Construction is expected to begin this spring on the first of three buildings in the New Jersey Health + Life Science Exchange, or HELIX, a public-private development planned in downtown New Brunswick, the Rutgers University board of trustees announced.
The three-year construction project will create more than 7,000 jobs and generate about $83 million in local, county, and state tax revenues. Once completed, the HELIX is projected to produce approximately $880 million in economic activity annually in the state, including supporting about 4,500 jobs, according to an economic impact report on the project.
The HELIX will be developed by the New Brunswick Development Corp. on a site across from the New Brunswick train station. It will be designed as an innovation center providing businesses, universities, and researchers with critical space in which to work, learn, experiment, and collaborate.
“Rutgers Health at the HELIX will transform and affirm to the world the core value of Rutgers’ research and medical education enterprise,” President Jonathan Holloway said in a news release. “Imagine: We will be educating new generations of medical students alongside cutting-edge laboratories and researchers — in the same space where we collaborate with our colleagues at Princeton and businesses, including the two largest hospital systems in the state. It will be an epicenter of health innovation.”
Planning for the public-private complex began several years ago when Governor Phil Murphy first proposed 2017 a “Hub” to invigorate the state’s innovation economy.
The estimated cost of the first building is $732 million, with Rutgers paying $567 million.