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Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian Health leases space to open medical school on former Hoffmann-La Roche HQ

RochePrism Capital will implement substantial improvements to convert the leased buildings of the former Hoffman-LaRoche headquarters to accommodate the needs of the new Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. In addition, Seton Hall will co-locate its College of Nursing and School of Health and Medical Sciences to the site, and Hackensack Meridian plans to create a National Health Institute-designated Clinical Research Center there as well. The campus sale is expected to close Sept. 30, contingent upon financial and development approvals for the medical school facility by both municipalities. Financial terms were not disclosed.

PB Nutclif I, LLC, an affiliate of locally based Prism Capital Partners (Prism) signed a purchase and sale agreement with Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. (Roche), to purchase the pharmaceutical giant’s 116-acre former North American Headquarters campus spanning the Township of Nutley and City of Clifton. At the same time, Hackensack Meridian Health and Seton Hall University committed to leasing two major buildings and 16 acres at the property.

“Following more than 22 months of comprehensive diligence and complex negotiations, we are delighted to have reached this important milestone,” noted Prism’s Eugene Diaz, principal partner. “With the cooperation of Roche, we have secured an outstanding long-term anchor tenant and new business magnet for this campus.”

For Bloomfield, N.J.-based Prism, the project provides an opportunity to further the “new urbanist” philosophy that is driving New Jersey’s suburban municipalities to redesign their downtowns and commercial corridors, according to Diaz. Growing demand for 24/7 convenience living is resulting in better-balanced business centers that provide a mix of housing options and appealing amenities.

“We are looking forward to working closely with the City of Clifton and the Township of Nutley to create a new future for this property as a mixed-use site for live, work and play,” he added. “We are confident that our repositioning will attract numerous corporate and research users and, once again, create a unique business location of uncompromised quality and distinction.”

The campus sale was particularly complex due to simultaneous discussions between three parties and many stakeholders. “It was important for Roche to sell the property to a qualified developer, while also ensuring that the proposed medical school could become a reality,” said Tom Lyon, vice president and site head, Roche Nutley. “The sale, along with the signing of a long-term lease for the medical school, will enable the local communities to begin to envision a new landscape, possibilities for redevelopment, jobs and ratables. Overall, this is a positive step both locally for the communities of Nutley and Clifton as well as regionally, for New Jersey. This is truly a success on all levels.”