Plans for The District at 15fifteen, a redevelopment project at 1515 Route 10 in Parsippany, call for 60,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 498 luxury apartments and a pedestrian-friendly design meant to evoke a town center. — Rendering by Thriven Design/Courtesy: Stanbery Development Group
By Marlaina Cockcroft
After an eight-year planning process, developers and Parsippany officials say they have high hopes for the luxury mixed-use development on Route 10 known as The District at 15fifteen.
Stanbery Development Group’s Mark Pottschmidt points to his experience at another Morris County project, the upscale Shoppes at Union Hill in Denville. That is the firm’s most successful to date, he said, but “I think this one will eclipse it.”
The daytime population around the Parsippany site makes the difference.
“We knew that would drive killer restaurants, which would in turn drive great retail,” Pottschmidt, co-founder and partner at Stanbery, said at a May 23 groundbreaking ceremony for The District at 15fifteen, where he joined fellow company executives, local leaders and joint venture partners Claremont Development and PCCP LLC.
Slated for full completion in 2025, The District at 15fifteen will feature 60,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 498 luxury apartments and a town center space that Parsippany can use for events, as well as a hotel on a portion of the site in neighboring Hanover. The project, located at 1515 Route 10, replaces the long-vacant Intel Corporate Center with a concept that seemingly relies more heavily on retail and restaurants than typical mixed-use residential developments, in an effort to broaden its appeal.
Marc Hays, acquisitions and leasing partner at Stanbery, said separately that the retail element is meant to serve those living on site as well as those in the surrounding area. He said they’re working with “best-in-class” retailers that “people will go out of their way to come and visit,” and they hope to start announcing deals soon.
The three-building complex, located on Route 10 East near the Dryden Way intersection, will also include two restaurants with liquor licenses along with quick-serve eateries, plus fashion retail and fitness offerings like yoga. Hays said they’re working with a third restaurant that wants to bring in its own liquor license.
Parsippany has struggled in recent years with vacant office complexes, but the Route 10 site is now among several in which redevelopment is underway. Mayor James Barberio said that, instead of having a “ghost town of vacant office buildings,” The District at 15fifteen will create a place “where you can simply walk out your door to local businesses, will create the feeling of old neighborhoods, where everyone got to know each other.”
Jeff Bastow, development partner at Claremont, which is handling the residential component, called the project “truly transformational.” Because “there’s really nothing like this in New Jersey,” the team toured other projects in Virginia and Philadelphia to get a sense of how to include retail, housing and a town center in one space.
Pottschmidt and Bastow said after the groundbreaking that the pandemic had caused them to change the original plan for the site. The retail, restaurant and services space shrank from 100,000 to 60,000 square feet, while the apartments grew from 250 to 498 units.
Bastow said having office space was expensive and hard to justify, given the area’s existing oversupply.
“COVID was changing the world, and so we moved away from that, got a few more apartments and traded for the retail and we were able to make it work,” Bastow said.
Residents will have amenities like a pool, lounge space and a fitness center. Of the apartments, 49 units are for residents 55 and older, and 42 are designated as affordable housing. Pottschmidt said the age-restricted component was the tradeoff they made when they reduced the retail for residential, so that “we didn’t put any additional pressure on the schools.”
As part of the project, the developers will make improvements for better traffic flow to Route 10 in both directions as well as connect to the Dryden Way jughandle.
Angelo Del Russo, CEO of Del-Sano Contracting, said the firm has a targeted completion date for Building A of late 2024 or early 2025 and Building B of late 2025 or early 2026. The residential portion is slated to be completed first, followed by the retail and restaurant component.
“This is probably the largest project we’ve ever done,” Del Russo said. “This is a very atypical job for us. We’re building a complex. It’s an entire city.”
He said the project will be “a real boon to the neighborhood.”
Marlaina Cockcroft is a freelance writer based in New Jersey. She has also written for other publications such as New Jersey Monthly and School Library Journal.