Plans for Second Phase of HELIX Project Heading to New Brunswick Planning Board

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Plans for an 11-story building that would be occupied by more than 1,000 employees of Nokia Bell Labs are scheduled to be presented at the city’s Planning Board April 8 meeting.

The building, which will represent the second phase in the massive New Jersey Health + Life Science Exchange (HELIX) project, will consist of 415,000 square feet of offices and research spaces, according to documents on the city’s website.

The applicant, New Brunswick 2 Urban Renewal Associates LLC, a subsidiary of SJP Properties, will be seeking preliminary and final site plan approval at the meeting. The applicant, which will be represented by New Brunswick-based attorney Thomas Kelso, will not be requesting any variances or waivers.

The project at 10 French St. is bound by French Street to the north, Kirkpatrick Street and the previously approved Hub Phase 1 project to the west, Spring Street to the east and Paterson Street to the south.

The property was previously occupied by the Ferren Mall Parking Deck and Church Street.

Lot 1.02 will be further subdivided into three lots as part of the application.

The project site is located within the Ferren Redevelopment Plan.

Nokia Bell Labs, the company built on the innovations of Bell Telephone Laboratories going back to 1925 and such technological wonders as the transistor, announced in December that it was relocating from its Murray Hill campus in Union County.

The HELIX Project was still being referred to as The Hub on Oct. 14, 2021, when Gov. Phil Murphy, Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway, Mayor Jim Cahill, Middlesex County Commissioner Director Ron Rios and others helped break ground on the project that will span 3½ acres of New Brunswick terra firma across from the train station.

Progress continues on H-1, or the first phase of the HELIX project, whose tenants will include Rutgers, Princeton, Hackensack Meridian Health and RWJBarnabas Health.

The HELIX, the 550,000-square-foot center of innovation, translational research and medical education, is the crown jewel of the $2 billion or so in development happening across the city.

Although few details of the third phase of the HELIX have been revealed, the New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO) announced that the building would be a 42-story, mostly residential building. That would make it the tallest building in Middlesex County.

Story By: Chuck O'Donnell
Photo Credit: DEVCO