By Berit Ollestad
Folks who drive by the former Pfizer site in Morris Plains see demolition taking place, and they probably assume a housing/retail project is going forward.
It’s not, according to Mayor Frank Druetzler.
“Let me assure you that nothing has been approved,” the Mayor said this month.
The Borough and M&M Realty Developers of Clifton are embroiled in litigation over the site’s future. The developer wants to change zoning laws to allow 500 housing units and 100,000 square feet of retail space.
“The current proposed development will only over-tax our current infrastructure. It’s imperative that we look at the long term effects on the rest of our community. We are 2.5 square miles in size, we aren’t a big town” said the Mayor.
Attempts to reach M&M for comment were unsuccessful.
Honeywell announced last spring that it will be re-locating its world headquarters from Morris Township to another section of the Pfizer tract, on the other side of Route 53, in mid 2015.
“We feel we have given the builder a viable alternative that isn’t simply a dream, it’s a reality. We have proposed to the developer to possibly consider building a first-class hotel to accommodate the influx of people that Honeywell brings to their facility annually,” said Druetzler.
It’s estimated that Honeywell rents 12,000 rooms each year, and oftentimes faces a shortage of available rooms.
“It’s going to be quite awhile before anything is built on that site” said Druetzler.