PARAMUS, N.J. — The Valley Hospital will relocate its main campus to Paramus and will repurpose its Ridgewood facility to offer urgent care, labs and other medical services, officials announced Friday.
The hospital, part of Valley Health System, will build a new campus on Winters Avenue in Paramus, 2.5 miles from the current hospital in Ridgewood.
The new hospital is a $735 million project, and the public will have a chance to weigh in at several upcoming hearings, The Valley Hospital and Valley Health System CEO and President Audrey Meyers said.
Moving the inpatient and emergency services to Paramus will allow Valley to repurpose its current campus in Ridgewood for a broad range of healthcare services, including an urgent care center and laboratory, radiology and endoscopy services, hospital officials said.
"Valley Hospital has informed us they will remain a vibrant presence in Ridgewood," Village Mayor Susan Knudsen said.
"We are gathering information and will carefully evaluate the impact any changes may have on Ridgewood and our village residents."
The new facility will be located directly across street from the hospital's comprehensive cancer and same-day surgery centers, near the Fashion Center and Paramus Park Mall.
"Welcome to Paramus," Mayor Richard LaBarbiera said. "I would normally say [we're] the center of the retail universe, but now we'll have to add health care."
This is a great day for Paramus and a great day for Valley.
In addition, Valley plans to consolidate existing ambulatory and outpatient services and health system business functions back to the Ridgewood campus. Construction has not been scheduled at the current Ridgewood campus, hospital officials told Daily Voice.
The news hit close to home for Bergen County Executive James Tedesco. With tears in his eyes, Tedesco recalled his wife taking her last breath at The Valley Hospital, saying he'll never forget the care and compassion she was shown there.
"This is a win-win win for Paramus, Valley and Bergen County," Tedesco said.
On Feb. 1, the hospital will file a Certificate of Need application with the New Jersey Health Department.
State Senator Robert M. Gordon says the hospital's plan helps North Jersey "hit a critical mass that will allow this region to become a hub of health care."
The move culminates 11 years of four-way contention among the hospital, the village council, the municipal planning board and the citizens group, Concerned Residents of Ridgewood.
Valley's 2006 proposed master plan amendment called for a 1.17 million-square-foot facility, including a parking deck, according to media reports.
Though initially approved by the planning board in 2010, the council did not adopt an ordinance implementing the plan in 2011.
After that, Concerned Residents took the planning board to court over its decision.
The court directed the planning board in 2013 to reconsider an amended proposal.
So, in 2014, Valley proposed a smaller 910,000-square-foot facility and tweaked its new proposal over the course of dozens of meetings and public hearings.
The process reportedly cost the hospital hundreds of thousands of dollars and ended in the planning board rejecting the amended proposal.
Subsequently, Valley sued, challenging both the council’s failure to act in 2011 and the planning board’s decision to shoot down the amended proposal in 2014.
Concerned Residents of Ridgewood hasn’t updated its home page since March of last year, at which time it urged residents to vote knowledgeably for new council members.
Since 2000, Valley Health System has purchased properties in Paramus and Ridgewood, including a strip along North Maple Avenue leading into Ho-Ho-Kus. The purchases were intended as sites for outpatient services to alleviate pressure on the main campus.
In 2012 Becker’s Hospital Review included Valley on its “100 Great Community Hospitals” list.
According to its website, the hospital serves more than 440,000 people in 32 Bergen County towns and adjoining communities. Its current location on North Van Dien Avenue in Ridgewood has 451 beds.
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