Modern Meadow is a private cutting edge biotech company that specializes in ‘animal-free’ leather using biofabrication.
*THIS IS EPIC!!!
Let that sink in. It’s 2017 and animals DO NOT have to be raised in livestock, then killed for their skin. It also allows for less waste in the supply chains industry, livestock industry and leaves a better environmental footprint.
Traditional leather requires – animals being raised – transported into slaughter – removal of hide – the hide is then shipped around the world. This leads to a long and inefficient supply chain.
Co-Founder and CEO Andras Forgacs explains it more in depth at a TechCrunch conference:
Founded in 2011, Modern Meadow prides itself on specializing in turning oil into high-performance tunable synthetic materials. By learning how protein folds, they sequenced their own genome and applied it to reading and writing DNA. In more simplistic terms, they have engineered living cells such as collagen protein to replicate leather-all without harming animals.
Modern Meadow is set to receive up to $32 million in Grow NJ tax credits for relocating its Headquarters to Nutley, NJ. In addition, it required $53.5 million in funding and will add 200 employees by 2020.
“With this move, Modern Meadow is committed to expanding its biofabrication platform and continuing to build next-generation materials for the consumers of the future. We are thrilled to be in close proximity to a scientific talent pool and look forward to growing with Nutley,” says CEO Andrew Forgacs.
Modern Meadow will be part of the Hackensack University Health Network and Seton Hall University on the 116-arce property, the site of the old Hoffman LaRoche facility.
Opportunity Comes Knocking on La-Roche Development
[Oprah Voice] “You get a job, you get a job, you get a job AND you get a job!”
Prism Capital Partners LLC recently purchased the former La-Roche development in 2016. An according to Nutley’s township Attorney, Alan Genitempo, 5,000 – 8,000 jobs are expected to be created. This will be great for the economic growth of Nutley.Nutley’s Mayor Scarpelli expressed, “We’re very excited by that. More people will spill over into our local economy. It will create jobs and is good for the local economy and for our ratables.”
Along with the new batch of jobs created, there will be many changes to the buildings. “We’ve been working with the developer on a weekly basis and getting status reports,” says Genitempo.
The new plans for the reconstruction of the 16 acre property includes: redevelopment of two buildings – which will become the new private medical school and research facility, offices, compatible commercial uses, and structured and surface parking facilities. When designing the future structures, the developers want those who will be working in the buildings to enjoy a campus-like greenery. In addition, Seton Hall College of Nursing and School of Health and Medical Science will be built on 10 to 9 acres of land that will be leased out. Prism’s Edwin Cohen stated, “At the same time, we are working closely with the Township of Nutley, city of Clifton and a team of consultants to develop a vibrant mixed-use, multiuser plan.”
Situated between the Garden State Parkway and NJ Turnpike, the former La-Roche development will now be rebranded as ON3.And due to the location, this is said to be a highly sought after business address that has many companies interested.“There has been interest from high-tech industries,” Scarpelli said.
With massive changes, township leaders are very welcoming to the new possibilities. “It’s the future of Nutley. It’s the lifeblood of our economy, says Genitempo.”
It’s 2017 and New Jersey has some ‘bigly’ news! In fact, its actually ‘yuuuuuuuuge’ news for those living in Nutley or Clifton. Seton Hall University and Hackensack Meridian Health will be opening the New School of Medicine.
This is officially the first private medical school operated in New Jersey for the last 50 years. It is the fifth medical school in the state and will be the only private, non-profit medical school.
No, this is not fake news! This is the real deal and we have the facts to prove it.
Seton Hall University and Hackensack Meridian Health signed a 25-year-lease agreement for the former 16-acre campus of the Hoffmann-La Roche biomedical facility with PB Nutclifl LLC. This is an affiliate of Bloomfield-based Prism Capital Partners LLC, who acquired the property on July 13, 2016. The majority of the property is located in the Township of Nutley.
There are no losers here as negotiations include two new state of the art buildings. The first being the New School of Medicine by Hackensack Meridian Health and Seton Hall. An the second is the College of Nursing and School of Health and Medical Sciences, which is relocating to this area from the original South Orange campus. Many are looking forward to the National Health Institute-Designed Clinical Research Center, which will help serve as a research and discovery center.
So what does this all mean? Well, lets take a look at some reactions to this new development project.
Seton Hall – Excited to provide more than 1500 students with the opportunity to gain new knowledge in state of the art facilities and improve healthcare for years to come.
According to the Founding Dean of the new School of Medicine at Seton Hall University, Bonita Staton. “We’re going to make a big impact on the healthcare of the United States. ”We’re gonna start with the impact on the healthcare of the people that are in New Jersey, that are in the area were serving.” She also states, “We will be educators. We will be researchers. And we will be giving top quality care.”
