CHATHAM, NJ - Council member Thaddeus Kobylarz not only introduced a plan for a high tech/innovative hub initiative in Chatham Borough, he also announced that the focal point of the initiative will be housed in the Garibaldi Building on Fairmount Avenue in April.
In his power-point at the regular meeting of the Borough of Chatham Council on Monday, outlining "Revitalizing Chatham Borough's Downtown Economy and Closing its Fiscal Gap," Kobylarz explained how Chatham is partnering with the Morris County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) (see the video below) to lead the county-wide branding campaign.
"In one of our early meetings, the MCEDC (Morris County Economic Development Corporation) revealed that it had a similar, albeit more ambitious plan, for the county as a whole. It knocked our socks off, actually. What has happened in the time since is a cooperative framework has emerged whereby Chatham Borough will be the centerpiece of a large-scale, county-wide campaign to brand Morris County as a region focusing on high-tech and innovation economy entrepreneurial activity."
Kobylarz talks about the co-working spaces being developed in the Garibaldi Building for a projected opening in early April
According to Kobylarz, the work is underway for the co-working spaces in the Garibaldi Building at 14 Fairmount Avenue, which is informally being called the Chatham Innovation Center.
"The focal point of the initiative to establish the borough as a high-tech innovation hub," Kobylarz said. "The name "Silicon Suburb" has been kicked around as another possible name. The greater intention here is to have the Garibaldi Co-Working Space/Chatham Innovation Center serve as the focal point. This is going to be the centerpiece for the efforts to attract high-tech innovative businesses."
Kobylarz talks about pivoting to a high-tech economy in Chatham Borough
"The purpose is to pivot to the new economy," Kobylarz said. "The plan is to establish Chatham Borough as a recognized high-tech innovation hub. This pivot to the new economy will bring more e-commerce workers to Chatham, secondly fill up the approximately 50,000 square feet of vacant office space that currently exists.
"Third, spawn smart redevelopment that includes office and commercial space in addition to residential space. Fourth, encourage the development of a secondary supporting economy that will cater both to the new economic sector and wider populace more generally. Examples of the secondary economy quality of life enterprises include internet cafes, daytime eateries, bookstores, specialty food shops, novelty boutiques, ice cream parlor, etc."