NUTLEY, NJ - Eugene R. Diaz and Edwin H. Cohen principals of Prism Capital Partner, along with architecture colleagues gave a thorough presentation detailing the plans of a seven story parking deck and open courtyard on the former Hoffmann-La Roche site during a very long meeting on Tuesday, July 3. After presentation the board went into a closed executive session. Commissioner Alphonse Petracco was absent excuse. No action was taken at the July 3 meeting.

The parking deck will be about 70 feet. Each of the levels will be 10 feet eight inches high.

The Nutley Phase 2A Redevelopment Plan subdivides a portion of the former Roche property into three separate parcels for each of the existing buildings -Building 1 now 100 Metro Blvd, Building 76 now 200 Metro Blvd. and Building 102 on the Nutley side and creates an additional lot -Lot V.

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According to Diaz 500 students will be going to the Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian Graduate School of Medicine. He said there is already about 100 people at Modern Meadow, a company that bioengineers leather.

It was announced during the meeting that Ralph Lauren signed a 15 year lease to occupy the entirety of 100 Metro Blvd. They will move in at the end of 2019.

Diaz said that the last piece of space, about 12,000 feet, at 200 Metro Blvd. will be leased to NJIT within the next few weeks. NJIT plans to develop a gene cell therapy laboratory.  “[…] For people being treated with cancer…T-cells … taking cells out of your own body, reprogramming them, re-engineering them to fight the infection itself and putting it back in to do its job,” said Diaz.

Diaz said 100 Metro Blvd. had a $7 million renovation exterior and interior including a new entrance for the building.

According to Diaz two leading companies are looking to lease the entirety of 200 Metro Blvd., making the site their headquarters. Either company will employee about 1,100 to 1,500 people.

Diaz said the garage may be passed through Essex County bonds. The parking deck will cost about $38 million to build. The garage to be presented to the planning board is about 4.6 spaces per 1,000 feet about 2,590 parking spaces.  According to Diaz depending on who occupies the remaining space the garage could be only six stories tall.

According to Cohen, Ralph Lauren would not have leased the property if they were not guaranteed parking at four spaces per 1,000 feet. He also said one of the potential leasers would not think about the building if parking was not guaranteed for them.

Parks and Recreation Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci questioned the amount of parking spaces. “Is it your expectations and/or the expectation of the potential tenants that 100 percent of the people are going to occupy this building are going to be driving to work? And what percentage if any has been discounted in this plan for people using …public transportation.”

Cohen said about 10 percent deduct was factored in to the amount spaces that people will be out sick or off campus.

Tucci felt that the 10 percent was low, that the millennial generation uses more public transportation.

Public Affairs Commissioner Steven L. Rogers questioned safety for the parking decks. Diaz said that an ambulance will not be able to get to the upper levels of the parking deck. Rogers suggested that Commissioner Petracco will have to change some operations with the police and fire departments. “[…] the state lived through this tragedy and a few others through the years; that an elevator going up to the sixth floor where a person is victimized by a crime or a medical emergency is tough to swallow. What if the elevator is our; there is an electrical failure. There is a need to get emergency personnel in the parking lot,” he said.

Diaz believes there will be robust safety and security on the campus. Diaz said they plan to work with the emergency first responders to allow for rapid access to someone in need.

Hoffmann-La Roche is still cleaning the site and is doing a deep cleaning of the  area the parking deck will be built. Diaz said to operate the site as a parking garage is more desirable then to build a building given its history.

The parking garage will have two security entrance points and will process 200 cars an hour. About 950 to 1,000 cars will leave in an hour. Once a car approaches the exit the gate will automatically open.

There will be a landscape around the parking garage and building to provide screening and noise reduction.

Diaz presented more redevelopment plans prepared by Topology NJ, LLC during the Tuesday, July 17 detailing the landscape and noise barrier around the property. After the meeting the board introduced Ordinance No. 3392 to adopt the Nutley Phase 2A Redevelopment Plan.

A public hearing on the ordinance will be held at the next Board of Commissioners meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7.