Students from the medicine, nursing, occupational and physical therapy fields will benefit tremendously in the newly designed state of the art schools. Seton Hall is proud to provide students with the new facilities to improve patient care as it is one of the most important priorities. Students will be able to be engaged in a hands-on approach through operating tables and simulation labs as World-class surgeons are expected to be onsite.
Seton Hall is excited to attract the brightest minds to the field of medicine in New Jersey. This will add to a shortage in physicians that New Jersey and the US currently face. These new facilities are ready for the next generation to improve and pursue their career in the medical field.
Nutley’s Mayor – Thrilled for improving the community and enthusiastic about the future.
Nutley’s Mayor and Commissioner of Public Works, Joseph Scarpelli, issued the statement, “The Board of Commissioners and our residents are enthusiastic about the future of the site and anticipate the new medical school will be a catalyst for continued positive changes in our community. We expect as Prism begins the improvements and repurposing of the property, there will be a boost to our local economy and provide an opportunity for quality employment prospects for our residents. It is indeed an incredible honor to be mayor at this exciting time in Nutley’s history,”
Hopefully, with the addition of the Medical Facility, the other buildings can be rented by corporate tenants, thereby, returning much- needed ratables to the Township.
Residents – Mixed reactions
The majority of residents are excited for the New School of Medicine, as they agree it is a great fit. They are thrilled the currently vacant former pharmaceutical facilities are being turned into a medical school instead of shopping malls. They are no longer nervous about a large increase to their property taxes had the campus remained empty for too many years. Others may have a bit of a hard time welcoming the higher density and new traffic.
Real Estate – Celebrations all around
‘New Urbanist’ is the term for the future property, which will be a mixed site of living, working and playing. The real estate development firm Prism Capital Partners is confident that they will be able to attract corporate and research users to the new location, while uncompromising quality.
In addition, Prism is marketing three additional, existing office buildings. These buildings totaling more than 700,000 square feet, and are build-to-suit lease and development sites. Prism has attracted noteworthy companies and is continuing to negotiating agreements with users for additional leases on site
Local Realtors® are optimistic that the ‘overflowing’ demand of housing needs will boost the local real estate market.
The Nutley and Seton Hall communities are running on adrenaline, as this news is a great sign of things to come! Some might even say New Jerseyans are… #Winning!
Currently, plans are still being drafted, and more details will be provided in the future; so check back for updates.
While I was trying to figure out a cool place in Nutley to dine, the popular Franklin Steakhouse, open seven days a week at 238 Franklin Avenue, was recommended to me multiple times. This iconic eatery, although physically located in a different venue than in years past, still offers its signature steaks and ribs, along with a variety of other old favorites. The restaurant did not disappoint and lived up to its numerous glowing recommendations.
Upon entering, my entire mood positively shifted. The place was dimly lit but still entirely inviting with a Cheers-esque atmosphere. Dominated by a mural photograph of Tangorra Field, there are also multiple TV’s hung on the walls. The wrought-iron chandeliers throughout the restaurant hung over the hungry customers.
My companion and I promptly seated ourselves on the bar side, directly in front of the 20 glistening taps. I ordered a draught Blue Moon while I looked over the diverse menu which offers appetizers ranging from Chinese dumplings to Mexican nachos and of course the old staples of loaded potato skins and short rib tacos. There is something for everyone’s palate.
My companion was enticed by an adjacent diner’s meal and asked what it was she was eating. The answer was Mexican Firecrackers, or crispy tortillas filled with spicy marinated chicken, multiple cheeses, and served with guacamole, salsa, and sour cream. My friend ordered the same immediately. I myself ordered the Cajun Calamari as my appetizer, and it was tantalizing.
After we devoured our appetizers and finished licking our fingers, it was brought to my attention by the bartender that there was a large event venue upstairs. My friend stayed back while I decided to go have a peek.
The steakhouse has long been a staple of casual dining in Nutley, but the upstairs venue I was about to encounter had its own charm. After ascending the stairs flanked by a wall of windows, I happened upon a large room with light blue recessed lighting surrounding the crown molding. Crystal chandeliers hung symmetrically over the white cloth covered tables that lined the polished dance floor. Mirrored walls and a dimly lit bar in the back gave the venue exceptional appeal.
Upon returning from upstairs, I found my main dish, the Bloomfield Ave. Burger, waiting for me on the bar top next to a perfectly poured Yuengling. The burger was topped with sautéed onions, bell peppers and sliced potatoes piled high next to a mound of crispy orange sweet potato fries. The meal itself was exceptional in almost every way; although only a burger, it was definitely memorable
The Franklin Steakhouse also offer some ‘enticements’ to come visit, such as Wednesday Nights Kids Eat Free, Happy Hour Monday through Friday 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM with half price appetizers and drinks, and Live Music during Happy Hour on Wednesdays.
