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Honeywell to Leave Morris Township for Morris Plains

Company plans to leave its global headquarters of more than 50 years for new location in neighboring town.

Honeywell on Tuesday announced plans to leave its global headquarters in Morris Township for a 40-acre office complex it has agreed to buy in neighboring Morris Plains.

The Fortune 100 company said it is abandoning its original plan to keep its headquarters in Morris Township, the company's home for more than 50 years, because of delay tactics and lawsuits from opponents to a planned redevelopment project there, which involved rezoning the 147-acre site to allow the construction of 235 townhomes and expanded office and lab space.

Instead, Honeywell is purchasing property and buildings on Route 53 in Morris Plains from McNeil-PPC Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, officials said.

The purchase agreement includes 40 acres of land, a 475,000-square-foot building complex and parking garage. A company news release said the site has more than enough room for the 1,000 employees expected to work there and "will enable us to develop a truly world-class global headquarters while staying in Morris County and New Jersey.”

Morris Plains officials swooped in when progress in Morris Township stalled, the technology and manufacturing company said.

“Frank Druetzler, mayor of Morris Plains, contacted us as our re-zoning application for our current Morris Township site slowed," Rick Kriva, Honeywell’s vice president of Global Real Estate, said in the news release. "In Morris Plains, we found a great opportunity that’s close-by, has more office space, and can be fitted with our technologies. We thank Mayor Druetzler for his leadership and assistance.”

Honeywell said litigation from opponents to the Morris Township plan made the original project too risky.

“After two years and more than 50 public meetings, the opposition’s delay tactics and lawsuits bogged down the process and forced us to rethink our plans," Kriva said. "The litigation has created a significant level of risk and uncertainty in the market, leaving us without a reliable and timely way to proceed in Morris Township.”

Honeywell plans to make its new headquarters more energy efficient with technologies from the company's own portfolio, the company said.

Honeywell said its decision to move is subject to approval of its application with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority for state incentives under the Grow N.J. Assistance Program. The company expects the move to occur in 2015.

Morris Township Mayor Peter Mancuso said in a statement the township is "deeply disappointed" by the decision.

"It is sad to hear this decision, yet understandable in this competitive market," Mancuso said.

He said the new master plan for the 147-acre Morris Township site is still a good one, and the township will work to find future tenants for the location.

"Morris Township believes that our site remains superior to the newly revealed location in Morris Plains in all respects," he said.

The president of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, Paul Boudreau, said the move is a win-win for the county and the state.

"We now have certainty about Honeywell’s plans for the future and we are ecstatic that more than 1,000 high-paying jobs will remain in our community," Boudreau said. “Honeywell’s decision has two additional upsides for Morris County. First, their decision represents a net positive absorption of 475,000 square feet of existing office space in Morris Plains. Second, Morris Township has a new opportunity to determine a path forward for creating ratables and jobs on the existing Honeywell property in the years ahead."

