St. Peter’s University Hospital Wins Approval For Medical Offices In Easton Avenue Building

The Planning Board on December 1 approved another use exemption for St. Peter’s office building on Easton Avenue.

St. Peter’s University Hospital on December 1 once again won an exemption from a prohibition on medical offices at its Easton Avenue office building, allowing for the transfer of some non-acute care specialties from its New Brunswick hospital.

Thanks to the Planning Board action, the building, located at 562 Easton Avenue, will soon be the home to the hospital’s pediatric, physical, occupational and speech therapy offices, as well as audiology and ear, nose and throat offices.

The hospital needed the exemption from a prohibition on medical office uses that was placed on the building at its original approval in 1986. This is the third such exemption granted to the building since 1993.

The offices will be housed on the building’s second floor, which used to be home to the Somerset Eye Institute.

The first floor is occupied by St. Peter’s Sports Medicine Institute.

Garrick Stoldt, the hospital’s chief financial officer, told the Board that the reason for the move was that St. Peter’s wants to “expand some clinical inpatient services” in the main hospital.

The hospital also needed a variance from the parking requirements for the property.

Township ordinance requires 148 parking spaces, but only 76 are provided on site.

A report compiled by New Brunswick-based THA Consulting showed that at their peak, all offices in the building would use no more than 70 parking spaces.

The hospital also has an agreement with St. Sharbel Maronite Church, whose property abuts St, Peter’s, to use up to 33 of their parking spaces during the week. St. Sharbel, in return, can use St. Peter’s parking lot as overflow parking for their weekend services.

Mark Healey, the township’s principal planner, did note in his report that the agreement is a yearly one which “automatically” renews at the end of each term, and also that St. Sharbel has a pending application before the Zoning Board of Adjustment to raze its current building and build a new church. Healey said that construction may render St. Sharbel’s parking lot unusable for a period of time.

The Board’s approval was unanimous.

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