This restaurant certainly continues the long tradition of its predecessor and is still a Nutley favorite. With all the different choices Nutley has to offer for dining, this restaurant is definitely one to put on your list when you want that casual experience. I enjoyed my visit and feel wholly satisfied with my first encounter with Franklin Steakhouse. I can now add my recommendation to all the others it receives!
This past Friday I took the opportunity to meet with Nancy Greulich, the tour guide of the Nutley Historical Society, as she took me for a walk through the unpraised but fascinating history of Nutley.
As I arrived at the Nutley Historical Society at 65 Church Street, Nutley’s Museum, I was greeted by the tiny but delighted Nancy. After introductions, she invited me to sit on a shaded bench and began narrating a brief story about a large pine tree across the street from the museum known as the “clown tree.” When a traveling circus passed through Nutley in the 1890’s, a clown unfortunately died. With nowhere to bury the clown, his fellow entertainers were granted permission to bury him in the far corner of the Franklin Reformed Church Cemetery. However, the circus could not afford a tombstone and so, the following year on their return trip, planted in his burial plot the pine tree that stands now to this very day.
Just like that, Nancy and I were off to revisit the history of the small town nestled into the hillside. Nutley is located about 15 miles west of New York City and its population grew gradually over the past century and a half as people began to more heavily settle the area. Though home to a number of historic buildings and historical figures, Nutley’s modern image as a charming suburb may shadow some of its former glories.
Upon entering the museum, Nancy informed me that it was a former schoolhouse when it opened in 1875. The first floor was largely empty. This room, the original school room, can be rented as a party hall for events and is one of the methods the museum uses to earn revenue. Numerous paintings of Nutley’s parks and other places of interest were hung on the walls. A large placard showing Nutley’s fallen soldiers of World War II hung on the back wall; many of the fallen are honored and remembered by numerous street names in Nutley today. Yet, the main attraction was the upstairs, the genuine Nutley Museum.
By ascending the wide wooden staircase that was bound by a thick hand-carved bannister, I descended back into time. As I entered the room, it became quite clear who the most intriguing and most documented historical figure in the museum was – Annie Oakley. The famous female sharp shooter was actually a resident of Nutley for 10 years at the turn of the century. She owned a large property in the town where she honed her skills as a master markswoman, horseback rider, and entertainer. She often performed at town events like fairs and carnivals for fun in between her domestic and international touring. Hard to believe driving through Nutley now that it was once the pride of onetime resident and famous celebrity, Annie Oakley. One of her guns, a coin she shot out of the air at a Nutley fair, and a diverse multitude of her artifacts decorate the shelves.
In between the collection cases and high windowed walls, original iron and wood desks from the early 1920’s stood still resolute, a testament to days when things were built with craftsmanship. In the back of the museum, Nancy apprised me of a large, wooden telephone booth, Nutley’s first. This booth was used by Mark Twain during his visit to Nutley, believe it or not. Other relics of Nutley’s past include the town’s original telephone switchboard and memorabilia from Nutley’s schools systems, like vintage sports jerseys and uniforms, old brochures and leaflets, and
fascinating pictures of years past. Indeed the most random and wholly unexpected artifact was a four-foot long narwhal tusk brought back from an Arctic expedition by Admiral Robert Peary, which was gifted to the Nutley Mayor in the early 1900’s.
To my surprise, my visit with Nancy was briefly interrupted by a group of school children who were part of Nutley high school’s Let’s Learn program. Children of varying ages were told of the history of the town as Nancy walked them through the numerous exhibits. One boy took a deep interest in Lenape Indian tools found in the town, such as arrowheads, while another girl was completely enamored by Nutley High School’s old cheerleader uniforms on display. As a young 21 year old, even I could appreciate the young children’s penchant for the diverse history of their town.I stayed for the children’s tour and followed them out with Nancy. As I stepped back out into the sunlight onto the slate patio of the Church Street building, Nancy was walking the children back out to the street. I stood for a moment under the waving American flag above the door and thought about how incredible my hour with Nancy had been. I already have an admiration for history, but my visit with Nancy left me content.
I began to realize that Nutley was not just some suburb of New York City but that it was an entirely unique place. It’s bittersweet to think that many people do not know the rich history Nutley possesses. However, that is also why it is important to continually keep learning history; it gives one a sense of culture, tradition, and familiarity.
Nutley is historic for so many reasons it would take pages to write about. Books can, have, and will continue to be written on Nutley’s plentiful history. The town’s history is now interwoven in its fast-paced, modern life. If one only slows down to recognize the history, uniqueness and character of the town, the town will continue to inspire so many like it has throughout its past, like Annie Oakley, or my new friend Nancy the tour guide, or even the young children present in the museum. Blissfully, as I caught up behind Nancy, she was chronicling to the children the tale of the “clown tree.”