixed-use campus. It would rise alongside a first phase that’s now under construction and slated to include a facility known as the New Jersey Innovation HUB, a new home for the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a center for what’s known as translational research. — Courtesy: SJP Properties
By Joshua Burd
SJP Properties and New Brunswick Development Corp. are joining forces to develop the second piece of the landmark Health + Life Science Exchange in New Brunswick, with plans to offer 600,000 square feet of build-to-suit lab and office space at the mixed-use campus.
The firms said the newest phase, known as H-2, will cater to a range of uses for large corporate life sciences and technology companies seeking to locate within the four-acre HELIX property, which sits across from the city’s train station and adjacent to Rutgers University. They’re now marketing the downtown site alongside a team that includes HDR, its lead architect, and JLL as the building’s leasing agent.
“New Jersey is one of the most important regions in the country for the life sciences industry with New Brunswick emerging as a hotbed for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in recent years,” said Steve Pozycki, CEO of SJP Properties. “As more innovators enter the region, the location of their research and development facilities will be of paramount importance.
“With a prime position directly across the street from two major rail lines, and situated within commuting distance of both New York City and Philadelphia, HELIX will provide exceptional access to workforce talent, enabling its future tenants to attract professionals from both cities’ life sciences and technology industries.”
The announcement comes as construction continues on the project’s first phase, H-1, which will comprise a 12-story building spanning 574,000 square feet. The completed structure will include a multiuse facility known as the New Jersey Innovation HUB, the new home of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a Rutgers translational research facility with labs to advance the work of 80 research teams focused on improving individual and public health.
The full HELIX project, slated for three phases, has a total cost of $731 million and represents the largest investment in life sciences and medical education in New Jersey history.
“We are establishing the only ecosystem in the county where academic researchers, private-sector researchers, entrepreneurs, medical students and educators will co-locate in an environment of discovery and collaboration — where creative collisions can occur,” said Christopher Paladino, president of New Brunswick Development Corp., or Devco.
Several years in the making, with Devco at the helm, H-1 received final site plan approval from the city last summer. Its cornerstone, the New Jersey Innovation HUB, will include 59,125 square feet of incubator and research space, among other facilities, plus 69,832 square feet dedicated to anchor tenants and core partners including the state’s Economic Development Authority, RWJBarnabas Health, Hackensack Meridian Health, Middlesex County, Rutgers University, Tel Aviv University and Atlantic Technological University of Galway, Ireland.
Rising two stories in height, H-1’s ground floor will feature amenities and kiosks that will be accessible to the public, including a 10,000-square-foot market hall with food options and a 3,000-square-foot restaurant that opens onto a 70-foot-wide plaza.
“The unique combination of Northeast Corridor train service, Big 10 college town atmosphere and the expanding presence of New Jersey’s most prominent higher education, corporate and health care stakeholders make the HELIX project incredibly attractive for innovation and talent recruitment,” said Daniel J. Loughlin, a vice chairman with JLL.
H-3, the final phase of HELIX, is proposed as a 42-story mixed-use building to include additional office space and 220 units of housing, according to a news release. The full project figures to benefit from a planned $49 million renovation of the New Brunswick train station, which is served by both NJ Transit and Amtrak, and from its proximity to several major health, pharmaceutical and life sciences companies that are headquartered nearby.
Additionally, the complex will be within an hour’s drive of several other prominent colleges and universities, including Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University.