Martatown February 28, 2013 at 04:44 PM
Well you said I'm Bruce Sisler?? You wouldn't run anyway. It's more fun for you to disrupt than contribute.
Rob Burke February 28, 2013 at 04:58 PM
Wow. I'm stunned that you just admitted that you are Bruce Sisler. I always thought you were, but now that you've admitted it I know for sure.
Martatown February 28, 2013 at 05:25 PM
Hah!! Whatever Rob!! So now you'll run for office? Ok I'm Bruce. So remind me how you became so involved in this since it's not in your neighborhood? You didn't sign the petition?
Rob Burke February 28, 2013 at 05:26 PM
If you are Bruce Sisler, then change your screen name to Bruce Sisler. Let's remove any ambiguity about who you say you are.
Leslie Jones-Wentz February 28, 2013 at 05:31 PM
Township committee members really need to grow up. No wonder our township is in so much trouble.
Martatown February 28, 2013 at 06:49 PM
That would be fraud Rob. If you recall it seemed he was Kermit McFluffel or something. Go ahead do your list of frauds gig... I know it's coming. You really should be in politics. You're very adept at avoiding any direct questions. You'd fit right in.
Rob Burke February 28, 2013 at 06:59 PM
You are a COWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRDDDDDD!!!!!!!! You are so ashamed of yourself you won't even sign your name. Well, no matter, Feel free to join us in court next Friday. You can sit in the audience and wear a Nixon mask. Or a Sisler mask...
Kenny J. February 28, 2013 at 07:35 PM
Sisler IS a coward. When the firm of Swindler & Rosendouche wanted to push an expansion of the traffic impact study, you'd think Sisler would be out there at Hanover and Route 202 handing out very last minute pamphlets. However, that morning it was indeed Rosenbush out there handing them out, because Sisler is too cowardly to show his face and do it himself. Yes, Martatown, you are a coward.
Martatown February 28, 2013 at 10:51 PM
You guys need to get a life. Either participate or shut up. Run for office...too much trouble heh?? Much more fun to toss sticks and stones. I already found out how some people supplement their incomes with theses things...sound familiar?? Go play your sax Kenny...
Martatown February 28, 2013 at 10:53 PM
Or blow your clarinet
Rob Burke February 28, 2013 at 11:36 PM
Listen up "Marta": I am participating. You on the other hand are heckling. I will be in court next Friday. I will enter my appearance as Robert W. Burke., Plaintiff Pro Se. You will be under your rock. How dare you heckle when you lack the courage of your convictions to disclose your identity?
Martatown March 01, 2013 at 01:02 AM
Going to a township meeting and standing up and yelling isn't heckling? Patticipation in your township by starting lawsuits is not participating in a positive way. Do you understand the difference between positive and negative? Do you know how to contribute in a positive way? Other people do work, you sit back and pick apart their work. See the difference? How have you contributed to your township except adding to their legal bills? All because you hate Sisler and the committee...except the lone (d) of course....and your only agenda is fair and balanced politics? Come on. That's all I've been asking you..what's your personal stake in this? There has to be something. So far it's not your personal property, it's not political ...what is it? Why are fighting this fight?
Rob Burke March 01, 2013 at 01:11 AM
It is so very amusing to be debating with someone who pathetically engages from behind a screen name. Ho hum. Yes, I do understand the difference between positive and negative. Let's see...Sisler calling Goldberg in the middle of the night and threatening and harassing him...I choose....NEGATIVE. Let's see, holding Sisler accountable for his bad behavior in order to protect the integrity of the local government....I choose...POSITIVE. My stake? I love my country. And I expect my elected officials to follow the law and to behave themselves. If they don't, or can't, then they should pack their bags and move on. Contrary to your bizarre assertion, a citizen of this great country may criticize their officials even if said citizen never runs for office. And by the way, what's your personal stake? Why are you so motivated to harass me? Why do you embrace Sisler's despicable behavior?
Martatown March 01, 2013 at 01:36 AM
My personal stake?? None, just a taxpayer watching a citizen make my town spend my money on legal fees. Back to day one. I don't like whiners...I don't like people that try to stand in the way of progress in the name of every corporation is an evil empire. Corporations don't write the legislation, they follow it. Go to Washington and stomp your feet ....and the delivery of your manifestos here reak of a personal ax to grind. I've told you before, I don't totally disagree with you, but your venom just makes me want to barf. Any good work you do is diminished by your delivery.
Rob Burke March 01, 2013 at 10:54 AM
Point of order, O Anonymous Chicken Livered Screen Name Whose Identity and Dog in the Fight Remain Intentionally Hidden. Your fundamental assertion that the Town and Honeywell are following the law is completely wrong. They have broken the law. And, ironically, Honeywell still insists that it should get everything it demanded in exchange for its promise to stay in Morris Township. You can make the Honeywell Debacle about me all you want. Except I am not David Cote, I am not John Mills, I am not Bruce Sisler and I am not the developers who are buying the property to load it up with negative ratables like heaps of sour cream and chives on a steaming hot potato. You say you care about your taxes? Then break out some common sense and ask your Town Committee why they did not commission their own financial analysis of the Overdevelopment Ordinance and its impact on the Town's ongoing finances. Ask why they just took Honeywell's word that we'd make money. Then break out your abacus and do the math yourself. And don't forget to clean up your barf.
Rob Burke March 01, 2013 at 10:59 AM
