Video of ‘M Station’ approval: What they said, how they voted in Morristown

The Morristown Council prepares to vote on M Station project, Oct. 10, 2019. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
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Its impact on Morristown will be “monumental,” resident Stephen Zaklukiewicz said moments before Thursday’s 6-0 council vote approving M Station.

Rendering of M Station, courtesy of SJP Properties.

On that, proponents and critics of the nearly 400,000-square-foot office/retail project almost certainly agree.

Advocates say the offices and promised traffic roundabout at Morris and Spring streets will transform a shabby strip mall and revitalize the area.

Retailers in the current Midtown Shopping Center who would be displaced by M Station. From presentation to council, Aug. 13, 2019. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

 

Opponents say M Station will worsen traffic and eliminate affordable eateries and free parking.

If you couldn’t make Thursday’s meeting, here is video:

 

 

 

Newcomers to this saga will find a concise overview, from the administration’s perspective, delivered here by town Planner Phil Abramson. The video starts a few minutes into his talk, which is similar to other videos we have posted:

Here are public comments from Lindsay Holleran, Kadija Gaylord, Stephen Zaklukiewicz, Ollie Starnes, Michael Dey and Margret Brady.  Dey, who stands to lose his Fatty’s sub shop to the roundabout, reprises his support for the project. Brady, who served on the council in the early 1980s, responds with a proverb and insists the project can be better:

Below is the second and final vote (the first reading was on Sept. 25, 2019) approving the M Station project. It’s an amendment to a 2008 redevelopment plan for the property; among other things, it allows one of two proposed buildings to exceed a six-story limit (to seven stories).  At-large Councilman David Silva, a pastor, says life is full of risks and M Station is one worth taking. Council President Toshiba Foster agrees it’s time to roll the dice. Voting by phone, Second Ward Councilwoman Hiliari Davis says she’s on top of this despite missing several public meetings. First Ward Councilman Robert Iannaccone suggests a ground-floor marketplace akin to the Milwaukee Public Market might offer retailers and food vendors affordable booths.  Fourth Ward Councilwoman Alison Deeb is absent.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. There seems to be a lot of people in town who are against any and all development and seem to long for the “good old days” of the late 80’s and early 90’s when Morristown was a ghost town with vacant buildings that were on the verge of falling down. Headquarters Plaza has clearly outlived its useful life and is in need of a major renovation, but it doesn’t mean that all projects are doomed to a similar fate, as some like to argue.

  2. @Charles that is just categorically false. Lots of projects get rejected or take a dozen meetings to get right. The self storage facility on Morris was rejected and took several meetings after to come up with a viable apartment project that would enhance the neighborhood

  3. You use money grab like an evil term. Its called economic expansion. I replied to your last post saying this.

    Didn’t see answer to questions 2 and 3 which would clarify your positions.

    Idk what is the vacancy rate? Please say. Could it be that the other spaces weren’t designed for modern businesses? I feel like you referencing HQ plaza here again which your argument doesn’t stand as numerous posts have outlined the differences between that and this. (And instead of bashing HQ plaza again, maybe put your efforts to helping the owner and town to get businesses in there. What does it need? Exterior remodel? Interior remodel? Plaza? Complete overhaul?)

    Your comment “People in town are not clamoring for more office space” cannot be substantiated at all. Its just your opinion. And certainly not mine.

    Your comment “The town will approve basically anything” says nothing either. What should it have rejected? and why? Just because you don’t want any new investment in town?

    And the most important questions of all I asked in the last article as well – Why have so many people moved and keep moving here (including myself) if no one likes all the development taking place as you say?

  4. Connor, if the owner of the (incredibly busy and popular) strip mall was not also involved in the redevelopment, it wouldn’t be a blight. I mean, pave the lot, stripe the spots, put in proper lighting. Maintain the exterior. Expand the building. It’s not my problem that Scotto couldn’t be bothered to maintain his property.

    It’s a money grab.

    The town will approve basically anything (and if the won’t point me to a project that’s been rejected in the last 5 years).

    People in town are not clamoring for more office space.

    What’s the vacancy rate for commercial office space in town? In the township?

  5. @ Charles. You must have missed my question to you in your last post. Here are three that would tell us all where you stand on these issues.

    1) What exactly did you have planned for this space that would have been better for the town?
    2) What development projects were you for in town?
    3) Would you replace all the bars with bookstores open from noon to 4pm if you could?

  6. This is such comprehensive, in-the-moment coverage of the Morristown Council meeting that lead to the approval of the M Street project, to move forward to the town’s Planning Board, that I wanted to thank Kevin Coughlin for the effort to inform those who could not attend this meeting. Speaking for myself, it’s to MorristownGreen that I look to fill me in when I can’t be there. Always thorough, balanced and easily accessible information. What a treasure for the town to have MorristownGreen.org and to have it in the hands of such a capable leader, Kevin Coughlin.

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