Georgian Court U. expanding into Hunterdon County

Georgian Court University will be an anchor and the sole educational institution for Flemington’s Courthouse Square.

University President Joseph R. Marbach made the announcement Tuesday, partnering with Flemington Center Renewal to become part of the 300,000-square-foot, mixed-used project led by developer Jack Cust Jr.

The project is expected to break ground next year, redeveloping the historic Union Hotel site, famous for the Lindbergh trial. It is expected to include approximately 230 luxury residential units, a 100-room hotel, restaurants and retail. Hunterdon Healthcare will add a medical component.

GCU is expected to start classes by the fall of 2019.

“This expansion beyond our historic Lakewood campus reflects on our ongoing strategy of meeting students where they are,” said Marbach, noting GCU’s broadening reach in Monmouth, Middlesex, Mercer, Atlantic and Cumberland counties. “As part of our Mercy heritage, our mission is to serve the underserved — including those who are geographically underserved by higher education. Georgian Court is happy to help meet the education needs of this county and this community.”

He said the Flemington location will offers transfer and adult students “a convenient location to complete their education — through traditional classes and through hybrid classes, which are conducted online and meet every few weeks in person. By offering GCU degree-completion programs in downtown Flemington, we can address their needs.”

Project redevelopers and others see the agreement as a win-win.

Flemington Mayor Phil Greiner and Hunterdon County Freeholder John Lanza spoke at the event and underscored the merits of the overall project that is seen by leaders as a positive for the business community and area residents, along with GCU, Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university.

“We are especially pleased to move forward together, as GCU will be an integral part of Courthouse Square,” said Cust, managing partner for Flemington Center Urban Renewal. “I want to thank Dr. Marbach and his board of trustees for their commitment to our community.”

He added that the collective support of many other stakeholders — including the Hunterdon Chamber of Commerce, civic leaders, business owners and area employers — continues to be important to the project.

“The expansion opportunity of Georgian Court University into Hunterdon County addresses several important goals, including New Jersey’s need to build more alliances between business and higher education,” he said. “Plus, GCU’s presence in Flemington will serve students and employers through undergraduate and graduate degree programs in their own backyard.”