FLORHAM PARK, NJ-The new 120,000-sf training facility for the New York Jets here will keep football and business operations separate; each to their own floor. Currently, several miles and the East River seperates the two divisions of the football organization.

Thad Seeley, senior vice president for the Jets, showed just-completed blueprints of the facility to CoreNet’s New Jersey chapter. The networking group’s November meeting hosted the “New York Jets Training Facility & Corporate Headquarters – a Model Public/Private Partnership” talk at the Park Avenue Club, right next to the Jets’ site.The two-story building wraps around one of five football fields in the camp, with lights set up for night practices. Three more outdoor fields are adjacent to this one and a fifth is inside. The various turf conditions will allow the Jets to simulate game day conditions no matter where they’re playing.

The first floor will be home for football operations and the second floor for business operations. The two halves of the Jets will be kept separate, with separate parking lots and entrances. A first-floor cafeteria and auditorium will have dual use capabilities. The media have a third entrance, away from both football and business operations.

“One of the big benefits of the site is how they’re welcomed by the community,” said Mark Yeager, president and CIO for Gale Real Estate Services, and a moderator at the event.

The Jets have been homeless in a variety of ways, currently with football operations by Hofstra University in Hempstead, business operations in Manhattan and game-days played in a stadium named for another team. At one point the team had to practice at Ryker’s Island. “Florham Park lets us bring it together in one spot,” Seeley said.

Initially, Frank Tinari, mayor of Florham Park, was concerned about what could and should go in the 470-acre campus vacated by Exxon in 2000. “The traffic issue was the big one,” he said. Traffic was voluminous enough in the area without a possible 2.2 million sf of new development on the site. The Jets facility in the campus, while high profile, is a low-density use. Future campus developments include residential parcels, which would provide counter-cyclical traffic use.

The Jets are currently propositioning the NFL for $300 million in funds for construction of a new stadium shared with the Giants in the Meadowlands. Sheely said that the two training camp and stadium projects were both moving forward independently, without one hinging on the other’s success. The Jets are planning to move into the completed training camp in June of 2008 with hopes having the combined Jets/Giants stadium ready by the 2010 season.

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