Report: Honeywell redevelopment plan gains key approval in Morris Township

The Honeywell site in Morris Township. Photo: Google Earth.

The Honeywell site in Morris Township. Photo: Google Earth.

Plans to redevelop the Honeywell site in Morris Township with 235 townhomes and 900,000 square feet of office space cleared a key hurdle on Thursday, with the planning board’s approval of a general development plan, reports the Morris News Bee.

The Rockefeller Group Development Corp. now can submit a site plan to the board.

The developers asked for 20 years but were given 12 years to complete the project, the newspaper reported.

Twenty-four units–10 percent of the total residential properties– are scheduled for designation as affordable housing.

Community opposition to another set of redevelopment plans prompted Honeywell’s decision last year to leave the Township, where it has been a fixture for decades.

The Township’s largest employer announced it would move its headquarters and 1,000 jobs to Morris Plains by 2015.  But the company plans to maintain a presence on the 147-acre Township tract on Columbia Road.

 



Comments

  1. Margret Brady says:

    This article, as have many others, cites community opposition as the reason Honeywell choose to leave the Township.

    To date I have seen no evidence that Honeywell had not already decided to move to Morris Plains prior to their request to rezone their Township site or any evidence that Honeywell had not been attempting to sell their Township tract prior to their rezoning efforts.

    I have observed that the buildings in Morris Plains appeared to be ready for their new occupants for several years now and can agree that any opposition to the process would have resulted in costly delays for all involved. There was also considerable expense, not just for Honeywell but also the Township and the citizens, who expressed sincere concern about the future development of their community. I find it hard to believe that the original purpose of the rezoning was not simply to maximize the value of the Honeywell tract prior to their move.

    It appears that the traffic counts used were those that compared the relative changes in the Honeywell traffic from the time it was fully occupied to today but ignored the general increase in traffic at that location over the same period of time. While it was said that the intersections in that area were already at capacity and that DOT was responsible for those roads, no remedies for the problem were offered.

    As a resident of a neighboring community, I been following this project with great interest because of the impact it might have on the streets of Morristown. Morristown also planning major redevelopment along the Speedwell Avenue corridor and along Morris Street and the area of the Train Station. The increase in traffic on Speedwell Avenue, Columbia Road, Madison Avenue and Morris Street resulting from our neighbors rezoning efforts and already approved development could have a devastating impact on streets in or Town, already overloaded with traffic.

    On the positive side, the new development on our borders has little to offer its new tenants in the way of the amenities offered in downtown Morristown. Those thousands of potential new customers could help our downtown business community if those customers are not stuck in traffic trying to get into Town.

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