Honeywell Leaves Morris Township

Honeywell exodus is very sad for Morris Township. Township revenues will decrease and taxes will rise. What went wrong?
In my humble opinion, as a neighbor near by I must speak out.

The master plan update to modify the Honeywell site process was too drawn out. Over two years and 50 meetings was too much. In last meetings I attended I kept thinking how much uncertainty will HoneyWell take? Private companies main goals are to invest and grow. Uncertainty blocks that. In business one learns quickly to both seize opportunities and threats to your revenue stream ASAP. Why do many politicians not understand this? The myth that traffic would triple was handled poorly by the politicians. Easy math would have disproved it. It should have been a non issue after a few days. Instead it lingered for over a year and signs about it popped all over town. The opposition grew. No wonder Honeywell stated that lawsuits against the finally approved plan was factor in moving.

Some who opposed had a weak understanding of business and economics. Now they will wonder why taxes will rise as high as the new weeds will at the site.

Last but not least are neighbors like myself who should have demanded the politicians move faster.
Six months should have been the target to entertain all interests and immediately knock down myths.

So what can we do now? Educate those who opposed about how businesses view opportunities and risk. Hold our elected politicians accountable if they do not move quickly on significant financial opportunities and threats. Rebuild Morris Township damaged reputation of not being a business friendly place. Else those weeds will keep on growing.

Ted Hruzd


note opposing point of view – and my response

read my response to opposing point of view – also letter in DR — — No response from author for proof of HoneyWell – Morris Township conspiracy.

Also tone from this letter will tend not to entice a prospective developer or business to move to this site. My letter, link below on same day, offers suggestions how Morris Township can recover from this debacle. The first recommendation may pertain to this author “Educate those who don’t understand how businesses view opportunities and risk.” As an ex venture capitalist, I would not recommend this land as a good investment, if author’s view is persuasive (TBD) – opposition to any modern modifications to this outdated land use. “Great lawn” may thus become “Great Weeds”. Let us then act on my conclusion from my letter. Else taxes will go up and stay up.
So what can we do now? Educate those who don’t understand how businesses view opportunities and risk. Hold our elected politicians accountable if they do not move quickly on significant financial opportunities and threats. Rebuild Morris Township’s damaged reputation of not being a business-friendly place. Otherwise those weeds will keep on growing.

*** also amazing: apathy to this important issue. My letter and this letter each got only 3 recommendations. Recommendations typically do not necessarily mean approval or disproval. Rather it means sending messages to others to read about an important issue.

About economics501

1 - free market Capitalist; 2 - Fitness Entrepreneur; 56 years old, VP at an Investment Bank in NYC, ex Venture Capitalist, happily married with 2 girls. Education: Rutgers and NYU. I allow Ted Hruzd, my friend to blog at will here. He has many posts here. I have known Ted since we were both students at NYU. Ted also works for an Investment Bank as a VP in Equity Global Markets. ------------------------- I was very very Socialist leaning as a 22 year old. I then strongly believed in Gov role in helping the poor. However, as a USDA Child Nutrition Programs, I personally accounted for millions of fraud, abuse, and waste of tax payer money. I came to believe that the poor would be best served with less Gov programs and more with direct aid via tax system. Then after 5 years I became a free market capitalist, was a venture capitalist in 2007 and helped start 2 high tech companies. I dedicate this site to champion free market capitalism as the best road to Prosperity. Please join in. If you disagree, fine, but please post with dignity and class and be civil. Argue with facts always.
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3 Responses to Honeywell Leaves Morris Township

  1. margret brady says:

    Someone with an real understanding of zoning would know that the reality in this type of situation is that the actual cost of this type of development to the community when subtracted from the added tax revenue rarely results in a profit for anyone but the developer. Many studies have been done to prove the fallacy that the new taxes will cover the negative impacts and the costs of development. The developer will make sufficient profit to enable him to market a project at great expense, knowing that only rarely will the community hire the specialists to do a factual analysis. If you will notice, they focus on the amount of taxes gained without mentioning the costs involved to the community where the project is located or to the neighboring communities impacted by the additional densities and traffic.

    • economics501 says:


      Thanks for your interest and input to this local issue.

      Regarding “rarely results in profit for anyone other than the developer”:

      I would be very interested in references to any such analyses or empirical data.

      Developers who employ local workers add to the local economy. This then increases economic growth in other sectors of the local economy and increase the tax base.

      With Honeywell moving to Morris Plains just few miles away, it will be most interesting, in a few years, to analyze the aggregate impact on both Morris Township and Morris Plains.

      • margret brady says:

        In response to your question, let me start with a theory developed by the late Kevin Lynch, His writings spoke about the success of planning and design being being ultimately dependent on the ability of politicians and planners to create opportunities for designs that, with community participation, local control and individual engagements with the immediate environment can succeed. He felt that without this partnership, projects would most likely be doomed to failure. I believe the real reason that Honeywell decided to relocate to Morris Plains because they learned that their employees would be better served in a location with sidewalks, a nearby downtown and and handy railroad station, none of which are available at their present location.

        It was to their advantage to maximize the use and value of their existing property first in order to maximize their profit when it was sold. From their point of view that would be economic common sense.

        The township has had a history of ignoring transportation needs and never has integrated the existing highways and expanding use of automobiles into its planning. They have avoided providing for the need for some sort of integrated pedestrian access from one development to an another, Their most successful neighborhoods are those that can borrow the downtowns or transportation centers of their abutting neighbors. The. costs of adding those necessary links from Honeywell to the remainder of the community will be costly and have not been accounted for in the plan.

        Individual growth management techniques for a single site, while useful can not identify those impacts beyond the immediate project and their costs. Many of the opportunities for the public made a part of the new proposal are not accessible to the rest of the community without major infrastructure changes. Those changes will have a cost and those residents denied the benefits of their use can only be resentful as a result..

        Rutgers has an extensive library of studies and information. I continue to refer to the older studies done by George Sternlieb at The Center For Urban Policy Research on Housing Development and Municipal Costs. This was a nationwide study and not just for NJ. I’m sure it has been updated but I still have not found any newer studies to refute the original findings.

        There have been some pretty bad projects that were accepted by the residents and have succeeded and others far better planned but despised by the residents that have failed.
        Unfortunately, rarely do politicians want strong planners or planning boards. They prefer those who will rubber stamp what they want. Morris Township politicians are not Planners. They rarely want what their community needs but tend to get re-elected. I’m not quite sure how this happens.

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