Honeywell said it signed a purchase agreement for a new global headquarters in Morris Plains, N.J. The company's decision 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.
Honeywell is purchasing the Morris Plains property and buildings from McNeil-PPC, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company. The purchase agreement includes 40 acres of land, a 475,000 square foot building complex, and a parking garage. With this site, Honeywell said it will have the opportunity to equip its employees with the latest technologies and accommodations. The building retrofits will include Honeywell technologies that will allow for greater energy efficiency and enable the site to be a showcase for the company's building technology capabilities.
"This site represents a terrific opportunity for Honeywell," said Rick Kriva, Honeywell's Vice President of Global Real Estate. "The new building can more than accommodate our current N.J. employee base, allows for future growth, and will enable us to develop a truly world-class global headquarters while staying in Morris County and New Jersey."
“Frank Druetzler, mayor of Morris Plains, contacted us as our re-zoning application for our current Morris Township site slowed. In Morris Plains, we found a great opportunity that's close-by, has more office space, and can be fitted with our technologies," said Kriva. "We thank Mayor Druetzler for his leadership and assistance."
Honeywell said it originally planned to stay in Morris Township, where its headquarters has been located for more than 50 years, and redevelop its campus as a mixed-use site with a combination of commercial, residential, and lab space. Honeywell's current 147-acre property is underutilized with more than 50 percent of the campus unoccupied and its buildings outdated, inefficient, and costly to operate.
Remaining in Morris Township has been predicated on both the approval of the Grow N.J. incentives and the proposed zoning changes, both of which were essential to making the project economically viable. The original plan would have resulted in millions of dollars of capital investment, created hundreds of new construction jobs, generated millions of dollars in permitting fees and annual tax revenues for Morris Township, while preserving open space, the company said.
"We could no longer accept additional delays and uncertainty," continued Kriva. "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. 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…Given the continuing delays we had to move forward with what we believe is in the best interest of our company, employees, and shareowners," said Kriva.
Honeywell has re-filed its application with the NJEDA for incentives under the Grow N.J. Assistance Program to reflect its decision to move its headquarters to Morris Plains. "We admire the commitment by the governor, legislature, and NJEDA to growing business in New Jersey and thank them for providing us with an opportunity to preserve and create jobs, and reinvest in the state," concluded Kriva. Honeywell's Corporate Technology Center, Lab Operations, and Flight Operations will remain in their current locations.