Next stop for M Station:
The Morristown planning board.
By a unanimous vote, the town council on Thursday approved measures to forward the office redevelopment project to the planning board for site plan review. Technical aspects of the project will be scrutinized during this process.
Barring any snags, the Midtown Shopping Center strip mall on Morris Street will become M Station: Nearly 400,000 square feet of offices and ground-floor retail, in two multi-story buildings; a five-floor parking deck; a pair of plazas; a tree-lined promenade; and a traffic “roundabout” at the intersection of Morris and Spring streets.
According to town Planner Phil Abramson, M Station should generate around $1 million in annual taxes, and $950,000 for the town’s affordable housing fund. The site has been earmarked for redevelopment since 2004.
In a formality, the council on Thursday designated M-Station East LLC–a partnership of site owner Scotto Properties and builder SJP Properties–as redeveloper.
The designation is good for nine months. The redeveloper feels urgency to proceed swiftly to accommodate M Station’s anchor tenant, Big Four accounting firm Deloitte, said town Redevelopment Counsel John Inglesino.
An abbreviated agreement with M-Station East also was approved. It affirms that plans being sent for planning board reveiw are the same ones approved by the council last fall, Inglesino said.
Crucially, this redevelopment agreement gives added powers to the planning board, for mandating off-site improvements by the redeveloper if necessary, Inglesino said.
This could include traffic fixes related to the proposed roundabout, the lawyer said.
A more detailed agreement spelling out redeveloper responsibilities and conditions will be fleshed out when the planning board returns the site plan to the council, Inglesino said.
He anticipates the planning board review will start soon.
Eleven restaurants and business in the Midtown Shopping Center were told in December they must leave by the end of next month, March 2020, to make way for M Station.