University of Pennsylvania Health System planning to move into former Syms department store

Cherry Hill Mayor Chuck Cahn joined Finmarc Management in announcing that a division of the University of Pennsylvania Health System has signed a long-term lease to adaptively reuse and transform the former Syms department store site on Route 70.

Clinical Practices of the University of Pennsylvania will redevelop the site, which has been vacant since Syms closed in 2012, into a state-of-the-art, 150,000-square-foot medical office facility that houses multiple clinical disciplines within the health system, including an urgent care center, oncology, radiology, cardiology, obstetrics and gynecology, primary care and others.

“I’m delighted to officially welcome the University of Pennsylvania healthcare system into Cherry Hill on such a grand scale,” Cahn said. “This announcement is a major milestone for the entire region. It reinforces our ongoing efforts to redevelop underutilized properties in Cherry Hill and continues our strong path of continued economic development.”

Penn’s plans include renovations to the building facade, the installation of a new roof, new HVAC and electrical systems, full-building build out, the addition of new windows and upgrades to all interior and exterior lighting. Also planned are a new structured parking garage and repaving of the existing parking lot.

“This announcement is the culmination of several months of logistical issues that required a good working relationship between the township, the property owner, Finmarc, Markeim Chalmers and Penn to creatively address all the concerns that had previously made the site difficult to redevelop and market,” said Paul Stridick, Director of Community Development for the township.

The project represents an approximately $50 million investment in Cherry Hill. The announcement expands Cherry Hill’s reputation as a growing epicenter of medical services in the region, joining Lourdes Health System, Cooper University Health System, Virtua Health System and Kennedy University Health System within the township.

“Situated in a recognizable, and now easy-to-access, location on Route 70, Penn Medicine at Cherry Hill will provide patients in South Jersey another option for first-rate medical care from one of the nation’s premier providers,” Cahn said. “From now on, Cherry Hill will be known not just for our great mall and outstanding restaurants and shopping, but as a healthcare hub for the entire South Jersey region.”

Fred Berlinsky of Markeim Chalmers Real Estate represents the property owner locally. The Penn Medicine project was scheduled to appear before the township planning board on July 6. If approved, it is expected to be completed within the next 18 months.