Transformative project at MetroPark station, led by HMH, approved for $113M Aspire award

Transit-oriented project will include health care services (and HMH’s HQ) as well as office, residential and retail

A transformative mixed-use and transit-oriented development project at Metropark Station in Iselin — one that will combine health care with office, retail and residential in an unprecedented way — was approved Thursday for a $113 million Aspire award from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

The project, led by Hackensack Meridian Health, is unlike anything in the state — or even the country — as it blends health care into the community in a unique way.

The project not only will serve as the future headquarters of Hackensack Meridian Health, but its 240,000 square feet of space will include 60,000 square feet of health care services, including primary care, surgical specialties, imaging, phlebotomy, urgent care and a retail pharmacy.

The 12-acre project, which also will include Class A office, retail and housing space, is being created in conjunction with Russo DevelopmentOnyx Equities and Dinallo Development LLC/Terminal Construction.

HMH officials are planning an announcement at the site Friday. The early word is that part of the project could be ready by the second quarter of 2025. The project also could be eligible for additional EDA awards in the future.

The project was originally announced in the fall of 2022 — but not with the full connection to health care services and Hackensack Meridian Health.

Officials involved in the project said the goal is to develop a cohesive community centered at the station that will enhance mobility options and help connect New Jerseyans to employment, education, health care and other opportunities through improved access to New Jersey Transit’s transportation system.

And, because the train station is on the busy Northeast Corridor line that runs from Washington, D.C., to Boston — meaning it handles both NJ Transit and Amtrak customers — officials foresee the health care facility providing easy access to needs for anyone riding along the line.

While the facility will be connected to the transit hub, it also is expected to serve residents in nearby towns of Woodbridge and Edison, as well as around the Middlesex County region.

When it was first announced in the fall of 2022, Gov. Phil Murphy said the project reflects his commitment to promoting sustainable growth and expanding a world-class public transportation system that connects residents to economic opportunity.

“Station by station, line by line, we continue our determined overhaul of one of the world’s most critical transportation networks,” he said then. “This comprehensive transformation requires infrastructure investments that are complemented by the promotion of walkable neighborhoods, the construction of affordable housing and the cultivation of economic opportunity.

“By leveraging public-private partnerships like the synergies on display today, we stimulate not just transit-oriented development, but future-oriented communities.”