Thursday, April 14, 2011

Eco-Center Planned for Morristown

By Courtney Leiva

Morristown is full of good food, eclectic stores, and lots of history. But now the trendy New Jersey town might be able add sustainable to that list.

In March it was reported in an excellent article at that the township of Morristown announced the possibility that the old Mini-Cooper dealership on Bank Street would be converted into a 20,000-square feet green facility.

Plans for the center include “an organic restaurant, commercial kitchen, rooftop greenhouses (which will supply some of the food for the restaurant), retail stores, and a place for arts, educational, and cultural events,” according to

The project will be a joint venture with building owner Jack McDonald, the Sustainable Business Incubator of New Jersey, and community investors, as reported by

The project was met with praise, especially by Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty.

“It’s a very interesting concept, especially the idea of an organic restaurant. I think that would be well received by the community. So would the gardens, and the class space. And it would still be a tax-paying entity. I look forward to another meeting with them,” Dougherty said to

However, the project still needs public support according to one of the project’s creators’ Jonathan Cloud.

“The most important thing for us right now is to consult with the community and see if there is enough public support to move forward,” said Cloud, senior fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Enterprise at Fairleigh Dickinson University, to

Morristown has had green incentives in the past.

According to the article, Mayor Dougherty hired Jonathan Rose Companies as town planners. Jonathan Rose Companies is a green real estate policy, planning, development, and civic development and investment firm.

The Mayor was also reported in the article to have created the Office of Sustainability with funding from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation in February of 2009 The town’s efforts have earned it a seal of approval from Sustainable Jersey as Morristown Memorial Hospital and the Hyatt Morristown perform large-scale recycling of food wastes.

Although the project is recycling a building, renovations of the Mini Cooper dealership are expected to cost anywhere near $1 and $2 million.

The project is still in its earliest planning stages, but creators hope that the project will soon come into fruition.

No comments:

Post a Comment