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  • Writer's pictureAndre Watson

Virtua Health puts 110-acre 'unicorn' site in South Jersey up for sale


A 110-acre site, outlined in blue, in Westampton, New Jersey, is up for sale.

WOLF COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE



Months after an agreement fell through to sell 110 acres in South Jersey to an industrial developer, Virtua Health has listed the Westampton property for sale.

The site was once planned for a $1 billion hospital complex at 1919 Burlington-Mount Holly Road. It’s near the intersection of Burlington-Mount Holly and Woodlane roads, sitting less than a mile from the New Jersey Turnpike Exit 5 interchange and two miles to I-295.

Virtua Health bought the Hogan family farm property for $10.6 million in 2013. It’s remained undeveloped and is being sold as a development site.

The property is zoned for office research and commercial, which means allowed uses include offices, laboratories, conference centers, banks, child care centers, retail and restaurants.

Industrial isn’t allowed with the current zoning.

“It’s kind of like a unicorn,” Wolf Commercial Real Estate listing agent Evan Zweben said. “There’s very few sites that sit that close to those two roadways and exits that haven’t been developed. It really is an unbelievable opportunity.”

The $1 billion complex Virtua Health previously planned would have included a $500 million-plus hospital to replace Virtua Mount Holly Hospital.

Virtua Health acquired Lourdes Health System in 2019 and plans for the site changed by 2021. Instead of building the Westampton complex, Virtua Health reinvested in Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden and Virtua Mount Holly Hospital, two acute care facilities.

“As such, we no longer have plans to build a hospital in Westampton and no longer require the land,” Virtua Health spokesperson Daniel Moise said in an email. “The decision to sell the property has been in the works for some time, and we look forward to collaborating with Wolf Commercial Real Estate to identify a buyer.”

This past winter, a sale was under agreement with an industrial developer who Zweben declined to disclose. Since the site isn’t zoned to allow for industrial use, the property would’ve needed a zoning change. After residents pushed back on a proposal, the zoning was never changed and the sale fell through. Virtua Health worked directly with the prospective buyer.

This time, the property is listed for sale and marketed as a development site for what’s currently allowed. While a buyer could desire industrial development on the site, that would require township approval.

“It was made pretty clear to us that the residents were heard and it didn’t seem like industrial was something that was going to be considered,” Zweben said.

Zweben said it’s too early to tell how much the site could sell for. After the property was listed earlier this month, Zweben said he’s heard from about 50 interested buyers and plans to receive offers in the coming weeks.

Land both north and south of the property has been developed, Zweben said. Sitting in the middle, with close proximity to highways, makes it a desirable spot. With 110 acres, the property also has space for a large campus, which provides opportunity for a buyer wanting a large area to work with.

The property is next to the Burlington County Social Services Building to the east and the Burlington County Special Services Building to the west. While there are some residential developments nearby, they aren’t directly next to the property.

“Up and down those two roadways, I can’t picture many spots where you have 110 acres just sitting there undeveloped where you start from scratch,” Zweben said.

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