Hoping to continue Morristown’s trend of apartment construction, a Far Hills developer is proposing 28 units on Schuyler Place, a short walk from the historic Morristown Green and the Morris County Courthouse.
Schuyler Lofts would rise four stories above Schuyler, and five stories above Bank Street in the back.
The project by Claremont Companies would replace the Central Jersey Title Company building, and smaller buildings that house the Advantix Benefits Group insurance office, local Republican Headquarters, and Washington Barbers–cutting hair since the Eisenhower administration, according to a barber there.
Jim Loughman, president of the title company and owner of the properties, expressed concern for the tenants who will be displaced if his sale proceeds.
But he and his brother and business partner, Jerry Loughman, have seen Morristown cycle through many ups and downs since they bought their brick building at 16 Schuyler in the early 1970s, Jim said. That includes an exodus of retail businesses that flocked to suburban malls.
“To get the stores back, you have to get the people back,” living downtown, Jim Loughman said. “If I can make this little area of Morristown pretty, I want to do that.”
Schuyler Lofts: Slideshow photos, click /hover images for captions:
The Claremont proposal needs zoning variances because it slightly exceeds height restrictions, is a few spaces shy of minimum parking requirements, and lacks a street-level storefront–a retail component stipulated by the new “town core” zone, according to town zoning officials.
Claremont representatives appeared before the zoning board this month, and are scheduled to present more testimony in November. Jeff Rawding of Morristown is the architect.
“It’s a great location,” town Planner Phil Abramson said of Schuyler Place.
A fitness center behind the properties won’t be affected. A shared driveway from Bank Street would provide tenant access to parking for Schuyler Lofts, said zoning board Chairman Michael Schmidt. Amenities would include a rooftop deck.
Earlier this year the town approved Joseph Lobozzo’s plans for 30 apartment units and a restaurant at the former Calaloo Café, next to town hall on South Street.
The planning board also is finalizing approvals for 38 units next to the Grasshopper Off the Green bar on Morris Street.
Construction of that project by Matt O’Donnell’s Bakod Holding Corp. may have to await traffic improvements from a new parking garage anticipated for Municipal Lot 10, behind the parcel at 45 Morris St., zoning officials said.
O’Donnell, a special tax appeal counsel for the town, is the former planning board attorney and a former member of the Morristown Partnership, which promotes downtown businesses.
Earlier this month, Bijou Properties of Hoboken presented conceptual plans to the town council for 89 apartments and retail space at the Morristown train station.