While the first phase of the $731 million life sciences hub coming to New Brunswick is underway, plans for HELIX Health + Life Sciences Exchange’s next stage of development – which will feature lab and office space – are here.
SJP Properties and New Brunswick Development Corp. said May 22 that H-2, the second of three phases set for the 4-acre HELIX site, will feature a mixed-use building with up to 600,000 square feet of build-to-suit lab and office space to bring large life sciences and technology tenants together in one building.
HDR was appointed lead architect for H-2 and JLL will lease the building, according to the project partners.
Located across from the city’s train station and adjacent to Rutgers University, the first phase of HELIX broke ground in October 2021. According to developers, the project is the largest investment in life sciences and medical education in state history.
“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, which has a New Jersey office in Parsippany. “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.”
Set to comprise 574,000 square feet, H-1 – the first phase of the effort – will include the New Jersey Innovation HUB, the new home of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a Rutgers translational research facility to support 80 research teams putting Rutgers Health innovations into practice. Partners at the HUB include: the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, RWJBarnabas Health, Hackensack Meridian Health, Middlesex County, Rutgers, Tel Aviv University and Atlantic Technological University of Galway, Ireland.
H-1’s two-story ground floor will include amenities and kiosks for the public, a 10,000-square-foot market hall 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 JLL Vice Chairman Daniel Loughlin said in a statement.
“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 DEVCO President Christopher Paladino.
HELIX’s final phase, H-3, is a proposed 42-story mixed-use building that would include more office space along with 220 units of housing.
With the train station due for a $49 million upgrade, the Hub City has seen an influx of investment from both the public and private sectors in recent years. According to the May 22 announcement, thus far, those real estate investments total nearly $3 billion, with another $1 billion in the pipeline.