A new medical complex in Middletown that promises hundreds of jobs for locals should be “fully operational” by 2016, according to Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering purchased the 285,000-square-foot building on Red Hill Road, which previously housed Lucent offices, for $14 million last spring. Scharfenberger touted the project during an economic forum last week, saying that it is “a huge win” for Middletown.
"That is one of the big success stories for Middletown this year," he said.
The cancer treatment center should provide more than 300 “well-paying” jobs, drawing doctors and medical professionals to the area, the mayor said.
The complex is located off the Garden State Parkway near exit 114 in a wooded area and has been vacant for about eight years, according to the mayor.
Having a use for the property is important to the township because the owner could have filed a tax appeal if the land was not being utilized to 100 percent of its value, Scharfenberger said.
Though Sloan-Kettering is a tax-exempt organization, Scharfenberger said that a deal was worked out with the township so that the property will bring in $180,000 in revenue to Middletown each year.
The Sloan-Kettering complex, in addition to other projects in town, is seen as a potential catalyst that could draw more business to Middletown.
“It looks like we’re aggressive and welcoming to businesses," Scharfenberger said.
To find out what’s working in town, officials plan to distribute a survey to see what Middletown can do to become more business-friendly. More businesses could help to increase the township’s ratables base and stabilize taxes.“We have to be very aggressive at the local level here," Scharfenberger said. “Sloan-Kettering could have gone to the other side of the Delaware. We’re very proud to have them here.”