The start of a long process began this month for the former Pfizer property on Route 53, when a Clifton-based developer purchased the site with grand plans for a mix of retail and housing.
The property, straddling the train track on the west side of Route 53, was purchased on Aug. 16 by M&M Realty Partners of Clifton. The two principals of M&M, Joe Marino and Jack Morris, have extensive experience in real estate development in New Jersey, California and Florida, according to a statement on the Morris Plains website.
Their largest redevelopment project in New Jersey is the former Garden State Race Track in Cherry Hill, the statement said. "This property was converted into a successful 'mixed use' development which included retail shops and housing," according to the statement.
A joint Planning Board, Borough Council meeting was held Aug. 20 to hear M&M give a concept overview of their plan for the site. That plan includes demolition of all existing buildings on the site, according to the statement. In addition, because the property is in a flood plain, "extensive environmental work is planned," the release states.
Building plans include a mix of retail shops and housing. "This is the start of a long process," the release states.
The results, however, have at least one resident worried. Alan Albin, the Morris Plains representative on the Morris School District Board of Education, noted during their meeting Monday this plan holds the potential to increase the borough's population by 25 percent, he said.