NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Johnson & Johnson received site plan approval Tuesday night from the Planning Board to make a series of upgrades to parts of its 15.4-acre world headquarters campus.
From installing better lighting, to creating signs that detail the company’s long history, to the building of a bocce ball court and installing lawn furniture, the global pharmaceutical giant is seeking to spruce up things in and around its iconic 16-story tower, in part, to make it more appealing to young, world-class talent.
And if modernizing the campus to bring a little Silicon Valley to the Hub City is a sign of the times, it was only fitting that much of the application centered around upgrading existing signs and installing new ones.
J&J is seeking to install a monument-type sign at George and Albany streets and erect new wayfinding and storytelling signs, banners mounted to light posts, mile marker signs, fitness pylons, a J&J sign embedded into one of the retaining walls, and operational signs attached to retaining walls.
It is also seeking to install new walkways, planters and furniture, repair pavers, make enhancements to landscaping and lighting, repair a founding and some fencing and change the grading of land to create a social and recreational space complete with a bocce ball court, lawn furniture and outdoor café.
These so-called Phase II and III plans will not be open for use to the general public.
However, Johnson & Johnson’s plans approved by the Planning Board at the Aug. 10 meeting will be accessible to the public.
In Phase I plans, the company that has called New Brunswick homes since 1886 received preliminary and final site plan approval to remove and replace an existing sidewalk on the west side of its headquarters building, extend the existing walk to the corner of George and Albany streets, and to install a plaza at that intersection.
J&J also received approval to install several wayfinding and storytelling signs.
“With regard to storytelling signs, it will provide a history of J&J and the City of New Brunswick,” said James Clarkin III, attorney for Johnson & Johnson. “The reasoning behind these several improvements for J&J is to unify its four-building campus and identify it as a single business entity, as well as to activate and modernize the landscaping, all designed to attract superior talent. In order to do so, J&J has chosen to try and create a work environment which is sought after by younger generation of mobile professionals. J&J seeks to replicate the work environment similar to Silicon Valley and other Fortune 500 companies.
“J&J also believes that this project will help it to provide for, with the city, and to align with the New Brunswick plans to activate the city further.”
David Stiress, the engineer and planner, told the board in August during testimony about Phase I of the project that there would be 17 signs.
“The storytelling signs are both informative and inspiring,” he said. “Take for example, ‘Better healthcare has the power to change the world.’”