Luxury Rental Apartment Development Slated for Morristown

A luxury rental community called Latitude, to be developed by Dallas-based developer Mill Creek Residential, will soon be under construction in downtown Morristown, N.J.

Morristown, N.J.—A luxury rental community called Latitude, to be developed by Dallas-based developer Mill Creek Residential, will soon be under construction in downtown Morristown, N.J.

The property, the first large-scale residential development to begin construction in Morristown in almost four years, is virtually certain to add to the town’s appeal as a pedestrian-friendly, destination community, officers of Mill Creek Residential report. Latitude will put residents of its 268 studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom upscale rental homes within walking distance of shopping, services and dining.

“We see a significant imbalance between supply and demand for luxury rental housing,” Rich Murphy, Bedminster, N.J.-based managing director for Mill Creek Residential, tells MHN. “People want to live in luxury rental housing these days. And that is spread over a broad range of demographics. It’s not just the young professionals. It is divorced people, as well as mature adults who are selling their four-bedroom Colonials, but still want to maintain a residence in the community where they’ve spent much of their lives.”

Latitude’s apartments will include a number of upscale features, from nine-foot ceilings and walk-in closets to granite countertops, stainless steel energy-efficient appliances and spacious bathroom vanities and tubs with ceramic tile surrounds.

Select residences will also include patios or balconies and lofts.

As for the common-area amenities, they start with a state-of-the-art fitness center outfitted with cardio, strength, spin and yoga equipment. Residents will also be able to enjoy a rooftop resort-style deck, lounge with fireplace, business center with computer stations and a game room. All parking spaces will be located within two levels of podium parking. And a total of 26 deed-restricted, affordable apartments will be seamlessly integrated into the first phase at Latitude.

State of New Jersey zoning throws up “some pretty significant barriers to getting developments like Latitude approved,” Murphy says. Some of the barriers result from a false image of the negative financial impacts on towns of such projects.

“In our particular case, in Morristown, we were extremely fortunate we had an aggressive administration willing to look at the actual impacts and realize we are a very favorable ratable,” Murphy continues. “The amount of money the town takes in is actually much greater than the costs the town expends to support our project… The more progressive administrations recognize the benefits of good sound planning, mixing relatively high densities right into the centers of their communities.”

It takes that inclusion of residential units in a downtown community to create an active “after-dark community,” according to Murphy. “You need that foot traffic after dark to activate the community,” he says.

Importantly, this is just the first phase of construction. Mill Creek Residential is proceeding with other phases adjacent to Latitude. “One of the reasons Morristown is moving ahead with the development is to create more foot traffic, to support more shops, restaurants and businesses in town,” Murphy says. “This is all being done in accordance with sound urban planning principles.”

Initial occupancy of Latitude is planned for 2014.