First Free-Standing New Jersey Cancer Hospital to Be Built in New Brunswick

Tue January 19, 2021 - Northeast Edition

A rendering of the proposed $750 million Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Cancer Pavillion, which would be built on the site of Lincoln Annex School. (DEVCO rendering)
A rendering of the proposed $750 million Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Cancer Pavillion, which would be built on the site of Lincoln Annex School. (DEVCO rendering)

The New Brunswick, N.J., city planning board has approved the construction of the state's first free-standing cancer hospital, a focal point of a $750 million project.

The application submitted by Cancer Pavilion Redevelopment Associates LLC, an affiliate of New Brunswick Development Corporation, or DEVCO, to construct the 11-story, 519,000-sq.-ft. Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Pavilion passed by a unanimous vote the week of Jan. 11.

The Pavilion will house inpatient and outpatient care, research facilities and administrative space.

The planning board granted preliminary site plan approval of the project this past November.

The board also approved an application by Hardenberg Street Redevelopment Associates LLC, another affiliate of DEVCO, to build a 975-space parking garage, a central utility plant and a loading dock on Somerset, Division and Hardenbergh streets. The parking garage will serve the Pavilion.

That project was approved by a 5-1 vote with one abstention.

The $750 million Pavilion construction will expand the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, located on Little Albany Street, across Somerset Street onto the former site of Lincoln Annex School.

Under the plan, DEVCO plans to raze the school and build the Pavilion in its place.

"We acquired the school from the board of education about two weeks ago," DEVCO President Christopher Paladino said earlier in January.

West Orange, N.J.-based RWJBarnabas Health, as part of the transaction, transferred $55 million into a trust account in escrow that will pay for the construction of a new educational facility that DEVCO will build, Paladino said.

"Edgewood Properties donated the tract of land for the new school," he explained. "We're expecting to seek planning board approval for it in February."

The new, three-story, 135,000-sq.-ft. replacement school will be constructed at 50 Jersey Ave.

"This is a transformative project for New Brunswick, for Middlesex County and for all of the state of New Jersey," Paladino said. "This will expand services both educationally and clinically for cancer patients at New Jersey's only national cancer institute designated facility. The new facility will be the first standalone cancer facility in New Jersey, which will not only [offer] inpatient and outpatient services but will also have a research component."

A total of 98 critical care oncology beds are planned for the Pavilion, meaning all its cancer patients will be treated in the new building, Paladino said. Plans also call for 10 operating and procedure rooms.

A bridge will connect the new facility to the original Cancer Institute, which will continue to operate, and a second bridge will connect Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital to the new facility, according to Paladino.

Construction of the Pavilion, parking garage and school is expected to begin in June, he said.

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