Fox Chase Cancer Center Presents $1 Billion Expansion Plan to Fairmount Park Commission

Proposal Calls for Utilization of Existing Commercial Property in

Burholme Park

Oct 13, 2004, 01:00 ET from Fox Chase Cancer Center

    PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Calling the project the "next step
 in the battle to treat and prevent cancer," Fox Chase Cancer Center leaders
 today presented a 20-year, $1-billion expansion plan to the Fairmount Park
 Commission that calls for the building of a new hospital, a new outpatient
 treatment center and critically needed new research facilities.
     The expansion proposal, which will bring 4,000 permanent new jobs to
 Philadelphia, seeks Commission approval for the utilization of 25 acres in
 Burholme Park, almost 80 percent of which already is being used for commercial
     "Cancer is primarily a disease of the aging, and as our population grows
 older, demand for treatment will continue to rise dramatically," explained
 Robert C. Young, M.D., president of Fox Chase.  "The demand for cancer care
 will explode in the next decade, and this development plan is the next step in
 the battle to treat and prevent cancer.  Fox Chase is already operating at
 overcapacity and we need to grow.  Our goal is to grow on our current campus
 right here in Philadelphia."
     Fox Chase was founded 100 years ago with the opening of the nation's first
 cancer hospital in West Philadelphia.  It moved to its current location in
 1968.  The 100-bed hospital remains one of the few facilities in the country
 devoted entirely to cancer care.  Today, Fox Chase sees more than 6,500 new
 patients a year - a number that is expected to double by 2015.
     The plan to expand at its current location followed a two-year visioning
 process that examined how to accommodate the growing need for patient care
 with cutting-edge treatments while also continuing to conduct the best
 scientific research in an environment of rapidly advancing technologies.
     "We considered expanding by acquiring property in various parts of the
 region, but splintering our patient care operations and research is not
 consistent with what a 'comprehensive cancer center' is," stated Dr.
 Young.  "The interaction between scientists and physicians is key to the rapid
 translation of laboratory discoveries for patient care."
     The Fox Chase growth plan seeks the use of 20 acres in Burholme Park,
 currently being leased for commercial purposes, plus an additional five acres.
 Fox Chase proposes moving the commercial tract of land closer to its campus
 after the lease with the current tenant expires.  Fox Chase would redevelop
 the former commercial footprint for recreational park uses, and the Center
 also would fund the purchase of an additional 25 acres of land at a site to be
 chosen by the Commission, so that there is no net loss of Park land.
     The Fox Chase expansion plan does not involve the ballparks, sledding hill
 or Ryers Museum.
     "In fact, our proposal includes a plan to help the Fairmount Park
 Commission with the upkeep of the ballparks, recreational areas and the
 museum," said Dr. Young.  "We want this proposal to be a win-win-win for the
 community, Fox Chase, and the Fairmount Park Commission and City."
     Philadelphia City Commerce Director Stephanie Naidoff indicated that the
 Street Administration supports the plan.  "It is very important to
 Philadelphia and the residents not only of the city but also the region that
 we help Fox Chase grow at its current campus, so that it can continue to be a
 world leader in the fight against cancer," Naidoff said.  "Of course, we must
 still come to agreement on the terms of this transaction, and we look forward
 to working with all of the parties to get there."
     Fox Chase has more than 2,300 employees, a third of which live in the
 immediate area.  The proposed expansion plan will double the size of the
 Center and add more than 4,000 new jobs.
     "We estimate that over the next five to seven years, the city will see an
 additional $40 million in wage taxes," said Dr. Young.
     Fox Chase receives more than $53 million a year in federal funding and
 grants.  The awarding of the 2004 Nobel Prize in chemistry last week to a
 long-time Fox Chase researcher, Irwin Rose, underscores the high-quality
 research conducted at the institution.  This is the second Nobel Prize
 received by Fox Chase scientists.
     The presentation to the Park Commission is the first step in a process
 that also involves the City of Philadelphia and the communities surrounding
 Fox Chase Cancer Center.
     Fox Chase Cancer Center was founded in 1904 in Philadelphia, Pa. as the
 nation's first cancer hospital.  In 1974, Fox Chase became one of the first
 institutions designated as a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer
 Center.  Fox Chase conducts basic, clinical, population and translational
 research; programs of prevention, detection and treatment of cancer; and
 community outreach.  For more information about Fox Chase activities, visit
 the Center's web site at or call 1-888-FOX CHASE.
      Contact:   Karen Carter Mallet

SOURCE Fox Chase Cancer Center