N.J. to announce $665M investment in medical research at the Hub — and that it’s moving a medical school to site

Record investment is 1st stage in development of site that officials envision will make N.J. a national player in medical research and innovation

Gov. Phil Murphy and Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway will announce Thursday morning a landmark $665 million investment by the state in innovation, translational research and medical education at the Hub in downtown New Brunswick — an investment that includes the relocation of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School to the site.

The investment represents just the first phase of the development of a site that state, higher education and health care officials envision will make New Jersey a national player in medical research and innovation.

The news will be announced at an 11 a.m. groundbreaking event featuring Murphy, Holloway, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Woodbridge), New Brunswick Mayor Jim Cahill, Rutgers board of governors Chair Mark Angelson, RWJBarnabas Health CEO Barry Ostrowsky, Hackensack Meridian Health CEO Bob Garrett and a host of others.

Here’s what will be announced:

The first phase of the Hub project will include two buildings that combine to total approximately 580,000 square feet.

  • One building, totaling approximately 170,000 square feet, will be a new state-of-the-art facility for the medical school, including classrooms, faculty offices, simulation labs — and everything else associated with a modern medical school. It will represent a much-needed update for the school.
  • A second, larger building, totaling 410,000 square feet, will house two elements:
    • The Rutgers Translational Research Facility: Under the guidance of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor Brian Strom, it will provide lab support space for approximately 80 principal investigators doing various forms of life science research. It’s anticipated that it will house between 700-800 researchers. This could be research connected to the medical school, but it is meant to encompass all types of medical research, such as engineers developing medical devices or computer scientists doing DNA research.
    • The New Jersey Innovation & Technology Hub: This will be for private companies that are looking to grow and commercialize the ideas, some of which will come out of the Rutgers Translational Research Facility.

The goal of the two buildings is two-fold: To provide modern education facilities for medical students, ones where they have access to research from Day One — and to provide researchers with a collaborative space to study and create and, when needed, the ability to commercialize their findings and products.

The first phase is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

The second phase of the Hub will include a third building totaling approximately 500,000 square feet. This building will have private-company tenants representing all of the life science ecosystem, including Big Pharma, little pharma, biotech and medical devices.

The goal, again, is to have private companies working with researchers to develop new products and health care solutions.

The construction of this building will come later, but officials said they hope it will commence before the first phase is completed.

The New Brunswick Development Corp., better known as Devco, is the master developer on the project.

Rutgers University, RWJBarnabas Health, Hackensack Meridian Health, Devco and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority already have been announced as core partners in the effort. They will be joined Thursday by Middlesex County.

Choose New Jersey and Princeton University will be the initial tenants in the first phase.