Fox Chase Cancer Center and City of Philadelphia Finalize Proposed Lease for Portion of Burholme Park
Fox Chase Cancer Center Representatives Present Proposed Lease Terms and Master Plan to Fairmount Park Commission (FPC) Today in Accordance with 2005 FPC Resolution
PHILADELPHIA (July 24, 2006) -In another major step forward in the expansion of Fox Chase Cancer Center, the Fairmount Park Commission today, approved a finalized lease for 19.4 acres of adjacent Burholme Park to be used for the construction of new cancer research and treatment facilities at Fox Chase. The proposed lease: 1) designates more than $1 million for Burholme Park improvements and an endowment fund; 2) authorizes Fox Chase to make all lease payments directly to the Fairmount Park Conservancy rather than to the City's General Fund; and 3) ensures that parkland being leased will remain public until such time as the land is needed.
"The City and the Fairmount Park Commission have demonstrated great leadership in developing this unique private-public partnership to keep Fox Chase in Philadelphia indefinitely and to ensure that people in this region will continue to have access to world-class cancer care," said Robert C. Young, M.D., president and CEO of Fox Chase Cancer Center. "We want very much to stay in Philadelphia and keeping Fox Chase here also allows the City to maintain its leadership role in the nation as a biomedical research hub."
The Fox Chase expansion is necessary to accommodate new cancer research and the growing number of cancer patients requiring care each year. In 1980, Fox Chase treated 800 new patients a year. In 2006, Fox Chase will see more than 6,500 new patients. That number is expected to double by 2015. Fox Chase's expansion will include a new state-of-the art hospital, an outpatient treatment center, and advanced research facilities.
In March 2005, the Fairmount Park Commission gave preliminary approval to Fox Chase's plan to expand its Northeast Philadelphia campus by utilizing 19.4 acres in neighboring Burholme Park. The plan allows Fox Chase to build much-needed patient care and research facilities. It will create approximately 4,000 new city jobs through $1 billion of phased development over 20 years and add an estimated $40 million in local tax revenues to the city.
The proposed agreement leases the 19.4 acres in Burholme Park to Fox Chase for 80 years and gives the Center the option to renew the lease for two additional 40-year periods. The land will be leased from the City to the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development (PAID), subleased to the Fairmount Park Conservancy and then subleased to Fox Chase Cancer Center. This lease structure enables Fox Chase to make direct payments to the Fairmount Park Conservancy that will be used exclusively for park purposes. Fifty percent of the "base rent" or $1.125 million must be used exclusively for the maintenance, repairs and improvements of Burholme Park, and will fund an endowment to support future maintenance and improvements.
"Having money earmarked solely for Burholme Park has been our desire since we first embarked on this plan," said Young. "We're also pleased that the lease structure supports another goal -- that the lease proceeds be dedicated for park use."
The proposed agreement requires Fox Chase to "use its best efforts" to acquire suitable new land for parkland purposes. At the request of the Commission, if suitable land is not identified in a timely manner, Fox Chase will create a new escrow account for Park to acquire additional land or to use for improvement of existing parkland. This plan replaces the earlier plan to transfer Fox Chase's Laurel Avenue property.
An earlier request by the Commission to transfer Fox Chase's Laurel Avenue property has been eliminated in favor of identifying land within Philadelphia.
In accordance with the Commission's resolution of 2005, the lease includes general "design guidelines" governing the height, scale, and exterior appearance of Fox Chase's buildings, the landscaping of the campus, and the way in which the expanded campus would meet the boundary of Burholme Park. Fox Chase has also agreed to replace each tree removed during construction with two new trees.
The Fox Chase expansion plan leaves intact the Burholme Park playground, ballparks, sledding hill and Ryerss Museum. Much of the land to be used is consistent with the amount of land currently leased for commercial purposes. Under the proposed lease, the Commission can allow the golf concessionaire to continue operating until the land is needed by Fox Chase.
Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase also was among the first institutions to receive the National Cancer Institute’s prestigious comprehensive cancer center designation in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has achieved Magnet status for excellence three consecutive times. Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research and oversees programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. For more information, call 1-888-FOX-CHASE (1-888-369-2427).