A rendering of M Station, a planned office and retail development in downtown Morristown by SJP Properties and Scotto Properties — Courtesy: SJP Properties/Gensler
By Joshua Burd
SJP Properties and Scotto Properties have broken ground on the first of two office and retail buildings in Morristown, the future home of Deloitte LLP, in a project that will transform another piece of the town’s bustling central business district.
The high-profile development, known as M Station, is moving ahead despite the pandemic thanks in large part to the 110,000-square-foot commitment by Deloitte, which was announced in January. SJP and Scotto joined local leaders and members of the project team on Friday to mark the start of the project at Morris and Spring streets, touting it as Morristown’s most significant commercial development in more than 30 years
“The groundbreaking at M Station represents an important milestone in the evolution of downtown Morristown, as the development will add another dynamic to the vibrant atmosphere that has taken shape near The Green over the last decade,” Mayor Tim Dougherty said. “As a community, we look forward to experiencing the increased economic vitality that Deloitte will bring to our area, and to welcoming other high-caliber companies that will occupy M Station.”
Designed by Gensler in tandem with SJP, M Station will occupy the former site of the Scotto’s Midtown Shopping Center, just steps from the Morristown train station. Deloitte will move its operations from Parsippany and occupy all of the office space in the first building, known as M Station East, atop 10,000 square feet of retail space.
SJP is also marketing the second phase, M Station West, which is slated to include 253,000 square feet of office and retail space across seven stories. The two structures will be bridged by a 1,000-car parking facility that will include public parking for the on-site retailers, while plans also call for a landscaped promenade and two public plazas with seating in order to enhance the pedestrian experience.
“What motivates our team is the opportunity to create enduring properties where every element is carefully considered to provide a superior experience, and M Station is no exception,” said Steven Pozycki, CEO of SJP Properties. “Each feature of this development — from its distinctively modern architecture and state-of-the-art infrastructure, to its energy-conscious design and efficiently configured floor plates — is a testament to our organization’s passion for excellence. We applaud Morristown’s leadership for having the vision to realize the positive impact that M Station will make, and look forward to delivering this meaningful project at a time when economic development of this caliber and significance is so critically needed.”
The development also figures to enhance the area between the train station and the Morristown Green. To ease traffic concerns, the project team is planning a roundabout for the intersection of Morris and Spring streets to reduce the queuing and congestion of cars entering and leaving the Green.
Peter Bronsnick, SJP’s New Jersey region president, opened Friday’s groundbreaking ceremony by acknowledging the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, along with a contested presidential election and a morning filled with cold, rainy weather. But he said the ability to move ahead with M Station is “a testament to all of you and the work and effort that’s gone into this project,” speaking to the crowd that had gathered at the site.
He also acknowledged several members of the development team, including Ben and Anthony Scotto and Peter Realmonte of Scotto Properties, along with Frank Vitolo of Riker Danzig, which served as lead counsel for the project. He also noted the roles of Gensler and Cushman & Wakefield, the leasing agent for M Station, while Pozycki highlighted PNC Bank and Valley National Bank as the project’s lenders.
“Despite those obstacles, here we stand,” Bronsnick said. “So with the effort of so many of you, including Mayor Tim Dougherty and his administration, the vision for M Station has finally become a reality.
“And I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the magnitude of this moment as we recognize the commencement of construction on a long-awaited, transformative development that holds the promise of economic growth at a time when it is so sorely needed.”