PARSIPPANY, NJ - There are mixed reviews on the redevelopment project slated for 1515 Route 10 in Parsippany.
Originally planned six years ago, the mixed use redevelopment design has seen several changes and adaptions.
Last night's council meeting (November 24th) built upon that.
Revisions proposed to the long-planned mixed-use development to replace two vacant office buildings on Route 10 in Parsippany would add 27 more residential units to the design, resulting in the residential dwellings inside the project yielding 500 more rental units. The 27 newly proposed units would require residents to be over 55 years of age to domicile there.
The township council Tuesday voted 3 - 2 in a split party and council vote. Republican Loretta Gragnani and Democrat Janice McCarthy voted no to introduce an ordinance to refer the revisions requested by the owners to the planning board. Republicans Michael dePierro and Paul Carifi along with Democrat Emily Peterson voted yes.
The ordinance is expected to receive a second reading and possibly a final vote after public comment at the Dec. 15th council meeting.
The initial draft of the ordinance stated, "Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, financing for the First Amended Project has proven to be impossible, with the office and non-restaurant retail components having little to no value."
"They had all of these retail partners that were excited about the project," Mayor Michael Soriano said. "They wanted to be involved. "After the COVID-19 pandemic crushed the U.S. economy, Soriano said, "Some of those companies don't even exist anymore. And some of them, financially, can't make any commitments."
"This proposal will overwhelm our school district emergency services," said former Council President Louis Valori, who has indicated he will run for mayor in 2021. "Traffic will be a nightmare on Route 10. This project is totally unacceptable and not fair to the residents."
Retail space would be reduced from about 100,000 square feet in the original proposal to 60,000 square feet. Much is up in the air as the impact of COVID restrictions and business shutdowns are yet to be fully revealed.