Onyx reveals first plans for 2M+ sq. ft. life sciences hub at former Merck site

Northeast Science and Technology (NEST) Center is 100-acre site designed for next generation of innovative health leaders

The Merck campus in Kenilworth. ­— Onyx Equities

The former Merck campus in Kenilworth will become a hub of life sciences innovation known as the Northeast Science and Technology, or NEST, Center, the latest venture backed by leading real estate investment and property services firm Onyx Equities and equity partner Machine Investment Group.

Onyx purchased the state-of-the-art campus in February with an eye on the future of life sciences and biotechnology.

Located just 14 miles outside of New York City, NEST will attract the next generation of life sciences and technology leaders to the region, according to a news release. The campus empowers global organizations to tap into New Jersey’s highly educated labor pool.

NEST Center co-founder and Managing Partner John Saraceno will share full plans for the 2 million-plus-square-foot, purpose-built research and development campus while attending the BIO International Convention from June 5-8 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, according to the release.

Initial highlights include:

  • 1.4 million square feet of laboratory buildings;
  • 30 acres of redevelopment opportunities specifically zoned for research, laboratories and manufacturing facilities;
  • 500,000 square feet of Class A professional office space;
  • A turn-key vivarium;
  • Robust and redundant utility infrastructure, including a 25-megawatt co-generation power plant;
  • State-of-the-art amenities to create a vibrant campus culture, including a heliport, fitness center, conference centers and green space.

Onyx Equities has a strong track record as a best-in-class owner and developer of real estate within the Northeast.

NEST and other significant life science projects in New Jersey continue to help it emerge as one of the sector’s new leaders.

In fact, Kenvue, Johnson & Johnson’s billion-dollar consumer spinoff, recently selected an Onyx property to house its new global headquarters.

“The biotechnology industry has a high demand for both turnkey and customizable solutions,” Saraceno said. “Prior to NEST, many health tech companies, especially those in research & development, were forced to wait years for adequate laboratory and work space. NEST allows those on the cutting edge of medicine to focus on finding cures — rather than an office location.”

Saraceno went on to say that Onyx Equities chose to announce NEST at this year’s BIO Convention in Boston because the event has a reputation for bringing together leaders, innovators and investors in the life science, biotech and medical device industries with the goal of commemorating the value that breakthrough biotech performs for society.