Editor’s note: This story was published exclusively in The Jefferson Chronicle DIGEST magazine prior to being made available online. To receive the DIGEST magazine when it is released digitally, subscribe free.

Jefferson residents will soon be able to access orthopedic-related care in a proposed one-stop medical center at the former Pathmark site (Route 15 South in Lake Hopatcong). Final site plans were reviewed at the June 11 Planning Board meeting.

Steve Maffei, the contracted purchaser for the site, explained the proposal to knock down a portion of the building, resulting in a space of just over 43,000 square feet for a full-service orthopedic center. The goal is to create ease in sharing medical information among specialized areas of medicine such as MRI, X-ray, physical therapy, laboratory, and similar services.

According to engineer Jeffrey Martell, the building will include six individual suites; tenant names have not yet been released. An urgent care facility may also be a part of the project. There are no plans to sell food. Maffei stated that the estimated construction period is 13 months.

Although the hours will vary based upon department and need, the orthopedic group is usually open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. with walk-in times from 4-8 p.m. The imaging center typically offers extended opening from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Specific hours of operation will depend upon demand.

The traffic impact of the proposed medical building is expected to be less than it was for the former supermarket, resulting in a slight decrease in lot coverage. Two driveway access areas off Bowling Green Parkway will be available. There is an easement on the property for the septic connected with the BP gas station to the south.

The Planning Board has not yet received an application regarding a proposed Wawa on the same property. Prime Law, counsel for the current owner of the site, confirmed that there are no pending applications. Robert Inglima, attorney for the nearby BP station, had cross-examined witnesses at the board’s May meeting in opposition to the plans. Inglima stated that he is now working with the applicant’s representatives to come to an agreement regarding the future use of the property and does not oppose the medical center’s application.

The Planning Board reviewed signage variances and drop-off points for the medical center, and then voted unanimously to approve the site plan and variances.

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