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Rockefeller announces Summit Medical as newest tenant at Florham Park complex

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Clark Machemer at an undeveloped location in Florham Park. His Rockefeller Group announced today it will develop a four-story building for Summit Medical Group in the borough.
Clark Machemer at an undeveloped location in Florham Park. His Rockefeller Group announced today it will develop a four-story building for Summit Medical Group in the borough. - (Aaron Houston / NJBIZ)

Summit Medical Group will occupy the newest building at The Green at Florham Park, the Rockefeller Group's sprawling master-planned site that last year welcomed BASF's new North American headquarters, the developer announced today.

Rockefeller said it will develop a four-story, 100,000-square-foot medical office building for the state's largest private medical practice, which signed a 15-year lease for the entire space. Construction will begin in September, with occupancy expected by early 2015.

The building is planned for general medical office space, ambulatory care and radiology services, along with an ambulatory surgery center on a separate floor, Rockefeller said in a news release. The Berkeley Heights-based group said it chose the site because of its interest in expanding its services to Essex and Morris counties.

"The ability to build something this large and get as many specialties as we can under one roof — this property really presented itself nicely for that," said Karen Graham, Summit Medical Group's chief of operations. She said patient demand in what is an underserved area is key driver for the expansion, as is the need to accommodate new members in the future; just this week, the group welcomed 10 new doctors in Verona and West Orange.

Summit currently has some 360 physicians in 71 specialties, with a main campus and satellite offices in four counties. The company in January said it would join the network of the state's largest insurer, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, to help improve patient outcomes and rein in medical costs.

It also becomes the latest tenant at the 268-acre Green at Florham Park, where Rockefeller developed a new base of operations for German chemical company BASF. The 325,000-square-foot building opened last spring after breaking ground in mid-2010.

"It really builds upon the momentum that we've been seeing," said Clark Machemer, Rockefeller's regional director for New Jersey, who said the firm was happy to have a diverse mix of tenants at the site. "And we feel fortunate, given the overall market, that companies recognize the value of locating at the Green."

The Summit project is receiving no state incentives.

The complex, which is a redevelopment of the former ExxonMobil research center, has a master plan that includes two other built-to-suit office buildings, totaling about 450,000 square feet. Machemer said Rockefeller is in discussions with three or four other prospective tenants for those projects.

The Morris County site also is designed for a hotel and 100-acre residential portion. It's already home to the New York Jets' training facility, a feature that Graham said added to its appeal.

Cushman & Wakefield Vice Chairman Marc Rosenberg and Graham represented Summit in its site selection and lease negotiations. Machemer and Johanna Chervak, an associate director, represented Rockefeller in-house.

Joshua Burd

Joshua Burd

Josh Burd covers real estate, economic development and sports and entertainment. Before joining NJBIZ in 2011, he spent four years as a metro reporter in Central Jersey. His email is joshb@njbiz.com and he is @JoshBurdNJ on Twitter.

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