NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — A nondescript brick building on Easton Avenue will soon be brought into the Saint Peter’s University Hospital campus.
Well, the building—a cancer center at 215 Easton. Ave, across the street from the hospital—is already part of Saint Peter’s. But its lack of branding would’ve pushed few passersby make that connection.
Now, the health care group has gained approval to post a 125-foot, internally-illuminated sign on the structure’s facade. Saint Peter’s earned two variances for the improvement after agreeing to a condition that would help alleviate the concerns of two neighbors last night, during the New Brunswick Zoning Board of Adjustment’s June 26 meeting.
Bob Mulcahy, the health care system’s vice president of facilities, said the lit sign will be timed to shut off at 10 p.m. each night.
That condition came after a nearby property owner voiced concerns that the sign would shine into her first- and second-floor tenants’ bedrooms. That woman—whose pointed was backed up by another resident—also spoke out against the size of the sign, which is five times larger than the city’s 25-foot maximum.
“We want to keep our neighbors happy,” Mulcahy said, despite the hospital’s belief that the lighting wouldn’t affect nearby residents.
Saint Peter’s doesn’t own the building in question, which meant it couldn’t drastically alter the structure, professionals who represented the hospital system said. The area also doesn’t allow for a freestanding V-shaped sign, they said.
In the end, a sign of this size was the only way Saint Peter’s representatives believed they could attract the attention of drivers.
Only the letters of the sign, and not its background, will be illuminated, they said.
Eileen Banyra, a planner, said cancer patients coming for treatment could’ve missed the building and its Senior Street entrance because of its lack of identification on Easton Avenue.
“They shouldn’t have to struggle looking for it,” she said. “Everything should be made as easy as possible for the users of this facility.”
The planner noted that she passed the cancer center twice on her way to take photographs of the location.
The sign is a blue horizontal rectangle bearing the hospital’s cross logo and the words “Saint Peter’s Cancer Center.” It’s the product of a new branding campaign undertaken by the health care system in recent years, according to one representative.