Quest Diagnostics breaks ground for its largest lab at former Roche campus in Clifton
Originally appeared in North Jersey Record on March 6, 2019
Quest Diagnostics held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday morning for its 250,000-square-foot flagship laboratory on the former Hoffmann-La Roche property, now called ON3, in Clifton.
Quest officials say they expect the facility, which will be the largest in the Quest network, to be completed in 2021.
Once fully operational, the lab will employ more than 1,100, with more than 300 of those in new jobs. It is expected to provide diagnostic services to more than 40 million people in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia.
Quest, with its start in New Jersey 50 years ago, has come full circle, said its CEO Steve Rusckowski.
"Quest is coming back to New Jersey in a big way, " Rusckowski said.
The facility will occupy 12 acres on the Clifton side of the 116 acres that also straddle Nutley.
Clifton and Nutley officials said their municipalities are expecting to recoup much of the estimated $15 million in property taxes lost when Hoffmann-La Roche left the site. Clifton expects to collect about $6 million once its side is fully occupied, and Nutley about $9 million.
Quest chose the ON3 location, according to records, after it received state tax incentives.
Gene Diaz, a principal for the property owner, Prism Capital Partners, called Quest a key component in plans to re-purpose the site he envisions as a place where professionals work, eat and play.
"Everyone is hesitant until they see the facts and figures," Diaz said.
ON3 also expects to bring a 255-room hotel and an 80,000-square-foot medical building to the site. A larger vision of the plan is expected to be rolled out in May.
Clifton Mayor James Anzaldi said the groundbreaking for the new laboratory is ideal and part of the city planners' vision as well, which was to bring in ratables not related to retail or housing.
"This is a great day," Anzaldi said, adding the site "not too many years ago, was an economic loss," but now "continues to become an economic boom."
State economic impact studies estimate Quest will relocate 754 jobs from its Teterboro facility and provide New Jersey 384 additional jobs.
Of those, 269 will relocate from Pennsylvania and Maryland, and 115 will be newly created. The median wage of the jobs is expected to be $54,000.
Already open on the site that runs along Route 3 east are Modern Meadow and Hackensack Meridan Medical School.