Memorial Sloan-Kettering Eyes Middletown Property Near GSP Exit 114

The famed cancer treatment specialists are in talks with the township about creating an outpatient treatment center on Red Hill Road, said Middletown Township officials.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering is eyeing a large empty office building at 480 Red Hill Road in Middletown near Garden State Parkway Exit 114 for an outpatient cancer treatment center, according to Middletown Township officials.  

At a Township Committee workshop meeting Thursday, elected officials expressed enthusiasm for the idea of a new medical facility in town that could employ 300 professionals. Mayor Anthony Fiore said, "We're going to do everything we can to bring that ratable into town, to bring those hundreds of very high-paying jobs to Middletown and the surrounding area... I'm very excited about the prospects of this potential tenant." 

But there is one hurdle. The empty building, formerly owned by Lucent Technologies but abandoned for a decade, sits in an Office Retail zone where medical-related facilities are not a permitted use. So Memorial Sloan-Kettering has requested that Middletown Township reconsider its existing zoning of that parcel. 

"They specifically requested that the Township consider permitting a treatment center, medical offices, administrative offices and a data center," said Township Planner Jason Greenspan. Adjustments would also have to be made to the parking facilities as they relate to medical use, he said. 

Greenspan said he looked over the proposals and saw no red flags. "In my opinion there are no inconsistencies with the [township] master plan. In fact, the 2011 re-examination report cited this property as being ripe for redevelopment."

He said the township should embrace the re-use of underutilized properties over constructing new ones, whenever possible. The multi-story, 285,000 square foot concrete and glass building was built in 1984 and is now owned by Investor Warranty of America and assessed at $9 million. Memorial Sloan-Kettering has indicated they would like to expand it by another 11,000 feet, Greenspan said. 

The planner told the governing body that their next steps would be to review the extensive planning report, introduce a zoning change ordinance, obtain a master plan compliance review by the Planning Board, and present the legislation for public hearing on October 15, said Greenspan. 

Township Attorney Brian Nelson said the OR zone permitted-use schedule was "antiquated" and should be reviewed, regardless of Memorial Sloan Kettering's request or not. 

The township is seeing more market demand for unwanted office buildings that can be repurposed for medical professional and medical-related uses. Last year, the township approved two medical related businesses in the Route 35 highway business zone.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering, headquartered in Manhattan, has suburban outpatient treatment centers for the convenience of its patients and .  

Tony Orsini October 14, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Do you live in Holmdel? The town under Fink (D) never passed a budget increase greater tha 3.5%. Our recent budget included a 10.8% tax increase: 10.8% is BIGGER tha 3.5% by A LOT. Didn't do that well in math, Paul?
Nick J. October 15, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Tony, We realize that you are not a numbers person, but please explain to the people what the recent tax increase went to pay. I'll save you the trouble, as it went to retire high interest rate debt, or put another way, taxes that would have had to be raised and levied anyway. Come on now, stop the distortions.
Tony Orsini October 16, 2012 at 01:45 PM
"Distortions," Nick? The 10.8% is very real to taxpayers no matter what the genesis. How about spending 10.8% less? How about spending more time on the budget instead of vacationing in Miami and leaving it to the professionals who have less of a buy in.
Tony Orsini October 16, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Absolutely, Kathleen. Long overdue. Let's hope Sloan can accomodate our insurance plans and those out of network.
James McCoughlin April 15, 2013 at 08:02 PM
Gary- I had heard the same. Actually, have had working worked in that building from 2000-2001, I can certainly understand it. In its later years as Lucent, the hallways were hot and humid (literally), especially in the summer, while the offices were cooled. This caused serious condensation on all the (interior) office windows. I have no doubt, however, that if there has been mold, it has been removed and thoroughly cleaned. I highly doubt Memorial Sloan Kettering would have it any other way.


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