PS -- Why are you defending Honeywell as a bastion of good corporate citizenship? They leave drums of radioactive nuclear waste strewn on their property; they don't pay federal income taxes; and as recently as a couple years ago they were selling to Iran. Hip hip hooray! Maybe you work for Honeywell...
Martatown March 01, 2013 at 01:11 PM
Well I guess someone in Washington doesn't think they break the law. Go and stomp your arrogant feet ther if you want to make real change. Fix the rules then Rob. That's the problem. Our political system sucks. You go after the effect instead of the cause. You still can't get it through your head that I have zero connection to this except I'm a taxpayer. I know it just drives you crazy..hah!! Good luck on Friday...maybe you should yell at the judge too?
ryancnj March 01, 2013 at 01:16 PM
@Rob Burke: "They have broken the law." What law? Just curious.
Rob Burke March 01, 2013 at 01:46 PM
Silly rabbit. Why do you defend Sisler? No need to change the rules. The rules make his abhorrent behavior illegal. As to who you are and what your connection is: until discovery opens and I subpoena your IP address and then your ISP account, I won't know anything. Unless you come out from under your rock...
Rob Burke March 01, 2013 at 01:51 PM
@Ryan: The Town has broken the law several times throughout this process. First, they tainted their legal advice regarding Grayzel by explicitly relying on Peter D. Manahan. Manahan owns a ton of Honeywell stock. His advice was conflicted and, in turn, improperly influenced Grayzel and the Town Committee regarding Grayzel's independence. Second, the invocation of the doctrine of necessity was illegal. There was no matter of stern necessity that demanded we chuck the conflicts of interest laws to satisfy Honeywell. As it turns out, the stern necessity was to keep Honeywell's HQ in MoTwp. That ain't happening and the Mayor said on the dais two nights ago, "Its not the end of the world..." LOL. Third, Sislers midnight threatening calls to Goldberg constitute improper influence of the proceedings and permanently disqualify Sisler from participating in this matter. His vote was illegal and therefore the ordinance was not validly adopted. There's more, but these are the highlights.
Charles Jones March 02, 2013 at 12:48 AM
To let a fortone 100 company slip away was a HUGE failure on the local politicians .
Martatown March 02, 2013 at 03:36 AM
Yes, it's a grand conspiracy Rob...this patch thing. If I had a connection would I be commenting on here? If you wanna waste your time and money on more lawsuits go right ahead. So if you got what you wanted then why are you continuing on? Honeywell is leaving right?? So it's more than just Honeywell not building? You don't want any developement there it seems. Wasn't the Sisler debacle after all of this started?
Rob Burke March 02, 2013 at 11:05 AM
See if you can follow along. There is an existing lawsuit that challenges among other things the validity of Sisler's vote on the Overdevelopment Ordinance. In that context, your identity is relevant if, for example, you are Sisler, as you've claimed to be. In order to determine whether your claim to be Sisler is true, I would issue a subpoeana to Patch to determine information associated with your Patch account. That, in turn, would eventually lead to your identity. No need for more lawsuits. And no, whether Honeywell stays isn't why I'm involved in these shenanigans. Indeed, Honeywell leaving has no impact on the Overdevelopment Ordinance. The Overdevelopment is coming even though Honeywell is leaving. That's like getting the money when you sell your car and then keeping your car. In any case, I'm involved because the conflict ridden, tainted process isn't the way things are supposed to work. Plain and simple. If you are offended by midnight threats from Committeemen to frighten residents from speaking up, then you would be agree with the arguments I'm making.
Martatown March 02, 2013 at 12:47 PM
So tell us how Friday went in court?
Rob Burke March 02, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Its this Friday at 2 pm. Open to the public. Come on down!
Martatown March 02, 2013 at 01:53 PM
You're missing out. there's a whole new story on this that you're not commenting on
JJS March 02, 2013 at 02:54 PM
As a resident of Morris Plains I would like to personally thank Rob Burke for his dedication to stupidity in helping push Honeywell out (nothing quite like having nothing better to do in life) and Sisler who in his more mature moments lost the plot and made things much worse for Morris Township! You guys are the best! LOL
Rob Burke March 02, 2013 at 03:17 PM
Golly gee willikers, "JJS". My feelings were almost hurt til I realized I was being called names by some anonymous heckler. Dedication to stupidity? No, insistence on compliance with the governmental ethics laws. But hey, I guess you must think that those laws don't apply whenever someone to be named later decides they shouldn't apply.
jab March 03, 2013 at 07:06 PM
What happened to civility? Please act like grown-ups and not 5 year olds when discussing a serious matter like MTwp loss of a major corporation headquarters. How about discussing future plans for the MTwp to keep property taxes in check? Are you on Social Security? How are you going to pay your higher bills (taxes, medicare, prescriptions, gas, etc). Anybody has any constructive ideas on how we can actually LOWER the property taxes? What about school taxes? (We have in US the highest per capita spending per pupil, and we rank between 16 and 37th-depending on subject, in the world...) At least we're not spending $6900/per pupil in transportation costs like New York City. I guess YOUR TAXES AT WORK! In any case, we need solutions, not clever BS to demolish those we don't agree with.
Rob Burke March 03, 2013 at 08:23 PM
No disrespect intended but Honeywell leaving isn't going to impact property taxes in the Township. The Overdevelopment Ordinance increases the property taxes to be paid in respect of the land in question. That said, I believe property taxes will indeed go up BECAUSE of the Overdevelopment Ordinance and the failure of the Town Fathers to secure funding from Honeywell the Applicant for road improvements, other infrastructure improvements, and so on.

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