UMCP Receives Site Plan Approval for New Hospital in Plainsboro

Jul 8, 2008

The Plainsboro Township Planning Board on Monday evening, July 7, unanimously approved the site plan for University Medical Center at Princeton's (UMCP's) replacement hospital. This approval represents Plainsboro's endorsement of the significant development project at a prominent location within the community, a 50-acre site bounded by Route One, Scudders Mill Road and Plainsboro Road, less than three miles from the hospital's current location in Princeton. The Plainsboro site plan approval, which followed Plainsboro's rezoning of the site in January 2008, and New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services Certificate of Need approval in February 2007, is a major milestone in the process of constructing the new hospital, which is expected to be completed in 2011. Demolition and utility relocation will proceed shortly.

Last week, UMCP obtained in Princeton Borough the final rezoning essential to the disposition of its Merwick property on Route 206. Now three hospital properties in Princeton - the Merwick site, the Franklin Avenue parking lot site and the Witherspoon site - are zoned as contemplated by the agreements of sale with UMCP's purchasers.

The replacement hospital site in Plainsboro, however, is only one element of a 159-acre health campus, which extends from Scudders Mill Road to the Millstone River. The other development includes: a 32-acre public park along the Millstone River, for which the Planning Board also gave site plan approval on Monday night; medical office building; senior residential community with independent and assisted living units; skilled nursing facility; health and fitness center; and general office research facilities.

"We welcome the hospital as a first-rate healthcare provider to our community. The hospital and the accompanying health campus development will have very significant economic and community-building advantages for Plainsboro and the entire region. We look forward to working closely with Princeton HealthCare System as the development of the campus proceeds," Plainsboro Mayor Peter Cantu said.

The $441.7 million replacement hospital will feature the latest innovations in healthcare and medical technology to create an environment that will make UMCP one of the nation's top hospitals for clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, operational efficiency and sustainability. Upon opening, it will consist of approximately 636,000 square feet, 243 private patient rooms, state-of-the-art emergency services, operating suites and a comprehensive array of ambulatory services and laboratories. Subsequent development would provide an additional 324,000 square feet to be used for more than 100 additional private patient rooms and expanded hospital services and physician offices.

The new hospital will be financed through a combination of savings, earnings, loans and donations. UMCP now has gifts and pledges totaling $76 million, with a fundraising goal of $115 million.

By building a new hospital in a location that is closer to 70 percent of its patients, Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS) can ensure that UMCP is sufficiently sized and equipped to continue to do what it has done since 1919 - provide outstanding healthcare to the community it has traditionally served and meet the changing healthcare needs of the Central Jersey region. The decision to relocate UMCP emerged as the best choice for the hospital's future, after the hospital conducted extensive analysis of the feasibility of renovating and expanding the current facility on Witherspoon Street in Princeton. Members of the community and local government officials were involved in dozens of public meetings devoted to determining a course of action that would allow the hospital to fulfill its mission of providing the highest standard of healthcare to everyone regardless of his/her ability to pay.

"Plainsboro Township's staff and elected officials have provided constructive advice and numerous hours of hard work to help us develop a site plan that meets the goals of the town and the hospital. Plainsboro has been a true partner in this process and we thank everyone for their efforts. We are proud to be part of Plainsboro and are eager to be an outstanding citizen of the community," PHCS CEO and President Barry Rabner said.